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Reign Over Me (DVD)

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Genre: Drama / Theatrical Release: 2007 / Director: Mike Binder / Actors: Adam Sandler, Don Cheadle ... / DVD released 20 August, 2007 at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment / Features of the DVD: Anamorphic, PAL

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    18 Reviews
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      12.01.2012 18:30
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      a pretty decent serious film from Sandler

      (film only review)

      Introduction

      Reign over me sees Adam Sandler play a more serious role and character compared to the more common slapstick comedy. He plays a character that has had to deal with loss and grief. He plays alongside Don Cheadle with other key actresses Jada Pinkett Smith and Liv Tyler also playing key roles. The film is classed as a drama and was released back in 2007. It currently has a rating of
      7.6/10 from 50,425 users on IMDB.

      Plot

      The film features two key characters. The first is Charlie Fineman (Sandler) who has lost everything after the September 11 attacks. He loses his family and the grief caused by this causes him to both leave his job and isolate himself from others. The second main character is Alan Johnson (Cheadle). On the surface it seems he has everything he needs with a loving wife, children and a successful career as a dentist. He though feels overwhelmed with coping with the pressures of balancing both family and work. He sees no relief from his hectic work and home life. In a chance meeting the two former college roommates are reunited in a New York street. It seems that Charlie has fallen far since college days but Charlie and Alan both seem to need help from each other. Their rekindled friendship sees them help each other to try to move forward with their lives and revel in each other's company. Alan goes back to his college days when hanging out with Charlie and Charlie is able to also go back to those days and try to move on with his life.

      Overall Opinion

      This is a really heart-warming and positive film. Sandler plays a serious role in a way you may not expect him to after all the usual comedies. He does well in his role as Charlie Fineman. He is supported well by Cheadle and also Jada Pinkett Smith who plays his wife. Liv Tyler and Saffron Burrows also give good support performances. The film has some funny moments but is overall a serious drama tackling various issues such as the effects of loss and grief, monotony in life and the serious consequences of isolation and solitude and the benefits of friendship. Overall I would give this film 4 out of 5 stars and it is definitely worth a watch even if it is to see Sandler in a more serious role showing his real acting skils.

      Directed by: Mike Binder

      Produced by: Jack Binder
      Michael Rotenberg

      Written by: Mike Binder

      Starring:

      Adam Sandler
      Don Cheadle
      Jada Pinkett Smith
      Liv Tyler
      Saffron Burrows
      Donald Sutherland
      Mike Binder


      Running time 124 minutes

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        26.04.2010 08:32
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        Charlie is dealing with the death of his family

        Alan Johnson s a hard work dentist who has a wonderful family and life. He is stuck in traffic one day when he spots his old college room mate Charlie Fineman. He calls for Charlie but he does not hear him. Alan tells his wife about seeing Charlie and it is hear that we learn about Charlie and how he lost his wife, 3 daughters and dog when the plane they were on was used to crash into the twin towers on September 11th 2002. Since this happened none one has seen or herd from Charlie and he has even given up his Dentist practice.

        Alan pursues Charlie and finally manages to meet him but Charlie cannot remember Alan at first but when Alan talks about the college years he finally does remember and they strike up a good friendship. Alan is shocked by the way Charlie is living and the fact he will not even acknowledge his lost family. Alan tries to help Charlie by getting close to him and trying to get him to talk but it is not working.

        With Alan spending so much time with Charlie his wife is not happy and thinks Charlie needs professional help. Alan has the task of telling Charlie that he needs help but it does not go down well.

        Will Alan be able to help Charlie before he gets even worse and what will it mean for Alan's family with his always at Charlie's side?

        It was only by chance that I came across this film, I was looking at the bargain section in Tesco and this one caught my eye. I was not too interested in it at first as Adam Sandler plays the role of Charlie and the majority of his films have been a bit of a let down, but the fact that Don Cheadle was also in it and we had just watched him in another excellent film made me decide to give this one a go. I found the whole storyline to be quite moving with the fact it was dealing with the consequences of the tragedy which hit America. I though the way the story was told in the film was excellent and handled with great sensitivity.

