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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Modern Morality Play
"Gran Torino" is a different kind of Clint Eastwood movie. Yes he still has a gun (you will have to see how he uses it) but his character is different from any that I have seen him play again. In this movie, Eastwood plays the role of Walt Kowalski, an elderly, crotchety, widower, who, living with his legacy from the Korean War, gradually comes to terms with his...
Published on July 17 2009 by James Gallen

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1 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wow...not good at all.
Wow. I don't know what's going on with the shills on this forum, but this is NOT a 5/5 by ANY stretch of the imagination. The writing is poor, the acting abysmal, and the ending contrived. Don't get me wrong - I love Clint more than anyone, but this is NOT a memorable (for the right reasons) piece of work. Shot during a post-production lull indeed...
Published on Aug. 17 2009 by Darren Gethons


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Modern Morality Play, July 17 2009
By 
James Gallen (St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
"Gran Torino" is a different kind of Clint Eastwood movie. Yes he still has a gun (you will have to see how he uses it) but his character is different from any that I have seen him play again. In this movie, Eastwood plays the role of Walt Kowalski, an elderly, crotchety, widower, who, living with his legacy from the Korean War, gradually comes to terms with his ethnically changing, gang infested neighborhood. Key characters include his Hmong neighbors, played by Bee Vang, Ahney Her and a young priest, played by Christopher Carley. All turn in compelling performances as they slowly gain new understandings of those around them. As the story progresses, Kowlaski moves from a not very likable old man to a personification of the Christ motif found so often in literature. By the end, the viewer realizes that he is viewing a modern Morality Play.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eastwood in top form, June 28 2009
By 
Matthew King - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
If anything, this movie cements Clint Eastwood's reputation as one of cinema's great talents. What's even more impressive, in addition to his jaw-dropping performance, is that he also directed this film.

Fans of Dirty Harry especially will love this one, as Eastwood reprises his tough guy role. In here, he plays a retired Ford auto worker and widower who lives in a run-down Detroit neighborhood. When gangs threaten his livelihood as well as those of his neighbours, Eastwood takes matters into his own hands, in spectacular fasion. Simply put, one of the best and most entertaining movies of this decade. Very highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's not about the car, Sept. 14 2011
By 
L. Power "nlp trainer" (San Francisco) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
Throughout his illustrious acting career, Clint Eastwood has delivered a series of iconic characters, such as The Man with no name, Dirty Harry, Josie Wales, and Will Munny in Unforgiven.

Throughout his illustrious directing career he has delivered outstanding movies such as Unforgiven, Mystic River, and Million Dollar Baby, for which he has won five Academy Awards, for best Picture, Best Director, and including the Irving Thalberg Life Achievement Award.

The actors who have worked with him have been blessed with Oscar: Gene Hackman for Unforgiven, Tim Robbins and Sean Penn for Mystic River, Morgan Freeman and Hilary Swank for Million Dollar Baby.

In Gran Torino he both directs and acts, and delivers an acting performance that will be remembered long after the final credits roll, in its unique way, as memorable as any other character he has created.

Gran Torino is the second best movie I have seen this year. Not just for the acting, not just for the directing, but for the storytelling, and the emotional journey on which it takes you, the laughter, the feeling of being gripped, and its more surprising moments.

In the opening scenes, we have the exposition of the character. We get to know Walt Kowalski, by how people act around him, and his seemingly hateful attitude towards people. More is conveyed through a scowl, and a snarl than with words. When the mischievous grandchildren go through his stuff in the basement, we see the Silver Star he won in Korea. There are three other important symbols in the movie, the lighter, the gun, and the car.

We see a hero with a warrior past, a patriot who fought for a cause greater than himself. Clearly, his bigotry stems from those experiences.

He's not just mean, he's 'get of my lawn' mean. He's Dirty Harry 'Go ahead punk, make my day!,' mean.

His dead wife's priest bugs him to hear his confession, at her request. The priest in a way is his wife's conscience.

When he snarls down the barrel of his rifle, at the neighborhood punk: 'I could blow your head off, and sleep like a baby,' you get the sense that he means it.

So, with all that happens, we see the change in his decision making, from someone reluctant to be involved in his neighbor's affairs, and a story can turn on something as random as looking at an empty beer cooler.

For all his faults, Walt has mature masculine character. Even though he is a difficult father, he has taught his children character. So, when he sees the boy next door lacks character, and a strong male role model, he takes him under his wing, and teaches him how to be a man.

The scenes where the boy practises Walt's high octane ball busting banter, are the funniest in the movie. Through knowing Walt, he makes decisions he never would have made by himself. In so doing, Walt finds meaning and purpose, and a chance for redemption, and the boy becomes a man.

