Saw BABEL tonight. Quite a letdown. Although it had many great moments, the sum of its parts was much less than a whole.
The movie has three intertwining stories. The worst of the three is the Mexican story, which is surprising, as it's a Mexican film, and the Mexican characters are the weakest. In fact, they make the Mexican characters look like morons, thinking they can smuggle two American kids to Mexico and back with no problems. This story is sadly predictable and full of cliches.
The Japanese story is better, but still weak. It's about a deaf Japanese girl longing to grow up too quickly and in the wrong ways. The actress is very good, but the story meanders aimlessly at the end, and it's the scene they choose to end the movie with, which makes it feel very unfulfilling at the end. This story could have been cut out entirely and it would not have effected the story.
The most interesting story takes place in Morocco with a local family, and some tourists played by Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. Don't blink, or you'll miss Cate's part in the film. Pitt is not particularly good in the film, although he's not terrible, but it's certainly not Oscar material for either of them.
The movie also plays on the long side, which is inexcusable when you have a film that is so easily editable.