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Gran Torino

A movie directed by Clint Eastwood

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Dirty Harry 6: Get Off My Lawn

  • Apr 15, 2009
  • by

Clint Eastwood is back once again in "Gran Torino," a movie that shows that given the right amount of charisma, anyone can make a racist likable. This is the case with Walt Kowalski (Eastwood), a Korean War veteran whose suffered a major blow by the death of his wife. Walt is not a nice man. He hates his kids, he's racist, and he has no problem cursing out the Catholic priest. When he talks about his wife you get the feeling she was the only thing about his life he loved. Well, that and his 1972 Ford Gran Torino, which he keeps in mint condition and never drives. Then one day a group of Hmong neighbors move in, and Walt is not happy. They are likely skeptical of him, but when he saves them from a gang attack one night they invite him into his life.

Though reluctant at first, Walt takes a liking to his new neighbors, and grows more concerned about the kids welfare in regards to the gang that won't leave them alone. For Walt this is scary, as he's trained himself to not care for anyone all his life. By opening up the family he opens up to us, and we see how he really does have a good heart, he's just never found anything worth caring about. Those who've followed Eastwood throughout his career will note some similarities to Dirty Harry from Walt. Both men are racist men and aren't afraid to use guns. For all the jokes that this is "Dirty Harry 6: Get off My Lawn" though, part of me wonders why Eastwood didn't simply make this another Dirty Harry film.

It would have been an ideal way to close the franchise, with Harry making some much needed closer after a long, hard life. The advantage to making this it's own movie is that anyone can watch it and appreciate it for what it is: A well told story. Though very violent, the film comes off as more of a comedy early on, as Walt's racial slurs are just so honest you can't help but laugh. The movie does grow more serious though, and the ending is both tragic and clever at the same time. Eastwood has said on and off that he'd retired from acting with "Million Dollar Baby," which he felt was a good way to go out: On top and in great form.

Something must have gotten to him though. Maybe, looking back, he realized "Million Dollar Baby" wasn't as great as people said it was, and got to work on "Gran Torino." Well, I don't know what the future holds for the 78 year old director, but he can at least rest assured that should this be his last on screen acting part, it's a great one to end at. Oh, and while I don't normally do this, for those looking for a secret meaning behind the title I have one suggestion: Don't. The Gran Torino is simply the classic car, and doesn't appear to have any deeper meaning behind other then it looks better then all the other cars on the road.

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April 15, 2009
Great review! And I LOVE the title. I really need to get around to seeing this film...
More Gran Torino (movie) reviews
review by . June 12, 2011
A great movie that touches on many issues
This drama, starring Clint Eastwood, and directed, produced, and partially written by him, is properly advertised as "the performance of a lifetime." It is undoubtedly one of the best films. The story is about an elderly man, an award winning veteran of the Korean War, an atheist, who has never been found contentment in life, whose wife just died, and who, knowing her husband's problems, asks a young parish priest to look after him. He lives in a neighborhood that has changed, surrounded …
Quick Tip by . July 06, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Eastwood depicts a population in our country that is becoming more and more prominent. The elder veteran in a changing world, he responds to attacks on his freedom by reaching out to an unlikely family from another world.
Quick Tip by . July 25, 2010
Eastwood should have retired after this movie. It's one of his best in a while.
Quick Tip by . July 24, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A bigoted Korean war vet and widow stands up for his Hmong neighbors when the local gang terrorizes his neighborhood. Lots of great moments with Clint Eastwood in great form. If he does in fact retire with this movie, he's going out on a high note.
Quick Tip by . July 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Gran Torino is an excellent film that shows Eastwood still has it. Definitely teaches us tolerance is the best policy.
Quick Tip by . July 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Clint at 80 is still the man! Love that pure Detroit muscle car!
Quick Tip by . July 03, 2010
Great movie
review by . April 07, 2010
Take a classic action hero years removed from his action days, a cast of people who have never acted in a movie before, an experienced director and a cleverly plotted and written picture and you get a classic.    Gran Torino works on every level. Eastwood absolutely shines as a old vet and autoworker who has two great pleasures in his life, his wife whose funeral begins the movie and his Gran Torino. As Detroit changes and falls apart and the neighbors are increasingly Hmong …
Quick Tip by . March 13, 2010
I enjoyed this film more than I thought I would, especially the humor and tenderness.
review by . March 20, 2009
Gran Torino Movie Poster
I have to admit that I was a bit tentative about seeing "Gran Torino" because I heard that there were a lot of racist remarks in this movie (particularly ones geared toward Asians).  I know first hand how awkward it can be growing up as a minority in America.   I was raised in New Mexico since the age of 4... and there aren't a whole lot of us Chinese kids growing up there, let me tell ya! :)    But I soon realized after watching this movie, that my fears were …
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Kevin T. Rodriguez ()
Ranked #127
Kevin T. Rodriguez is an aspiring film journalist. He's more comfortable typing a review then doing an on-camera appearance, but he loves doing the occasional rant. Whether it be on movies, eBay, or comics, … more
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About this movie


Gran Torino is a 2008 American drama film directed and produced by Clint Eastwood, who also stars in the film. The film marks Eastwood's return to a lead acting role after four years, his last leading role having been in Million Dollar Baby. The film features a predominantly Hmong cast, as well as Eastwood's younger son, Scott Eastwood, playing "Trey". Eastwood's oldest son, Kyle Eastwood, provided the score. The film opened to theaters in a limited release in North America on December 12, 2008, and later to a worldwide release on January 9, 2009.

The story follows Walt Kowalski, a recently widowed Korean War veteran who is alienated from his family and angry at the entire world. On a dare by his cousin for initiation into a gang, Thao, Walt's young neighbor, tries to steal Walt's prized 1972 Ford Gran Torino. Walt develops a relationship with the boy and his family.

Gran Torino was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $269 million worldwide.
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Director: Clint Eastwood
Genre: Action, Adventure
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: June 9, 2009
Runtime: 116 minutes
Studio: Warner Home Video
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