The 2007 film Reign Over Me features Adam Sandler and Don Cheadle in roles that are far removed from their normal comfort zones. Both Sandler and Cheadle give fantastic performances in this beautiful movie. This is not an Adam Sandler comedy. He is playing a dramatic role with no laughs in it, and he plays the part perfectly.
Adam Sandler is Charlie Fineman, who has never gotten over the shock of his entire family being killed in the 9/11 terrorists attacks. He has become a total recluse, spending his days continually remodeling his apartment, and his nights speeding around Manhattan on his electric scooter. He is so far gone that his in-laws are taking legal actions to try to have him committed to a mental institution.
By pure chance he runs into his old college friend Alan Johnson (Don Cheadle). Alan is struck by the change in Charlie and wants desperately to help his old friend. This is Don Cheadle at his best. If you have only seen him play the wise cracking self assured Marty Kaan on House of Lies then you don’t know the full range of one of America’s greatest actors. As he showed in The United States of Leland, Don Cheadle is also a great dramatic actor.
Alan wants to keep Charlie from being committed to a mental institution and spends as much time as possible trying to get through to Charlie. But Char;lie won’t even talk about 9/11 and won’t explain his obsession with constantly remodeling the apartment. I
At the same time Alan is working on helping Charlie’s depression, Charlie is inadvertently changing Alan’s dull life. They speed through New York traffic on Charlie’s electric scooter, and for the first time i years Alan really feels alive.
We won’t give away the ending of the movie. We will simply say that this is a film worth seeing and we give it our highest rating.
- We rate Reign Over Me Five Stars *****
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