        The role of Charlie was played by Adam Sandler and I have to say he did a super job. The one thing I have to say which I did not like about his role was that he was suffering a mental break down but he seemed to come across and show this by looking and acting dumb. I think he could have lost this side to his character and he still would have been able to show his illness with just as much impact. He did seem emotionless at times but this only added to his character and show how the past had affected him. The real star of this film for me was Alan, played by Don Cheadle as he was a strong and sensitive man who just wanted to help his old friend. I though he had a great chemistry with the role of Charlie and I loved the closeness they both had at times. The addition of Alan's family was good as it gave his character a lot more depth and he was able to use them to his advantage in the film as he had it all whereas his friend had lost it all.

        There were a good few supporting actors and actresses in the film and the main ones included Liv Tyler who played the psychiatric who Alan was friends with. She had a good role and played it well. I also enjoyed the small parts which Donald Sutherland and Robert Klein played.

        The film was made and set in 2007 in America so no real effort was needed for the costumes and scenery but it was all good and suited the film. I loved the addition of the electric scooter which Charlie rode as this gave a great and at times fun addition to the film. There were no special effects in the film as none were needed.

        The music was good and very mixed in the film. I found the softer tracks to be a great addition to the moving and emotional parts of the story but I also enjoyed the rock and hard core music which was used when Charlie was playing in his band. It all worked well and fitted into the storyline extremely well.

        The DVD which we have does have a few bonus features which include:-

        Behind the Scenes Featurettes
        Photo Montage
        Extended Jam Session with Adam Sandler and Don Cheadle

        As neither me or hubby are fans of the bonus features we have not watched these so I am not able to make comment on them.

        The running time of the film is 1hour and 59 minutes and I did think it was a good length. I think the storyline moved at a good steady pace from the very start to the very end. The certificate is a 15 as the film does contains strong language and I do agree with this. I paid just £3 for this DVD from Tesco and I thought this was a great price.

        Both me and hubby enjoyed this film and we both agree on 4 stars. The acting was very good and the storyline was quite moving at times. Definitely a film to show Sandler can act!

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          11.03.2010 11:11
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          Overall, a good drama movie

          Reign Over Me is a movie about two former college students who were roomates at college. One of them is now going through a mid-life crisis and the other one is going through a different type of crisis that's undefined and no-one knows what it is. It is not Adam Sandler's typical sort of role as it's not really a comedy but a drama but showed for me how versatile he is as an actor and can turn his hand to other types of roles. Now I know Adam Sandler is not eveyone's cup of tea but I have always quite liked him in alot of things he does and it was nice to see him in what is perhaps one of his best performances I've seen to date.

          The plot surrounds Alan Johnson played by Don Cheadle who is a New York dentist with a successful practice and lovely family as well. However, despite his apparent perfect life, he feels trapped in his married life and the routines that come with it. His wife can't understand or sympathise either with his emotional problems and him backing away from their life together. His static life that doesn't seem to be going anywhere gets hit twice from two encounters with two other equally lonely people. The first of these is Donna Remar played by Saffron Burrows. She is a patient of his who has a romantic obsession with Alan. However, in his fragile state at the moment he cannot contemplate this and tries to shy away from that. The next is the chance reappearance on the scene of Charlie Fineman played by Adam Sandler. He is the old college room-mate of Alan. Unfortunately his situation is not good and he lost his entire family on September 11th...So on one hand we have Alan who feels crowded in his mid-life crisis and Charlie who can't handle anyone getting close to him at all.

          This is where things starting to get interesting as for some reason Alan may well be the only person who Charlie can stand to be around. He gets an insight into his private life that no-one else can get near. The relationship between them grows as time goes by and both learn to deal with what's going on in their respective lives.

          The movie has it's share of laughs but it's the most dramatic role I've seen Adam Sandler undertake in his career so far and he portrays his character perfectly. The two of them work very well together and make everything seem believable and real life.

          I would definately recommend this movie if like me you have only ever seen Adam Sandler in comedy roles and want to see him undertake a new demanding dramatic character.

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          07.03.2010 16:13
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          .

          There are many people that would not even consider watching this movie, just because Adam Sandler takes the lead role, you could be forgiven in thinking it's another run of the mill dumbed down comedy that we have all become too accustomed, some which I must ashamedly admit I like. However prepared to be AMAZED! The film examines the aftermath of 9/11 and how personal tragedy can affect you.

