Gran Torino

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -4

Clint Eastwood, Brian Haley. Drama. Directed by Clint Eastwood.

FILM SYNOPSIS:  Codger Walt Kowalski has one prize possession - a 1973 Gran Torino he keeps in cherry condition.  And when the neighbor teen attempts to steal it, Kowalski doesn’t go all, well, Clint Eastwood on him.  Instead he befriends the boy and his family.  But when a local gang threatens the family and the neighborhood, well, then he does go all Clint Eastwood.

PREVIEW REVIEW:  It’s an odd sort of morality tale in that the lead, who learns to accept and care for members of another race, never does give up his propensity for insulting name-calling.  Though these prejudicial putdowns garner laughs from audience members, perhaps because we can’t belief we are hearing the great Clint Eastwood saying them, still they are hurtful to many.

Now, you’ve been warned, the language is rough. I know Mr. Eastwood must have a reason for incorporating them into his character, but the bigoted insults are hurtful and never does he stop using them. Please read the content section.

I have updated this review with the following comments from one of my readers. Pastor David Holwick makes some good points. Still, it’s difficult to get past the objectionable language and the name calling.

“I think you missed an important element - the Christ imagery at the end of the movie.  To me the hinge of the movie was his violent attack on a gang member who threatened his friend, but the attack only led to a greater assault on that family.  His next move was to prepare for death, go to confession, and die as a substitute for his neighbors rather than escalate the violence.  His prostrate form on the sidewalk with arms stretched out was clearly a Christ image. I'll grant you that the racist dialog and old curmudgeon attitudes aren't very uplifting but end of the film should count for more than just counting up the number of times he takes the Lord's name in vain.”

Pastor David Holwick

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Warner Bros.

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: Some crude sexual innuendo and a great deal of bigoted humor, here used to reveal the lead’s character, but also injected so artfully that I fear the acceptance of name calling will be furthered by youngsters looking for ways of expression in school, or those who feel the need to verbally belittle others.

Obscene Language: A great deal of obscenity from both the gang members and from several male role models; at one point the lead introduces his young charge to the “ways of the world” showing the boy how men talk to one another; but it is excessive and an untrue way of communicating friendship between men; I lost count of how many uses of the f-word; though it defines gang-slang, it is excessive and even oppressive to those who value the use of language.

Profanity: The lead profanes God’s name and Christ’s throughout the film; he displays distaste for church and religious leaders.

Violence: Gangs threaten several characters, beat up the boy and shoot up his parents house; the sister is also beaten badly; there is a final shoot-out; a man points a gun at bullying gang members; though a man is killed, it does reveal a Christ-like example of no better gift than a man lay down his life for another. Some blood.

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Gang members make sexual comments toward a young girl.

Drugs: The lead drinks a lot of beer throughout.

Other: None

Running Time: 90 minutes
Intended Audience: Older Teens and Adults

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