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Reign Over Me

8/10
Drama
 

A man who lost his family in the September 11 attack on New York City runs into his old college roommate. Rekindling the friendship is the one thing that appears able to help the man recover from his grief.

 
Actors: Jonathan Banks , Mike Binder , Melinda Dillon , Robert Klein , Donald Sutherland , Saffron Burrows , Liv Tyler , Jada Pinkett Smith , Don Cheadle , Adam Sandler
Directors: Mike Binder
Country: USA
Release: 2007-03-23
More Info:
  • Jack Mathews

    The incredibly moving post-9/11 drama Reign Over Me proves that behind the funny guy facades of former standup comedians Mike Binder and Adam Sandler are a pair of very serious talents.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Michael Sragow

    It's a courageous, moving, organically funny picture.

    Baltimore Sun Full Review
  • Scott Foundas

    If Binder has a considerably heavier hand when it comes to metaphor, his movie nevertheless remains buoyant because the feelings in it are immutable, and because Sandler has never before held the screen with greater intensity.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • William Arnold

    Despite a few weak points, the most heavily dramatic Sandler vehicle to date is a striking, genuinely touching, meticulously well-acted friendship parable, and a big audience pleaser.

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer Full Review
  • John DeFore

    It doesn't exploit our emotions about Sept. 11; it simply tells a story that exists because of what happened that day -- one that should resonate with a wide, appreciative audience.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Joe Leydon

    Sandler (never making a false step while maneuvering though vertiginous mood swings) and Cheadle (deftly commingling instinctive decency with quiet desperation) are individually excellent, and bring out the best in each other. And the picture itself transcends its real but relatively minor flaws to score a satisfyingly potent impact.

    Variety Full Review
  • Michael Wilmington

    Reign works better much better than "Upside" because of the cast and because Sandler and Cheadle together keep it lighter. It's an easy film to watch, but less easy to be moved by.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Carrie Rickey

    A triumph for Cheadle and Sandler, whose performances strew the seeds of regeneration.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    This is not a simple, uplifting tale. It's never clear whether Charlie will fully recover, and that sense of realism is the film's strength.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Glenn Kenny

    A thoughtful, involving and sometimes moving film that almost (and I do mean almost) justifies its use of 9/11 as a dramatic device.

    Premiere Full Review
  • Ann Hornaday

    Binder has set a difficult bar -- to make a funny, sad, original movie about the healing power of not necessarily healing -- and he just manages to clear it.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Anthony Lane

    That is an unusually gloomy proposition not just for a studio movie but for a society that, despite the acts and sites of official commemoration, must find good cause to forge ahead from catastrophe. Reign Over Me closes with, at best, a cautious hope, leaving us more anxious than when we went in, and throughout the film there is a stunned and bewildered air hanging over the city, like a heavy smog.

    The New Yorker Full Review
  • J.R. Jones

    Though the pain of this 9/11 story doesn't pierce as deeply as it should, the laughs are consistently humane.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Marjorie Baumgarten

    Cheadle takes what could have been a role as a mere foil and creates a rich portrait of a vaguely discontented married man. Yet the drama sputters once it reaches a contrived and melodramatic climax that feels undernourished and artificial – both less than and more than one had hoped for.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Lisa Schwarzbaum

    A strange, black-and-blue therapeutic drama equally mottled with likable good intentions and agitating clumsiness.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Marc Mohan

    The good news is that this movie is no "Spanglish;" the bad news is that Sandler's performance is actually better than the material deserves.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Scott Tobias

    At its heart a simple story about friendship and loss, carried over with enough genuine feeling to excuse its uncertain footing.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    In its best moments, Reign Over Me quietly says that we're our problem friends' keepers. At its worst, the movie IS a problem friend.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Helen O'Hara

    Cheadle's finest hour and proof that Sandler can act. Funny, sad and flawed -- like its characters.

    Empire Full Review
  • Kevin Crust

    Movies about male friendship are often trivialized with the "buddy" tag, but this one resonates beyond that.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    Depends on one's ability to accept Sandler in the part: For me, the casting felt too much like a stunt, a filmmaker's compromise to get his intimate, uncommercial script green-lit.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Lou Lumenick

    It's not exactly a surprise the makers of Reign Over Me feel compelled to manufacture a happy ending for a story that really has none. Pity.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Ruthe Stein

    As moving as some parts are, it's muddled by a script that tries to pack in too much. There's sufficient material for a couple of films and a sitcom.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Ken Fox

    As overstuffed as a twice-baked potato.

    TV Guide Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    It's tough to make a good tearjerker - one need look no further than this misfire to understand why.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Rick Groen

    Reign Over Me drizzles down on us for two full hours, persistently determined to prove that, if it hangs around long enough, a coherent movie will turn up. No such luck.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Lawrence Toppman

    Sandler, whose mop of curls makes him look like a 40-ish Bob Dylan, acts up a satisfying storm. Cheadle remains an appealing island of calm; other cast members deliver the little that's asked of them.

    Charlotte Observer Full Review
  • Pete Vonder Haar

    Has some nice touches. Cheadle is capable as always, and Paula Newsome kills as his acerbic receptionist.

    Film Threat Full Review
  • Stephanie Zacharek

    A very gentle picture, intended to soothe us, not to jolt or shock us. But it's so gentle that it lacks any discernible energy; sometimes it seems there's barely enough tension in the story to keep the images from sliding off the screen.

    Salon.com Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    The film is slick when it needs to be raw, tidy when it needs to sprawl, and amorphous when it needs to focus.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • A.O. Scott

    Reign Over Me uses the rhythms and moods of comedy to explore, and also to contain, overpowering feelings of loss, anger and hurt. And like that earlier movie ("The Upside of Anger"), this one is maddeningly uneven.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    Veering between sentimentality and exploitation with a few misguided stops at raunchy sex farce, Reign Over Me never finds a tone to suit its purpose.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    This is not a simple picture. It's serious, disarmingly funny at times and certainly ambitious, yet diminished by some of the traits that have made the standard Sandler characters so popular.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
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  • confidence

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  • family

  • grief

  • mental breakdown

  • depression

  • post september 11 2001

  • college

  • roommate

  • friendship

  • new york city

  • motivational

  • reference to bruce springsteen

  • playing against type

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  • title based on song

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  • man with glasses

  • shoes

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  • suicide contemplation

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  • penis

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  • apology

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  • letter

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  • photography class

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  • cell phone

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  • receptionist

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  • black american

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  • restaurant

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  • eating

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  • montage

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  • september 11 2001

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  • friend

  • death

  • death of wife

  • death of daughter

  • college roommate

  • widower

  • mental illness

  • melodrama

  • marriage

  • dentist

  • interracial friendship

  • death of father

  • title spoken by character

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