          The films opens up with Alan Johnson (Don Cheadle) as a disillusioned dentist, who is dissatisfied with his mundane lifestyle, he has no friends, no life outside work and is pretty much under his wife Janeane's (Jada Pinkett-Smith) thumb. After seeing his old college roommate Charlie Fineman (Adam Sandler) in the street, he seeks out to relinquish his friendship. However Fineman (Sandler) is not the man he used to be he has reverted back to the life of a teenager unable to face his unbearable sadness and chooses not to talk, lives by playing computer games all day! You discover that Fineman lost his wife and daughters in the plane crash of 9/11 and is a mere existence of a man. Fineman cuts himself off from the world, a recluse, child like, furthermore refuses to remember his families existence.
          The pair manage to rebuild their friendship slowly, however its not all plain sailing, and you sit gripped to your seat as Fineman is unstable and you fear for his life, Johnson noticeable is worried by Fineman's disturbing behavior and escapism. It's a mix match friendship as Johnson is a man of routine and order, and sees Fineman as a chance of freedom, and yet at the same time seeks to try and save his friend from his empty pointless lifestyle and possible distinction! His attempts to bring his friend back in to the real world are long and arduous, but slowly he starts to come around, he seeks out counseling for him (Liv Tyler) but it proves fruitless. Johnson is the only man who can save Fineman from self obliteration.

          The film is about two men lost but for completely different reasons, Sandler is in mourning, and tendencies of mental health running through his veins, Cheadle lost in his own ordinary lifestyle but between them manage to find a sense of satisfaction, Cheadle sets out to help Sandler, but in turn helps himself. The film is quite slow, and fairly miserable at times, however there are tinges of comedy throughout to keep your sanity, and a love interest to leave you with some satisfaction at the end! The story is about personal tragedy and trying to come through it.
          This is by far Adam Sandler's best film to date, he is believable, quite excellent! Aside from the two main Characters an impressive cast backs up the film, Liv Tyler as a beautiful councilor, Jada Pinkett-Smith as Cheadle's wife and a cameo at the end from Donald Sutherland. You can cut the atmosphere with a knife, it's evocative and hard to watch at times, it analyzes post traumatic stress, full of emotion, portrayal of survivor's guilt and sentimentality, the moody feel throughout the film, is lightened by acts of humour! It's skillfully made by Director Mike Binder, a story of compassion and friendship, overcoming huge barriers. A must see.....


          Cast.....
          Adam Sandler... Charlie Fineman
          Don Cheadle... Alan Johnson
          Jada Pinkett Smith... Janeane Johnson
          Liv Tyler... Angela Oakhurst
          Saffron Burrows... Donna Remar
          Donald Sutherland... Judge Raines
          Robert Klein... Jonathan Timpleman
          Melinda Dillon... Ginger Timpleman
          Mike Binder... Bryan Sugarman
          Jonathan Banks... Stelter
          Rae Allen... Adell Modell
          Paula Newsome... Melanie
          John de Lancie... Nigel Pennington
          Paul Butler... George Johnson

          Running time..... 119minutes
          Director....... Mike Binder
          Rating...... 18 (language and sexual referneces)
          Added Extras.... Poor
          Amazon Price.... £ 3.98 ( good value )

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            15.02.2010 23:23
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            A story about how friendship can help you overcome anything

            Reign over me was produced in 2007 starring Adam Sandler and Don Cheadle. It also stars Liv Tyler as a psychiatrist and an appearance from Saffron Burrows who is a slightly disturbed woman.

            All I can say is wow, this film was not what I expected at all. It completely blew me away and as for Sandler he was truly amazing in this film and he was playing it straight! I can honestly say I did not rate him much as an actor but more like a joker getting paid for having fun but boy did he kick me in the teeth with his talented performance here. There hasn't been a film of late that had my full attention but this sure did.

            So from my other reviews done yesterday you can see that I have been watching the Sandler season on Channel 5, this was the last one of the day and there are a few more to be shown next Sunday.

            The Plot

            Sandler is Charlie Fineman, a man who has lost his whole family (a wife and three daughters) in one of the planes that crashed in 9/11. Due to this horrific incident he has completely isolated himself away from the world and anyone who knows him, including his wife's parents. He lives in an apartment and only really speaks to the landlady. He shields himself from the outside world with his music and is almost always wearing his headphones to drown everything out he doesn't want to hear. He collects Vinyl LPs and is constantly re-fitting his kitchen every few months.

