Reign Over Me

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +4

Content: -4

Adam Sandler, Don Cheadle, Jada Pinkett Smith, Liv Tyler. Drama. Written & directed by Mike Binder (The Upside of Anger).

FILM SYNOPSIS: Former college roommates Charlie Fineman (Adam Sandler) and Alan Johnson (Don Cheadle) meet up again by chance on a Manhattan street corner. Five years after losing his family on 9/11, Charlie once a successful dentist has retreated from his life, and Alan is stunned to see the changes in his formerly gregarious friend. At the same time, Alan who should be enjoying his beautiful wife, children and career is overwhelmed by his responsibilities. Their rekindled relationship becomes a lifeline for the two men, who are both in need of a trusted friend at this pivotal moment in their lives.

PREVIEW REVIEW: By now most of my readers are well aware that I object to profane and obscene language, both from a biblical standpoint and from an artistic one. And Reign Over Me is filled to the brim with such verbiage. Whats more, there is a great deal of sexual innuendo and dialogue. These reasons will probably keep most Christians from attending. And I wouldnt suggest otherwise. But as a film reporter, I must also tell you that it is, truly, one of the best films of 2007. Though I cringed at some of the R-rated content, I was moved to tears as I witnessed a man who understood the meaning of friendship. Sandlers Charlie Fineman is a challenge due to his erratic behavior, yet Cheadles Alan Johnson never gives up on him. And in his way, Charlie also comes through for his one and only friend.

The film taught me a great deal about compassion and patience when it comes to relationships. Extremely well acted, with good pacing, writer/director Mike Binder brings a sorely needed grownup subject to the screen. Reign Over Me is sensitive, with a deeply moving parable about friendship. I probably wont view it again, due to some profane use of Gods name, but I pray that I will take to heart the lessons it teaches concerning compassion for my fellow man.

Video Alternative: Of Mice and Men. The 1992 version with Gary Sinise and John Malkovich is terrific, but it also contains some objectionable language. The 1939 version with Lon Chaney, Jr. and Burgess Meredith is exceptional and lacks any profanity. This fine adaptation of the John Steinbeck novel is a morality tale about friendship. Though it is an old film, everything about it is top drawer, including a memorable score by Aaron Copeland.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Sony Pictures

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Charlie has retreated into a immature world where he plays video games and shuts out the world with ear phones. He is also coarse, with crude sexual comments abounding from his untempered tongue.

Obscene Language: Obscenity throughout, mainly the f-word.

Profanity: Around 10 profane uses of Gods name and Christs.

Violence: Charlie, who is near madness, loses his temper on occasion. He can get violent, pushing a friend, toppling furniture and threatening others. As we learn that grief has caused this, we discover the possibility that he can come to terms with his temperament. Charlie, having come unhinged at one point, threatens suicide. It is a powerful moment as we realize this mans deep-seated pain.

Sex: An unbalanced woman pursues a married man, even offering him oral sex.

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: There are many sexually related conversations, but we discover that Alan is loyal to his wife and comes to cherish her.

Drugs: Some drinking.

Other: None

Running Time: 128 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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