Customer Reviews for

Gran Torino

Average Rating 4.5
( 46 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 46 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted October 1, 2010

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    Eastwood's farewell, and a damn good one at that

    I consider myself a bit of a film buff. Not extreme, but enough to get by. I've been a fan of Clint's for a very long time. I'm preferential to his westerns, but the Dirty Harry's were pretty worthwhile too. Even his fairly abysmal forays into comedy were alright. And everything was going along great. To me, Unforgiven was Clint's last great movie, as an actor or not. His directorial work throughout the 90's/00's was spotty at best, with overrated garbage like Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, and Flags of Our Fathers flooding the market. Letter's From Iwo Jima was impressive, but not anywhere near the calibur of a Josey Wales or Unforgiven.

    This all seems a bit unrelated to my feelings towards Gran Torino, but really, I'm trying to convey that sense of disappointment I've had for almost 20 years. Unforgiven, to me, was a high point of modern cinema. And then, he dropped the ball. It's like, he lost his touch. He tried something new, and failed. Then comes Gran Torino....

    First and foremost, I wouldnt show this movie to my mother. The beginning is vulgar, and racially minded. It is harsh, and it is brutal. But it serves a point. It shows a window into the mindset of someone that has not only lost his love, but also never grew out of an era. Never changed with the times. This is Dirty Harry meets Grumpy Old Men, and it never apologizes for it.

    The relationship between Eastwood's character and the family nextdoor is real...the way in which the perspectives change is honest and organic. The motivations in the film, and the way in which events crash together is unexplained, but we are instead left to interpret some back story, imagine some senses of honor and loyalty, and fill in the holes in the characterization for ourselves. Because, ultimately, we all know a Walt Kowalski. It may be our grandfather, or the old man across the street, or someone that goes to the same dentist as you. Or, hell, it might be you. But this man, this snapshot of a bygone era, is not a character we need an extensive backstory on. It is not someone whose psyche we need to delve in to. He is what he is, and he is a character we know, and know well. And this is where Eastwood shines. The Man With No Name. Josey Wales. Dirty Harry. These characters are icons. Symbols. They need no history, because they are history. Walt Kowalski follows suit.

    In the end...this was not only one of my personal favorite movies of last year, but also one of the best. It was not a tale of destiny in Mumbai, it was not about everlasting love through the ages, it had no Nazis or former presidents or nuns. It was just about an old man and his intolerance, and his last chance to change. It's a powerful movie, and it's a classic movie, and it's a movie that I think will really resonate throughout the years. If the rumors are true, and this was Eastwood's last film, I can't really think of a finer closing point. Eastwood, playing a crotchety old man who finally understands what it's all about...kind of poetic, isnt it?

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The Seeds of Racism and Self Loathing Implanted by War

    Few films have been able to translate an aspect that war can have on surviving veterans - that aspect being the embedded hate for 'the enemy' that dominates the world view of those who have had to fight in the battlefields, a hate that too easily translates into generalized racism that persists throughout the life of the veteran. GRAN TORINO takes on this ugly issue and works it with such compelling force that just when the audience feels is cannot tolerate any more racial slurs a transformation takes place, opening a window to understanding and perhaps altering the poison of racism's effects on our American Family.

    GRAN TORINO as written by Nick Schenk and Dave Johanson and as produced, directed and acted by Clint Eastwood is not a film easy to hear or watch in its early portions. Walt Kowalski (Eastwood) is burying his wife, only to return to his long term home in a neighborhood that has become a sanctuary for Hmong people (an ethnic group from the mountain regions of Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, and Burma who supported US troops and were evacuated to the US after the Vietnam conflict). Kowalski is a prejudiced bigot who loathes the presence of the (unnamable epithets) neighbors. Next door is a family that includes a young loner boy Thao (Bee Vang) and his worldly sister Sue (Ahney Her) - two young people caught up in the Hmong world where the girls go to school and become employed and the boys go to jail. Kowalski reluctantly befriends a gang threatened Thao and the neighborhood rewards him with endless gifts of flowers and food. Gradually an event secures Kowalski's attachment to Thao and Kowalski grows to understand and respect 'the enemy' - people who are genuinely kind and loving despite Kowalski's personality and lonely bitter veteran's life. The transformation of Walt Kowalski as played by Eastwood is genuinely touching and the way in which the movie ends is surprisingly sophisticated.

    There are moments in this bumpy script that are so trite and repetitive and stereotyped that the film becomes almost unwatchable. But it is to the credit of the cast and Eastwood's direction that eventually the repeated verbal slurs of racial hatred make the resolution of the film even more powerful. There are many lessons to be learned by listening and watching this film, not the least of which is insight into the psyches of war veterans from all wars. Grady Harp

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Clint was ROBBED!!!!

