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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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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 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 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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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 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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Lets get one thing straight from the start, I really cannot stand Adam Sandler, so why 4 stars? Well this is something rather different. Sandlers character has lost his wife & 3 daughters, they were all on one of the flights flown into the twin towers on 9/11. Cheadle is his old college roomate who bumps into him several years after the disaster. At this point Sandler is a lost soul unable to face the horror of what has happened to his family and hiding behind a batchelor life of video games, playing in a band & pootling around New York on his motorized scooter. Cheadle has hit his middle class high point as a dentist with his own practice and pefect little family. Their accidental meeting sparks some uncomfortable truths for both men that eventually leads to them both facing up to the changes they need to make.
Both leads absolutely nail their parts here with cheadle spot on as the slightly anaethetized & dull middle class everyman longing for his old friends 'freedom' & Sandler really surprises with his ability to protray a man who cannot face life without his girls but cannot face their having gone. He goes from being selfish and needy to devastated & desperate in one superb performance that for my money has been criminally underrated by the critics. This is a superb display by both men and as slowly as this is allowed to build there is not a dull moment. I have to admit that sandler can do the job when pushed because he nails it here and quite frankly Cheadles ability was never in doubt & he doesn't disappoint here. Excellent stuff that avoids a preachy, cloying atmosphere & instead manages humour with some really touching scenes.
This is far better than it has any right to be and stands up to repeated viewing.
If you loved Sandlers previous efforts then don't waste your time, but if you want something a little different from the rest with two underrated actors showing their absolute best alongside a teriffic & meaningful storyline then. please. grab a hold of this great little film and settle in for a really enjoyable & well acted little film.
The sound and picture are both good but the extras are a little stiff.
Overall this is a well recommended little title. Watch & enjoy.
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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 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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Grief, bereavement and loss affect us all at some point in our lives. Sometimes the effect and trauma can be greater than at other times. We may never get over it. And the best we can hope for is to learn to deal with it, to 're adjust our lives, to become more familiar with the new day to day routine without our loved ones. It takes time. Time that Is different for everyone. We need time to face our emotions. Our guilt, our anger and our sadness. And all of that can not be rushed.
It can be helpful to gain support from professionals or those that have had simular experience. But it only works with patience, time and understanding.
However, bereavement and post traumatic distress are not helped by people pushing us before we are ready with stupid statements like "you need to move on" whatever that means. (We all move On everyday anyway. Everyday is different.) If "moving on" means forgetting then it is not helpful, wanted, or possible.
This film is heavy going. Adam Sandler is brilliant in a serious role. He brings out a character that for years has lacked the right help and support. We get a convincing performance that shows the emotional pain that the character is suffering. Every reminder of his family lost in 9/11 is torment. Without being allowed to find his own way and time to deal with his trauma he shuts himself off into a teenage kind of world where music and gaming are his only escape.
His old collage room mate who has an ordinary life finds him again and finds escape within the.teenage carefree life style.

The film doesn't have strong romance, special effects, car chases, violence or suspense and murder. It is an intense drama. It is slow to build and may not suit everybody. And the ending is weak. But it is a good film in its own right.
There are subtitles but no audio description.
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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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