The Academy's actor awards tend to go to actors in two types of role:

1.Psychopath- No Country for Old Men, The Usual Suspects, There Will Be Blood, Training Day, Silence of the Lambs.

2.Mentally Disabled, Social or Physical Handicap, overcomes great adversity or discrimination- Shine, As Good as It Gets, A Beautiful Mind, Ray, Scent of a Woman, Capote, Philadelphia, The Pianist, A Beautiful Life.

Every rule has an exception. Russell Crowe in Gladiator played a character with thematic similarities to Walt.

For a 78 year old man to direct and be lead actor in a movie of this caliber is an achievement worthy at the very least of being nominated for the highest award for Acting, Directing or both.

I hope you find this review helpful. Amazon USA 2009.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I really liked this movie ....., May 23 2011
By 
JT (RIchmond, BC) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Gran Torino (Bilingual) (DVD)
It seems that anything Clint Eastwood is in, or directs is good. This movie is no exception. He plays a harsh, bigoted, tough character who shows he has a very caring side. I think that this is not an easy things for an actor to do. Clint's charisma and acting talent really shine in this movie. Highly enjoyable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars neil's Gran Torino review, Jan. 15 2010
By 
Neil Cockburn "Teacher582" (Dunstable, Bedfordshire, England.) - See all my reviews
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I had already seen this DVD back in the UK where I live and considered it to be one of Clint's best. The older he gets it seems, so do his films, particularly 'The Changeling' and now 'Gran Torino' I bought this DVD for my Son and daughter-in-law now living in Toronto and hope that they enjoy it as much as I did. Keep them coming Clint!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the movie, but get the DVD..., Nov. 17 2009
By 
Brian Babcock "LimpTallica" (Burlington, ON) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Gran Torino (English/French Language Version + Digital Copy) [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) (Blu-ray)
I have buying all my movies on blu-ray and even re-buying some of the ones I have on DVD on blu-ray as well if I feel they are worthy. I generally try and buy the visually appealing ones on blu-ray such as action packed or sci-fi stuff. So I was hesitant to get this one on blu-ray, mostly talking, not really any action...but I ignored my instincts and got the blu-ray. I swear if someone had told me this was a blu-ray I wouldn't have believed them. I actually took the disc out after it was over and checked to see if it said blu-ray on it because I swear to god it was a DVD. The sound was nothing special at all, even the scenes with the gunfire sounded muffled, when I remember it being booming in the theater. The picture seemed saturated and grainy, nothing seemed defined or stuck out at all. So I watched the digital copy on my computer and while the picture looked the same, the sound was vastly improved. changing the audio settings on the disc did nothing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gran Torino, Sept. 19 2009
By 
M. Shasko "Bite me =]" (Timmins,On,CAN) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Gran Torino (English/French Language Version + Digital Copy) [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) (Blu-ray)
Despite some of the controversial remarks mentioned about the movie , I have to say that I truly enjoyed watching it. I feel it was not the best role Clint has ever played but had a lot of his famous one liner's, most of which made me laugh out loud. The acting was not the greatest, but all in all it was a good movie and showed us that there still is a lot of racial discrimination going on. That being said, the hate is all but dissolved by the end of the movie and Clint's Character isn't seen as the mean ol' [...] he once was and in fact a misjudged hero.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gran has Gran can Get!, Sept. 6 2009
By 
S. Mclachlan (Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Gran Torino (English/French Language Version + Digital Copy) [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) (Blu-ray)
Watched this twice and was moved each time and noticed more detail. It is a masterpiece and an unusual story. Warmly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing movie!, Aug. 27 2009
By 
Laura A. Mccrate (Canada) - See all my reviews
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Amazing movie. We went to see it in theatres and had to buy it when it came out on video. Clint Eastwood does another amazing job in this film that he starred/directed. I suggest this movie to anyone over the age of 16 years old. Definitely not a childrens movie, but great for adults.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eastwood's Best!, Aug. 14 2009
By 
Shepherdess Extraordinaire (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Gran Torino is one of the best movie's I have ever seen. I was totally flabergasted that it wasn't even nominated for an Academy award. This is a powerful movie that explores several themes: racism, remorse and redemption, social justice, and more. It's one of those movies that stays with you for days afterwards. The ending is so powerful that when I saw it in the theatre you "couldn't hear a pin drop" as people exited the theatre. This is definitely one of Eastwood's best and considering it's the last movie he says he will be acting in, it was the perfect grand finale performance for him. This is definately one to own!
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Gran Torino (English/French Language Version + Digital Copy) [Blu-ray] (Bilingual)
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