We wanted to like Crash, we really did, but then we realized it was only an entertaining charade at best, its characters merely plot devices with heads attached.

When Sandra Bullock rattles off her "I'm scared, he's black" speech, in the opening scenes of the movie, we're immediately alerted to the fact that we're about to be taught a lesson about racism. What we're not told is that it will be so transparently delivered that it would actually render the message ineffective.

Every scenario plays out a display of textbook bigotry, and the plot is organized in a way that takes pains to intersect each scene, layering an outrageous monologue where Ludacris declares hip-hop "the music of the oppressor" (a ridiculous statement clearly written by a very white person) on top of a series of dramatic coincidences, like a racist police officer who sexually violates a woman during a pat-down and later saves her life. The result is a pile-up of clichés that tidily demonstrate's racism's two-fold terrors, as each storyline reveals its contrived twist.

How Crash's muddled moral message managed to finagle an Oscar trophy for Best Picture for its blatant assault of our intelligence still baffles us to this day.