Media Maven: “Reign Over Me” Movie Review

Media Maven: “Reign Over Me” Movie Review

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"Reign Over Me"
Adam Sandler, Don Cheadle, Jada Pinkett Smith, Liv Tyler, Saffron Burrows

"Reign Over Me" is a film that truly gives you a sense of one man’s unrelenting grief after loosing his wife and daughters in the events of 9/11. Adam Sandler plays Charlie Fineman, a widower in New York City who is frozen in a vacuum of time. Charlie literally loses himself when his family dies in the 9/11 attacks.

Compensation payouts to the surviving family members allow Charlie to exist in a self imposed insular world all his own. He is not a street monger, yet he certainly could be mistaken for one. He does not engage in conversation with other people. He refuses to accept any commiseration or comfort from his in-laws who are likewise devastated by the loss of their daughter and granddaughters.

This movie is a drama. It would be a stretch to even call this a dramedy. Although the script is smart and at times reflects the humor shared by two guy friends, it remains a movie that places Adam Sandler amongst a cast of credible, serious actors. Don Cheadle plays Alan Johnson, a fellow dentist and former college roommate of Charlie’s. Alan Johnson is instrumental in encouraging Charlie to take control of his life, manages to learn the same lesson for himself.

Jada Pinkett Smith gives a winning performance as Alan’s patient wife, waiting for him to confront his insecurities and move on. Liv Tyler has a small supporting role as a therapist who befriends Cheadle’s character and counsels a bereft Saffron Burrows, playing a jilted wife.

Fans expecting a comic performance from Adam Sandler will be disappointed. Fans recognizing Sandler’s growth and versatility as an actor will certainly appreciate this performance. Reign Over Me is a film definitely worth your time. 

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