            Alan Johnson (Cheadle) is a dentist who feels smothered by his life. He works his fingers to the bone while the bigwigs sit in their office. He never joins in with them. He has a lovely wife at home and a daughter and has everything he could possibly ask for but still feels something missing.

            On a chance meeting with Fineman (they were college room-mates) he begins to try and get to know his old pal again but starts to feel there is something not quite right here. First of all in the beginning Fineman didn't even know who he was (hence he had blocked everything out from his life). Fineman is almost like a 'rainman' character as he is just withdrawn into himself. Johnson makes it his mission to try and help his old friend out of this non-existence and in the process he might even help himself out of his own mundane existence. We see the two getting to know each other again and Johnson slowly learns more about Fineman's life and what happened to make him this shell of a person. He attaches himself to Johnson because he thinks that he is the one person that will just let him be. He didn't know his family and won't ask him questions about them to make him remember and hurt. But Johnson sees a lost soul and wants to try and help his friend.

            With Fineman being almost childlike with his video games, music room and his music Johnson finds himself letting loose and enjoying things again which doesn't go down well with his wife as he is spending all this time with his friend.

            Can Johnson help his friend come to terms with his loss and start to live a normal life again? Can Fineman help Johnson be the man that he wants to be and help him out of the rut he is in?


            My Opinion

            I didn't even recognise Adam Sandler in this film at first. It is not his normal joker role. He has long hair and almost a shadow of his former self (for the role purpose of course). As I have said Sandler was absolutely amazing in this film. He has truly earned his title as an actor, yes he really can act!
            Cheadle is also brilliant here and the two just own the film. Liv Tyler plays her part as the psychiatrist admirably but isn't very much in the film.
            Although it is based on him losing his family in 9/11 it is not expressed a great deal and if you didn't really know about 9/11 you would probably miss it. I think this was a great decision as the film is about a lost soul rather than that event and I applaud the makers for doing it this way. Saying that is does make you think of how many other people really did suffer in this way due to this horrific event but it didn't smother you.

            The story is done so well and you really do go through so many emotions watching it, I was really involved in what was happening, especially towards the end of the movie. You just want to help him and the distress he is going through. Through the film they make a big deal of him changing the kitchen soon after he has just finished it and also the importance of taking your shoes off before you enter his apartment and you know that there is some underlying meaning here which is found out later on.

            A truly amazing insight into a troubled soul and I thoroughly recommend you watch this movie.

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              13.02.2010 10:28
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              Good drama

              Reign Over Me goes some way towards showing that there is more to the acting talent of Adam Sandler than the average comedy role that he tends to be best known for and this film proves that maybe he is not a one trick pony after all.

              This is a pretty cool film about friendship, Don Cheadle plays dentist Alan Johnson who bumps into an old university friend called Charlie Fineman, played by Sandler. Fineman had recently sifferred a huge tradegy in his life after his wife and children are killed in a plane crash and the film explores the emotional devestation he suffers as he effectively blocks their having existed out of his life so that he almost reverts back to his teenage persona, to that extent he refuses to talk to his in-laws which only serves to highten their own grief and it is through his contact with Johnson that the story unfolds.

              This is a moving drama that avoids being overly sentimental which is a good thing, it also does have its more light hearted moments as the two revert back to their university behaviour at times. Both leads deliver excellent performances and once you get past that whole feeling of waiting for Sandler to deliver a funny line in his mumbling style or pull a goofy face he is totally convincing in the role. Cheadle is also excellent in the film and the supporting cast includes Donald Sutherland and Liz Tyler so it is a strong cast.

              This is definitely a film I would recommend seeing as it is enjoyable and moving with just the right amount of humour in it as well. A good solid drama that is available on Amazon for a bargain £3.98.

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                09.02.2010 23:50
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                With good acting and a simple but deep plot, Reign Over Me will no doubt please and entertain

                Dentist Alan Johnson (Don Cheadle), is stuck in traffic on his way home one day, when he sees Charlie Fineman (Adam Sandler) - his old college roommate. They run into each other a few days later, and this time Alan decides they should catch up, and they go and get coffee. Charlie is distant, though - and Alan learns that Charlie's wife and daughters were both killed in 9/11 attacks. Charlie is having a hard time coping with the incident, still, and recluses himself somewhat violently every time the subject is brought up.

