Crash is a 1996 Canadian-British psychological thriller film written and directed by David Cronenberg based on J. G. Ballard's 1973 novel of the same name. It tells the story of a group of people who take sexual pleasure from car crashes, a notable form of paraphilia. The film stars James Spader, Deborah Kara Unger, Elias Koteas, Holly Hunter, and Rosanna Arquette.
The film generated considerable controversy on its release and opened to mixed and highly divergent reactions from critics. While some praised the film for its daring premise and originality, others criticized its combination of graphic sexuality with violence. Although it was nominated for the Palme d'Or (the grand prize) at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival, it instead won the Special Jury Prize, which is considered the third-most prestigious prize. The film's music score was composed by Howard Shore. In 2000, a poll done by The Village Voice of film critics listed Crash as the 35th Best Film of the 1990s, a similar poll done by Cahiers du cinema placed it 8th and in 2005 the staff of Total Film listed it at #21 on their list of the all-time greatest films. In addition, Slant Magazine selected it as one of their "100 Essential Films". On At the Movies with Roger Ebert, director Martin Scorsese ranked Crash as the eighth best film of the decade.