3.0, United States/Canada

Gran Torino

2008 / Clint Eastwood > Eastwood’s farewell to acting is as polarizing a film he’s ever made. His portrayal of a seemingly racist Korean War veteran is reminiscent of his gritty facade in Dirty Harry, in ways that Gran Torino essentially becomes Finding Forrester with a shotgun. The story isn’t innovative nor is it particularly well-written, and a lot of the supporting actors are mediocre at best. The dialogue often seems elementary in its cultural naivety, though it does try to educate. (And there’s absolutely no reason the young Hmong brother should have any accent at all.) But whatever regurgitated parable about race relations and family life this is supposed to be, somehow, someway, Eastwood succeeds in packing in the kind of punch where it’s hard not to be affected by the end, even if you feel deftly manipulated.