                Alan realises that Charlie hasn't spoken about this to anyone, and this is a problem that's far above his head, so he eventually tells Charlie to go see a psychiatrist (Liv Tyler), in hope of getting Charlie's life back together again.

                One of the things to notice about this film is that although the 9/11 attacks are a large focus of the film, it doesn't dominate it and there isn't a political message in the film at all, which is refreshing. It merely sets the scene for the real focus of the film: Charlie's loss and his inability to cope, and Alan's attempts at rekindling their friendship, and helping Charlie. The film deals with two men dealing with their own issues and, ultimately, each other's. While Charlie works on getting over his tragic loss, Alan works on getting his marriage back together. It's two different plots which have enough effect on each other for the story to really work and at the end you know that both men are helping each other out through their own problems. Of course, it's not all drama. Nothing should be. There are the small pieces of comedy which add enough character depth and likability to it, without them seeming forced.

                One of the things I think I should point out though is Adam Sandler's acting. There isn't a single drop of his usual inappropriate humour, which I find to be quite refreshing. I like his comedy most of the time, but I think he plays his dramatic role really well. You can almost forgive him for Eight Crazy Nights.

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                  02.01.2010 01:21
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                  Charlie's become blue; Johnson returns as a chum; Reality rocks.

                  To cut smartly to the chase, Adam Sandler is quite fantastic here.

                  Or, to give him his full title, Adam Bloody Sandler; as in "It's got Adam Bloody Sandler in it? Let's watch something else ..."

                  An actor more accustomed to decidedly low-brow comedy (in some cases to considerable success), Reign Over Me does for Sandler much what Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind did for Jim Carrey, another actor tarred with a one-trick brush. Despite past typecasting, Sandler turns in a quite exceptional performance in a film that as a whole is laudably restrained.

                  The film opens as disillusioned dentist Alan Johnson (Don Cheadle) encounters his old college roommate Charlie Fineman (Sandler) in the street. Aware of the tragic loss of Fineman's family in a plane crash, Johnson is disquieted to discover that his former friend seems to have written these events, and the existence of his wife and daughters, out of his memory.

                  The pair rebuild their past friendship along much the same lines it took a decade earlier, with little acknowledgement of the years in-between. This exercise appears liberating for Johnson, a man who feels trapped by his successful but mundane existence, and helps Charlie emerge a little from the shell he has constructed. However, unable to shake off a sense of duty, Johnson is aware he must at some point attempt to coax his friend back into reality.

                  Given that the plane crash in accident occurred on 9/11, it's not hard to see the wealth of human drama the film has at hand. It is though to its great credit that Reign Over Me (with a court-case and a hint of a love-story also taken in) manages to resist the hyperbole and emotional manipulation that would have been so easy to fall back upon. Of course, we feel enormous sympathy for Fineman, yet the film avoids being too explicit with its references, and its pathos is refreshingly free of sensationalist overtones.

                  If the film sounds like heavy-going, I've misrepresented it somewhat. As much as it deals with personal tragedy, ways of mourning and mental illness, there's a rich, warm vein running through the movie generated by the men's rediscovered friendship. Although Fineman is the obvious tragic figure, Johnson too feels lost for his own, quite different reasons. Each man manages to help the other regain their respective footing, and their paths to resolution take in a good deal of humour, Sandler not having left his comedic timing entirely at home.

                  As much as Sandler is excellent (and he is; bringing to the film an affecting, convincing portrayal of grief and inner turmoil), this is very much a two-man show. Cheadle is a gifted performer who is effortlessly able to inhabit his character, and his understated struggles here are the perfect counterpoint to Sandler's more tangible responses. As a buddy-act the two are well-matched, and enjoy a believably empathetic friendship.

                  With a host of impressive supporting actors (Liv Tyler, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Donald Sutherland amongst them) and a soundtrack which gives the film a lively, soulful pace and evocative atmosphere, Reign Over Me is a joy. What could have been a wallowing, overblown and insensitive mess shrugs off myriad temptations for easy, crude emotional impact and is instead a skilfully-made, acutely-observed story of friendship and overcoming obstacles large and small.

                  What's more, it's that most wonderful thing in film - a surprise. Sandler deserves every accolade that comes his way for his performance, and has earnt, around our television at least, an updated moniker.

