I would never have expected much from a film starring Adam Sandler, Saffron Burrows, Liv Tyler and Jada Pinkett Smitn. Not that they're bad actors by any means. It's just that I have hardly found any movie that centred around their characters interesting at all. This is Sandler's first dramatic performance I've seen (mind you, I have not seen 'Punch Drunk Love' yet). The addition of Don Cheadle makes a difference where expectations were concerned but it is Sandler who springs a surprise with a very effective performance of a former dentist suffering from a severe form of post-traumatic stress disorder while coping, or more correctly, not coping with the loss of his family and living in a self-imposed isolation. His nuanced performance is a combination of restraint and subtle comedy. There are moments when he 'explodes' but it applies well to the context and Sandler stays within character. This is not to say that Cheadle was less impressive. The reason why he's less surprising is that one can almost always expect a good performance from this actor. What makes 'Reign Over Me' work most is Sandler and Cheadle's on screen camaraderie as they share the right chemistry. Cheadle's character too is suffering a difficult marriage and complications at work and his reunion with Sandler's Charlie provides a form of escape but at the same time helps him to deal with his own problems. This way both friends gradually find that pieces of themselves which they have long lost. Liv Tyler does well as Alon's (confidant) friend. Jada Pinkett Smith is quite adequate. Saffron Burrows is weird in an odd role but her sequences do provide comic relief. Melinda Dillon has a small but complex role and she shines. I liked the soundtrack very much. Not only are the tracks impressive, it also gives a voice to New York (a city which suffered the same tragedy as Charlie) and flows brilliantly with the film. Binder's direction is solid for the most part. However, the inclusion of a courtroom sequence (including the whole Donald Sutherland track) seems forced and makes 'Reign Over Me' slightly clichéd. Perhaps this integral sequence could have been done a little different, without involving a courtroom. Nonetheless, 'Reign Over Me' has heart and it does tackle several different concepts in a subtle and suitable way. The way the comedy was wonderfully layered into the screenplay is quite an achievement for Binder. Strongly recommended.