Gran Torino

Gran Torino

(2008)

In his first role since Million Dollar Baby (which he also directed), Clint Eastwood plays a disgruntled Korean War veteran called Walt Kowalski. His adult children are trying to get him to move into a retirement home, but he resists. When Kowalski’s neighbour, a young Hmong teenager, tries to steal his prized car – a 1972 Gran Torino – he goes all Dirty Harry and starts taking the law into his own hands.

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Flicks Review

Well this was unexpected. Billed as a Dirty Harry-channeling drama, the first half of this turns out to be a strictly un-PC cantankerous comedy. Eastwood growls, gargles and gobs in hilarious fashion as Walt Kowalski, a man who loves his car (the Gran Torino) and his dog, but hates pretty much everyone and everything else. He especially despises the Hmong family next door and his recently deceased wife’s favourite priest who looks about 12, like some sort of holy Doogie Howser. Bigoted put-down follows bigoted put-down – and while you feel kind of guilty, you can’t help but laugh.... More

Of course, Kowalski’s human side is revealed as he finds himself united with his neighbours in a feud with a thuggish gang. Warming to the Hmong people’s kind, spiritual ways – and taking teenager Thao under his wing – Kowalski begins to atone for his loathsome, racist past, and that’s where the film slips into a more emotional gear. It works though – the pacing is nigh-on perfect, so by the time the climactic showdown arrives, you’re gagging to know what ‘Wally’ (as Hmong youngster Sue insists on calling him) is going to do – will he come back in one piece?

Yes, there are nods to Eastwood’s Magnum-toting past as he takes on the local hoons, but this is no Dirty Harry 6. Instead it’s a superbly-scripted suburban tale with tension, humour and heart in abundance. Nice one Clint.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 16 ratings, 16 reviews
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A powerful movie that had me thinking about the end all the next day. This movie was recommended to me, I watched it and loved it. Clint played this part brilliantly as did the rest of the cast. Highly recommened.


Clint Eastwood has been good before, but his role here is surely the biggest powerhouse display of screen presence he's given us for a while. The less-than-PC dialogue he lets rip with is just what this decade of film needed, particularly as somehow his character manages to be likeable at the same time.

Eastwood aside, the screenwriter clearly got really lazy as the rest of the cast struggle with a docile run-of-the-mill sideline script. Obviously Clint was so into his own role he forgot to... More direct the rest of the cast as they are floundering at points. Somehow though the movie as a whole rises above the sub-plot mediocrity and leaves you pondering it days after, which is always a great sign.Hide


BY Ken-Burns superstar

Racism does not always go down well in a movie but this one pulls out all the punches. Clint as actor, producer and director makes a great job of this and brings a different view of the Korean War to anyone getting a look at this.


The promise of this film took me to a cinema for the 1st time in 20 years. It certainly didn't disappoint. Clint may appear to be a grumpy old man to begin with but it doesn't last long. Also, can't understand why people keep 'dissing' this. It's an absolute masterpiece. Go and see it!


Great movie. Must-watch film. Clint Eastwood, as usual is terrific!!


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The Press Reviews

79% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • Gran Torino is not a masterpiece. It’s a fun character drama that features a knowing but winning final performance by Clint Eastwood and just enough commentary to make it worth discussing. Full Review

  • 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. Full Review

  • Perhaps the best thing about Schenk's script is that it enticed Eastwood to end his self-imposed acting hiatus and bring his one-of-a-kind aura back to the screen. Full Review

  • Mr. Eastwood is also an adept director of his own performances and, perhaps more important, a canny manipulator of his own iconographic presence. Full Review

  • Highlighted by the star's vastly entertaining performance, this funny, broad but ultimately serious-minded drama about an old-timer driven to put things right in his deteriorating neighborhood looks to be a big audience-pleaser. Full Review

  • Above all, it feels like a summation of everything he (Eastwood) represents as a filmmaker and a movie star, and perhaps also a farewell. Full Review