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                    07.12.2009 01:42
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                    A tender and affecting drama

                    note: also appears in part on Flixster and The Student Room

                    Adam Sandler is, of course, best known for his comedy films, but here he proves that he really has more to himself than largely critically-panned comedies. In Reign Over Me, he demonstrates a depth and growth that few would have ever imagined he had, although sadly the film never really found much of an audience.

                    The film revolves around Alan Johnson (Don Cheadle), a successful dentist, who spots his old room-mate at University, Charlie Fineman (Sandler), who is strangely edgy, for it turns out that his family died in September 11th. Charlie is an angry, frustrated man suffering severe depression, and it manifests through his lack of social skills, but Johnson, being a good salt of the Earth family man, tries to turn this around and help him get through it, offering to give him a place to stay and try and sort him out.

                    Reign Over Me is a compelling and truly heartfelt look at one man's uphill struggle against the loss of his family, who died in the events of September 11th. Adam Sandler finds a career best in this film, and proves that he has a modicum of acting talent beneath his funnyman canvas. Cheadle is great as always, and the film strikes the balance perfectly by at times being truly harrowing, while allowing for some slight levity now and then. The film's climax delivered some messages I found a tad strange, but nonetheless, when the credits roll to Pearl Jam's cover of The Who's classic "Love, Reign O'er Me", one can't help but feel some sort of cathartic purge. Sandler gives you a character to root for throughout.

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                    13.10.2009 17:26
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                    A thoroughly enjoyable and thought-provoking film

                    Reign Over Me tells the story of the friendship between a successful dentist Alan Johnson (Don Cheadle) and his old friend Charlie Fineman (Adam Sandler). Don't be put off if you don't like silly Adam Sandler comedies! I don't, and I thought this film was seriously good! Johnson and Charlie were room mates at dental school but have lost touch. They bump into each other one day and restart their friendship. Charlie lost his whole family in the 9/11 disaster and his life has fallen apart. He lives like a child, playing computer games, watching Mel Brooks film marathons, collecting LPs and constantly remodelling his kitchen. Johnson works hard, has a sensible wife and daughters, goes to photography classes, does jigsaws and goes to bed at 10.30. He's successful but dissatisfied with his life. The developing friendship of these two men grows them both in maturity and understanding. Charlie begins to come to terms with his past as Johnson starts to see things in his life more clearly.

                    The film is a comedy as well as a sad film. It made me both laugh and cry. There are some good supporting actors including Liv Tyler, but mainly Cheadle and Sandler steal the show. The film deals with serious issues like anger, suffering, family, friendship and death, without being trite or sentimental. It was such a surprise to watch such a good film!

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                      24.09.2009 20:50
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                      It also looks superb on Blu-Ray.

                      Like I've said before (in the Punch-Drunk Love and Funny People reviews) Adam Sandler is at his best in real, in-depth roles instead of the string of very similar comedies he released.

                      In Reign Over me he brilliantly plays Charlie Fineman; a very distant and troubled dentist, dealing with Post Traumatic Stress after tragically losing his entire family in the 9/11 incident. He runs into his old college roommate Alan Johnson (Don Cheadle) and begins to try and recover.

                      Mike Binder really has a flair for demonstrating human behaviour and relationships. The film is written incredibly well with scenes that will genuinely move you and others that balance comedy perfectly. It's subtle and relatable. If you watch the trailer, you'll see what I mean, such as the scene when Charlie asks Alan's wife if he's allowed out which I thought was brilliant.

                      Charlie Fineman must have been a real challenge to portray. Sandler has longer hair (wig) for the part which better suits the role and his mannerisms were always believable. Listening to love-inspired rock through his omnipresent headphones (the film's title comes from The Who's song 'Love, Reign O'er Me'), playing video games all night, riding a scooter and basically re-doing his teens to try and convince himself and others that he never had a family. It is a dramatic performance that really proves how capable and adaptable Sandler is. Don Cheadle is always very flexible and was outstanding throughout, especially as their relationship started to develop.

                      There has been criticism about the controversial and tender topic of the film, which did put me off when I first heard of the release. However, Binder does not even mention the name of the incident in the entire film. Rather than being a pivotal subject it is far more the behaviour of the two leads that has the spotlight for the viewers. How Charlie became who he is, is of course important but it is not exhausted or even the primary focus.

                      I highly recommend you watch this just to appreciate Adam Sandler's talent, if nothing else.

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                      31.05.2009 03:28
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                      Bargain!!

