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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars70
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 26 April 2007
Even though this film is based on the aftermath of 9/11, it doesn't try to be political. It simply shows a man's grief and how he deals with losing his family. Although he is better known for comedy, having adam sandler playing a serious role should not put anybody off because he plays the role beautifully. Don Cheadle in the other title role carries on from where he left off in Crash with another thoughtful performance and the chemistry between the two of them is great to see. The film quite cleverly shows the two men dealing with their own issues, some more obvious than others, to a point that you don't know who is getting more benefit from who. The seriousness of the film is occasionally pervaded by snippets of humour which help you to relate wth the characters and provides refreshment from the large apple in your throat!! Even though 2007 has a number of blockbusters with massive budgets, this should be one of the more memorable films and should be part of anybody's collection.
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on 14 November 2009
It's been a few months since I saw this film, but I felt compelled to express my opinion after seeing Mr Johnson's oddly curt 1-star review.

I got "Reign Over Me" from my university library, purely because it was the only film there that was on Blu-ray, and I wanted to take full advantage of my Blu-ray player. On paper, it's not the type of film I would usually go for, but I'm glad I did. I now own my own copy!

I agree with the first two reviewers. I found "Reign Over Me" to be a very moving and powerful film. It contained a great balance between comedic and emotional scenes. The story was very involving and the characters are sympathetic. The most striking part of the film, in my opinion, was the development of the character of Charlie Fineman, played masterfully by Adam Sandler (whom I had only previously seen in comedy roles). The scenes where he eventually opens up and speaks about the death of his family still stay with me.

As it says in the synopsis, Charlie lost his family in 9/11. However, it is not a film about 9/11 but rather a study of the aftermath and the profound effect such a tragedy can have on those left behind. The fact that they died in 9/11 is only briefly alluded to during the film, and highlighted towards the end when Charlie describes when he found out.

The actors' performances are outstanding and Mike Binder's screenplay is beautifully written. I was disappointed and surprised to find that this film wasn't nominated for any major awards.
If you're still considering whether or not to buy or watch "Reign Over Me", I would suggest that you give it a chance. You won't regret it!
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on 21 February 2009
few people , I imagine, saw the two HBO seasons of binder's show 'mind of the married man' which ought to have done for [older] married men what sex and the city did for gals .. it was funny, compassionate and moving in a grown up way .. so i looked out for this movie - saw it on blu ray [what a fabulous medium this is!]and was very moved - as the earlier reviews say it is a beautifully judged buddy movie dealing with grief and friendship in an oh so grown up way.. excellent performances ... made me really care for these people .. how often does a movie do that for you these days? go for it...

chris ball
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VINE VOICEon 22 April 2008
Reign Over Me is essentially a buddy movie starring Don Cheadle and Adam Sandler. Alan Johnson (Cheadle) is a dentist in a stereotypical "wife & a few kids in a nice house in New York" setup. Charlie Fineman (Sandler) is in many ways not so fortunate. Sadly he lost his whole family in 9/11, they were on one of the planes that went down that day. Since then he has retreated into his own little world, refusing to acknowledge the reality of his situation or the world around him. Alan and Charlie went to dental school together and parted company for many years. Could a chance meeting in the street change their lives forever?

The movie, as you'd expect from the subject matter, contains a lot of dark moments, but each seems to be balanced out by moments of pure joy and good humour and is well worth a look. Both Cheadle and Sandler are very convincing in their roles and display a chemistry that you don't often see. They look more and more like a couple of mates than actors as time goes on, which is good to see.

The blu-ray version is detailed as you'd expect and the colour reproduction is great, especially in the night-time scenes in the street where a standard DVD may struggle.

There are a few extra's to view, including various making-of's and a jam session between Don & Adam.

It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I loved it.
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on 6 January 2009
This was one of those films that bites you in the backside. Hard. Harder than most because of both it's subject line and the most shocking thing you'll ever hear. Correction; two of the most shocking things you'll ever hear...

The first is that Adam Sandler is actually appearing in a serious role. The second is that he succeeds. Brilliantly.

To be the face of a man who lost his family to 9/11, was always going to be a difficult task, both from a directors perspective and more so for an actor, so taking on Sandler in the role of the long-time mourning Charlie was a very large risk. Some might say that his performance is a little 'puppy with a broken leg' (it makes you want to cry just by looking at it), but Sandler brings depth and tremendous power to his role. Cheadle is as ever excellent, one of the few actors in the crap-fest that was Crash that I actually felt genuinely towards, but this is Sandler's show, which makes it all the more surprising, as Cheadle has often been commended, but has never got the true deserved recognition, for his skills as a serious actor.

