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Gran Torino Review

Movies.com Critics

4.5

Dave White Profile

...get off my lawn Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0
    72

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 60

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    Eastwood has always had the gift for comedy in his acting repertoire, but he indulges in it only rarely. His fans might embrace this return to comedy.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Earnest and understated, Gran Torino is an unflinching examination of themes that have fascinated Eastwood in most of his recent films: family, war, loss, faith and unexpected human connection.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    It's a meditation, as affecting as it is entertaining, on the limits of violence and the power of unchained empathy.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Stars Eastwood as an American icon once again -- this time as a cantankerous, racist, beer-chugging retired Detroit autoworker who keeps his shotgun ready to lock and load. Dirty Harry on a pension, we're thinking, until we realize that only the autoworker retired; Dirty Harry is still on the job.

    Read Full Review

  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    A movie at once understated and radical, deceptively unremarkable in presentation and ballsy in its earnestness. Don't let the star's overly familiar squint fool you: This is subtle, perceptive stuff.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Gran Torino reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Eastwood drama deals with racism and other raw stuff.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that even though this drama is about a prejudiced character coming to know and accept people of another race, it's loaded with racial invective and harsh racist language aimed at a broad spectrum of groups. Star Clint Eastwood's character isn't much of a role model, either -- unrepentantly grumpy, smoking, and drinking throughout the film -- and while he ultimately learns to respect some of his Asian neighbors, many other Asian characters (and some African American and Latino ones) are depicted as gang members and criminals. The movie is also remarkably violent in spots, with bloody beatings and brutal shootings depicted realistically and unflinchingly. All of that said, the underlying message is one of acceptance and understanding.

  • Families can talk about the movie's message. Is it clear that it's ultimately about tolerance?
  • What does Walt learn during the movie? How can that be applied as abroader lesson?
  • Parents, ask your teens how hearing all of the racistlanguage in the movie makes them feel -- does it help expose andundermine stereotypes, or is it offensive?
  • How does Walt change overthe course of the movie? Do you think the ending is realistic? Did Waltmake the right choice? Also, are his acts of self-defense to protecthis home, his car, and his neighbors justifiable?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The film is a complex, often uncomfortable look at racism -- and, ultimately, tolerance/acceptance. Walt eventually comes to know (and respect) the Hmong immigrants who've moved into his neighborhood, but it takes a lot of racist and culturally insensitive language and behavior to reach that point.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Walt, while ultimately motivated by loyalty and friendship, is hardly a shining role model. He's rude, racist, crabby, and incredibly insensitive. He refers to his parish priest as "an over-educated 27-year-oldvirgin" who "peddles superstition." Many of the film's Asian, Latino, andAfrican-American characters are portrayed as gang members and criminals, though others are presented as hardworking and responsible.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: Occasional brutal, realistic violence, including beatings, shootings, and more. A character is shot repeatedly. Several supporting characters are beaten. A supporting character is seen after being beaten and raped (the incident itself isn't shown). Discussion of violence in wartime. A character has a terminal illness.

  • sex false1

    Sex: A brief scene includes glimpses of magazine images of nude/partially clothed women. Some discussion of dating and romance from the blunt perspective of an older man.

  • language false5

    Language: Strong language throughout, including "f--k," "g---dammit," "s--t," "bitch," "prick, "balls," and more. Also nonstop racist language aimed at Asian Americans ("gook," "swamprats," "zipperheads," "slopes," "chinks," "fishheads," and more),African Americans ("spooks," the "N" word, and more), Irish Americans("Micks" and more), Polish Americans ("Polacks"), homosexuals ("gay"),Jews, and Italian Americans ("Dagos" and more).

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: Mentions of some commercial brands, including the titlular Ford car, Land Cruiser, WD-40 lubricant, and more; Pabst Blue Ribbon beer cans are visible on screen.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false4

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Characters smoke and chew tobacco and drink beer and hard liquor. Teen smoking.

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