                      Me and my girlfriend came across this film in a HMV sale and from the synopsis on the back decided it would be 'worth-a-watch'. Little did we know we had chosen a real gem of a film.

                      The film centres around a man, Charlie Fineman, who lost his wife and three daughters in the 9/11 terrorist attack. This role is played by the most unexpected of actors; Adam Sandler. In his first serious role, I didn't know what to expect. Having seen him in number of his other films I was sceptical of his ability to portray this character with credibility and conviction. But after watching this film I have no doubt as to his ability as an actor. Not only has he done this role justice but given an outstanding performance in my opinion.

                      Although Sandler's character is the focus of the story, the main character, Alan Johnson, is played by Don Cheadle. An actor I recognised but wasn't aware of his previous work. Johnson is a sucessful dentist who spots his college room-mate Fineman whilst in his car and seeks to find him again. Once they are re-united its clear that Fineman has been deeply affected by the loss of his family. Johnson craving male companionship to escape his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who he is unable to comunicate with, tries to help his old friend come to turns with his loss. With the help of psychiatrist Liv Tyler and an obsessed patient of his Saffron Burrows.

                      Reign over me is a heart wrenching tale of a man's grieve and his inability to cope with his loss, and the friendship that is rekindled between him and his re-united college room mate who has to come to terms with his own problems along the way. With powerful performances from Sandler and Cheadle and supporting actresses Tyler, Burrows and Pinkett Smith this is an intelligent and moving film. The story will grip you and show an insight in to the irrationality that is loss and its devastating effects. Whilst the characters are endearing and believable.

                      You can pick this film up on DVD for as little as £4. I think its relative cheap price is a bargain for just under 2hours of very enjoyable watching. Its one of those films that is not widely known but this is undeservedly so. The DVD has a few special features including behind-the-scenes, a montage of stills from the film and its production and a extended Jam session with Sandler on guitar and Cheadle on Bass.

                      I would recommend this film just to see Sandler's performance whether a fan or not, he will not disappoint. But don't despair if your a huge fan of his comedy films he still manages to slip a few very Sandler-esk laughs in as well. Credit should also be given to Cheadle and the supporting actresses. I will definitely be looking out for films staring Cheadle in the future.

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                      30.01.2009 16:32
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                      A man who has lost everything must learn to remember, to accept and to cope.

                      Directed by: Mike Binder
                      Written by: Mike Binder
                      Genre: Drama
                      Country: USA
                      Certification: 15+
                      Language: English
                      Released: 20th August, 2007 (DVD)


                      MAIN CAST:
                      Adam Sandler (Charlie Fineman)
                      Don Cheadle (Alan Johnson)
                      Jada Pinkett Smith (Janeane Johnson)
                      Liv Tyler (Angela Oakhurst)
                      Saffron Burrows (Donna Remar)


                      Charlie's wife and daughters were aboard one of the planes that crashed into New York City's Twin Towers on 9/11. Unable to cope with their deaths, he deals with the situation in his own way... by forcing himself to forget that they ever existed. Distancing himself from all those who knew his wife and children because he can't bear being reminded of the happy life he once had... and the terrible loss he's suffered... he becomes a loner.

                      Alan, on the other hand, is a successful dentist, married with two children, whose life is falling apart because of his lack of self-assertiveness. When Alan bumps into his old college roommate, Charlie, his life takes an unexpected turn.

                      'Reign Over Me' is a modest, unpretentious gem of a movie. The setting is starkly plain and unappealing, the soundtrack somewhat uninspiring unless you're a fan of Bruce Springsteen, The Pretenders, Pearl Jam and The Fray, and the storyline and subject matter are reminiscent of the heart-breaking stories that have touched us all following 9/11...yet none of that matters because the dialogue is brilliant, and the acting is absolutely spectacular.

                      Watching Adam Sandler pour his heart and soul into Charlie Fineman, I was absolutely astounded... never in a million years would I have thought Adam capable of such an extraordinary performance! Truth be told - I was blown away.

                      'Reign Over Me', unfortunately, will never become a cinematic 'heavyweight' as movies go, but it will forever be remembered as Sandler's first 'great' film.

                      For those of you who have not seen this movie, I recommend that you do. Although it is a bit slow and somewhat stark as settings go, the dialogue is clever, the subject matter is engrossing, and the acting is excellent.

                      Don't miss it!