Reign Over Me is an odd movie to review as it has all the hallmarks of a Hollywood story, the strings come in in all the right place etc., but it strives to get as far away from this as it can, and for the most part succeeds. There's nothing that will make your gut-churn like you might see from a European film, had it been made in Europe, but Reign Over Me is a genuinely effecting film, of which, this reviewer hasn't seen in quite some time.

The soundtrack of old tracks from the 70's is especially good, including a Graham Nash classic and one of Jackson Browne's lesser known classics, The Bird of Saint Marks.

The New York setting is of course essential for this film. Despite it having been nearly a decade since the tragedy, the streets and walls of the city still seem to reek of a covered sorrow that this film exploits fully.

I'm very surprised that the Oscar bells didn't come ringing for Sandler as he genuinely deserved them. Time will only tell if he manages to form a career which proves that he can do 'serious' well, but I have faith in him because as his scene where he finally opens up to Cheadle proves, he can be utterly mesmerizing, and in this film, in that city, with this subject he needed to be. Don't miss it.
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on 14 November 2007
This is well worth a watch. I found it in the local supermarket video rental section and thought I would give it a go. I recognised one of the actors on the cover but did not read the names or the blurb on the back. I had no particular expectations but it turned out to be the best film I have seen in ages. It hit an emotional spot inside and it moved me.

Reign over me is a well crafted story yet it unfolds dynamically and in unexpected ways. Character development is well paced and the film is well directed and very believable.

I would be surprised if you were not moved by the story and the performances. A good film to cuddle up to your loved one and watch - although I watched it alone whilst my wife was away and it really made me value the time we spend together. This is not, however, one of those dreadful American emotional tales without real soul. This is good stuff.

It was only at the end of the film I realised it was Adam Sandler in one of the main roles - he did great. Don Cheadle (he's the actor I recognised on the cover) is one of my favorite American actors and it was great to see him in such prominence in this film, so if you're a fan of his he is great in this film.

It is a shame some of the other reviewers have chosen to tell the story as I enjoyed not knowing a thing about the film as it unfolded - that won't detract from the performances or the story though.

Great story. Well acted. Well worth watching.
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on 8 February 2009
i must admit i had my doubts when i saw that Adam Sandler was playing a character who's main role wasn't to act like a five year old. don't get me wrong i thing that Sandler is a very talented comedian and obviously knows his audience and their needs well.

so i have to say that i was very pleasently suprised at how much i actually love this film! it conjured up 101 emotions that i didn't think it would. sandler plays the part of the widowed Charlie Fineman in such a way that you believe the pain that he portrays. but he does it in his very unique way and injects a touch of humour in just the right places but also knows how to break your heart in the way that you hope an actor in a film like this would.
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on 18 November 2007
well, the flick can really provide you with very emotional images. i did like the choice of a subject and i truly think that it commemorates all who suffered a great deal of pain. the film with a very deep and profound storyline that examines life when it's broken and cannot be fixed where nothing is the same anymore and where it's practically impossible to resign yourself to situation after the tragedy.
think about yourself when you watch it and ask afterwards what would you do if everything what is the closest to your heart was abruptly taken away from you.
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on 28 November 2008
I just watched Reign Over Me. Brilliant movie.

Normally one would think it would not be something for me, because it's a "human drama" story. But it's a good one, it avoids the usual sentimental sand traps most of these movies are mired in.

And importantly, it has a lot of humor. It's subtle, of the kind people may not remember after, but it's there all the time. One small example: a therapist, played by lovely Liv Tyler, is told by a defensive patient that what he thinks about are her perfect tits. And next session she is wearing the bulkiest sweater you ever saw... and it's not even mentioned! That's excellent.

There's a bit of dangeous casting by Adam Sandler as the messed up guy, but he actually does a wonderful job.

One of the main themes of the film is also unique (so far as I know): even if it's obvious that a person needs to Get Help, and Open Up, and Face His Past, how much can you do for him? How much can you push him? Can you really help him? Is it him you really want to help, or youself?
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on 3 September 2008
I like Sandler's comic movies as well as the next person but was astounded by his portrayal of a greiving husband and father...he truly surprised me. Think I cried, laughed and was horrified all in one sitting. I've bought this film for myself but also for people I like and know will get the message it sends. If you don't see it you'll have missed out. Pearl Jam theme is fab too!
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