Gran Torino movie review

March 10, 2009

By far this is my favourite film of the year so far. I know there are a lot of big blockbusters coming up with a wealth of exciting special effects, but this is completely the opposite of those and yet was equally captivating and memorable. There also seems to be some confusion as to what the film is about. I’ve spoken to a few people who thought it was a film about cars, so here’s a non-spoiler review of  the film to explain the premise.

Clint Eastwood plays Walt Kowalski, a recently widowed retiree and former Korean War veteran who just wants to be left alone. The problem is he’s got two interfering sons who want to ship him off to a retirement home, ungrateful grandkids that just want to take all his cool stuff, a nosey priest who made a promise to Walt’s late wife, and now he’s got new Chinese neighbours who irritate him. Almost against his wishes Walt befriends the two children from next door who introduce him to their family and culture.

Gran Torino is an inspiring and telling story for our times that is about family, neighbourhoods, crime, the loss of community spirit, religion, racism, how men talk to one another and friendships that don’t know any traditional borders or boundaries. It’s about fear and regret, opportunities and bravery – the kind from war – but also the kind to turn away from something and say no. The film is also about forgiveness, cultural sensitivity and finding your place in the world.

Overall is it a touching story about friendship and the entire film doesn’t put a foot wrong. From the actors, to the direction, to the music. Everything is perfect. Eastwood has done it again and although the song was nominated for a Golden Globe, the film itself deserves a lot more accolades than it received. As a big fan of Eastwood I would say this is his best film since Unforgiven which won a slew of Oscars. It really is just that darn good.



  1. I, too, enjoyed the heck out of this film. I keep getting surprised that Eastwood pulls rabbit after rabbit out of his hat. Great actor all around.

    Swing by my movie review blog if you ever get a chance 🙂

  2. Gran Torino is not Eastwood’s best film as director or actor but it perfectly encapsulates his onscreen persona and his brilliant directorial career. Good review, check out mine when you can!

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