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                      22.12.2008 17:47
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                      Pulls at the heart-strings but makes you laugh too

                      I am not an Adam Sandler fan and I only rented this movie because it stars Don Cheadle who I think is an amazing actor. However I was so impressed by Sandler's performance as a 9/11 widow that I was moved to tears.

                      I would describe this film as a black comedy, in that it deals with the heartbreak of Sandler's character, Charlie Fineman, losing his whole family in the 9/11 attacks, however there are plenty of moments when you will be laughing out loud. Although the tragedy of 9/11 is the catalyst for Charlie's post-traumatic breakdown and the film follows his journey in trying to cope with the loss, the film is about so much more than that.

                      First of all we are introduced to Cheadle's character, Alan, who seems to have it all: a successful career as a dentist, a beautiful wife (Jada Pinkett Smith) and two lovely daughters. However, he isn't happy with his life, which has gone decidedly stale and lacks fun and excitement. He is too ashamed to be truthful with his wife and can't even be truthful with himself as he seeks disguised help from a therapist friend (Liv Tyler).

                      Charlie and Alan's resumed friendship is both a pleasure and painful to watch as they go through a roller coaster of emotions as Alan tries to get Charlie to open up and talk about what happened to his dead family. Charlie simply does not want to remember, as it's too painful. To everyone around him his life is a complete mess as he lives a lonely and eccentric lifestyle. They want to 'cure' him, which basically means they want him to conform to the lifestyle they think he should be living. But this movie shows that you can have it all like Alan and still not be truly happy. That's because he doesn't have the fun and freedom that Charlie enjoys and shows Alan what he's missing out on.

                      This is a great film, with fine performances from the main stars to the smaller players like Donald Sutherland.

                      You will laugh and you will cry, but most of all you will feel lucky to have what you have.

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                        20.09.2008 17:10
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                        Shows how much a family loves one another.

                        One word for this film: Surprising!

                        I love Adam Sandler. And his comedy. I even have some of his comic songs on my harddrive. He's one talented man.

                        I wouldn't have watched this, if I wasn't considerably bored and had naught to do. I'm glad then, that I was.

                        Reign Over Me (2007) shows a totally new side of Adam Sandler. This was not a comedy, though at times there were comical scenes, where it made me laugh. As the genre is 'drama', this film was exactly what 'drama' was.

                        Broken and deeply shocked by the loss of his family, Adam Sandler lives in an inclusive world of his own - until one day, a friend from College spotted him, and engaged him. From then on, the film exposes several important, moving themes, of love, friendship and care. Don displays alot of affection for Adam, tries to change him from stubborn, lost, almost child-like person Adam has become. In the end, this is established, along with scenes of intense moments, sadness, tears and heart-breaking speeches.

                        It really was heart-breaking, there is so much love in this film, expressed by Don and Adam, that it is hard not to shed tears. A completely serious film, with moments of comedy, innocence and love, this film was indeed 'surprising'.

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                    • Product Details

                      One of the first films to examine the aftermath of post- 9/11 New York City, Reign Over Me shows how much even indirect contact with those who lost loved ones in the tragedy can greatly affect. Like rings of debris spiraling out from an explosion, Charlie Fineman's (Adam Sandler) loss also devastates his in-laws, who he refuses to speak to, and ex-college roommate, Alan Johnson. Reign Over Me stars Johnson, a successful dentist with a gorgeous wife, Janeane (Jada Pinkett Smith) and two kids, who finds Charlie reverted back into a teenage wasteland, unable to face his unbearable sadness. Sandler as Charlie looks like Bob Dylan and acts like Dustin Hoffman in his great dramatic performance. Listening to The Who and The Boss through headphones, playing video games, and continually remodeling his kitchen, Fineman's escapism disturbs Johnson, who, in turn, feels squelched by his stiflingly normal lifestyle. As the two reacquaint, Johnson is the only person who can help save Fineman from self-obliteration. The story analyzes Post Traumatic Stress with some accuracy, though excess sentimentality undermines emotional scenes. Survivor's guilt, assessing mental illness, and absolute incapacitation due to grief are all topics covered within the bounds of the enduring friendship forged between these two men. Ultimately, Reign Over Me's message is one of compassion, as a reminder to treat victims of loss with patience and care. But interestingly, it also pays heed to smaller human tribulations, which are obstacles to healing when left untreated. --Trinie Dalton