    Of last year's films nominated for Oscars, truly "Benjamin Button" was the best. However, Eastwood's "Gran Torino" - a truly exceptional film - wasn't even nominated! Sure the basic plot is grumpy racist old man learns to get along with minorities/young people get off my lawn, but everything about this movie from script to acting is so pitch perfect, I still can't believe he wasn't nominated for best director, or best actor for that matter. Intense. I was still crying ten minutes after the movie was over. Clint was ROBBED!!!! See this movie.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Prejudice and Racism - No longer ignored!

    Gran Torino is an enlightening story about the realistic racisms that flood the minds of many people in society today. The script refuses to fluff up reality, and it fights ignorance in a distinguishable way. It uses profane, violent scenes and language to depict the unfortunate prejudices and stereotypes developed by a world in constant motion. The emotional script reveals the true depth of the human heart in an upfront, bold way.

    I would recommend this movie to an older audience that would be able to handle the mature nature of the film. This story has the ability to spark an informative, expressive conversation, yet it forces each individual to look inside himself and reflect upon one's own prejudices.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Spotlight on racism - Everything unveiled!

    Gran Torino is an enlightening story about the realistic racisms that flood the minds of many people in society today. The script refuses to fluff up reality, and it fights ignorance in a distinguishable way. It uses profane, violent scenes and language to depict the unfortunate prejudices and stereotypes developed by a world in constant motion. The emotional script reveals the true depth of the human heart in an upfront, bold way.

    I would recommend this movie to an older audience that would be able to handle the mature nature of the film. This story has the ability to spark an informative, expressive conversation, yet it forces each individual to look inside himself and reflect upon one's own prejudices.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    good old clint

    a good film for a saturday night

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    THE ENDINGS (IN 2 PARTS) ARE AWESOME AND IN SOME WAYS UNPREDICTABLE!

    Clint Eastwood was spot on...A memorable performance. Tells you a lot about our society...young and old.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great story line

    enjoyed the movie, great plot and story line

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Not a typical Eastwood movie

    I was pleasantly surprised with Gran Torino! The movie was well paced and very interesting. And who could have predicted the ending????

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Best Eastwood ever

    Over the years I have watched all the Eastwood films as he has evolved into a more serious actor. In my estimation this movie will become an all time classic. It is not only entertaining it has notable character development. As the story line progresses it demands more and more of your attention even though it is a little bit predictable.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A great senior citizen movie

    As a Senior, one of the best movies I've seen in years.
    Just goes to show... don't mess with us senior citizens, especially those that deeply care but just don't don't choose to show it.
    The plot is truely origonal and the acting is very believable.
    Clint Eastwood needs to win an oscar for this one!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Gran Torino

    I enjoyed the movie at the theater so decided to buy it. It was as enjoyable the second time around.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    This is a very real movie that addresses a number of issues of faith, religion, economics, family, prejudice and love. I would highly recommend it with the explicative warning.

    .

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    grand Gran Torino

    Top notch Vintage Clint Eastwood great flick only downside is the language I believe that the English language is diverse enough that one doesn't have to use expletives to get the meaning of the dialog across
    But Mr. Eastwood is supurb as usual.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Another good one from Eastwood

    Once again, Clint Eastwood delivers a moving and smart film.

    As the director, he delivers on the unspoken promise to not insult his audiences and it works.

    As the actor, Eastwood is always interesting to watch. The other actors are good too.

    Scrennwriter Nick Schenk did a fine job with the screenplay from the compelling story by Dave Johannson and Schenk

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Gran Torino

    Mr. Eastwood has directed and acted in his best movie ever. El Torino is a must-see movie for everyone; especially if you are in the process of raising children in today's world. One could argue that El Torino is an epiphany of sorts that is so profound it could go unnoticed. I hope not. Perhaps, in a round-about-way it could be considered in a similar light and I do mean brilliant light like Henry David Thoreau's best works. It is now available on DVD and I would recommend it for everyone. Although the profanity is frequent the Thoreau-like thesis of the movie is excellent.
    "Then from the flute, untouched by hands,
    There came a low, harmonious breath:
    For such as he there is no death;--
    His life the eternal life commands;
    Above man's aims his nature rose.
    The wisdom of a just content
    Made one small spot a continent,
    And turned to poetry life's prose."
    (Louisa Alcott's Tribute to Henry David Thoreau)

    The cantankerous old man/character played by Eastwood is transformed from a spiritually-deprived "old fuddy-duddy" racist to a Christ-like spiritually rich Catholic before he crosses over. In the process he transforms a neighborhood block from the typical keep-to-your self /no love/no time for neighbors' existence to one that is profoundly filled with Hope, Faith(s) and the greatest of all Love.

    Although I hope this is not Clint's last movie, I do believe it is his best movie ever. The inclusion of his two sons' typical and spiritually deprived "cell-phonic" self-centered/serving families anchors the disparity between where we are in America and where we must eventually go, hopefully before we, indeed, pass-on.

    Well done Clint!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2010

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