7.5/10
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Reign Over Me (2007)

R | | Drama | 23 March 2007 (USA)
Trailer
2:32 | Trailer

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A man who lost his family in the September 11 attack on New York City runs into his old college roommate. Rekindling the friendship is the one thing that appears able to help the man recover from his grief.

Director:

Mike Binder

Writer:

Mike Binder
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Paul Butler ... George Johnson
Camille LaChe Smith Camille LaChe Smith ... Cherie Johnson (as Camille LaChe-Smith)
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Storyline

Alan Johnson has everything he needs to get through life: a good job, a beautiful and loving wife, and their wonderful children. Yet he feels isolated because he finds having a hard-working job and managing a family too much to handle and has no one to talk to about it. Charlie Fineman, on the other hand, doesn't have a job or a family. He used to have both until a terrible loss, and the grief caused him to quit his job and isolate himself from everyone around him. As it turns out, Alan and Charlie were roommates in college, and a chance encounter one night rekindles the friendship they shared. But when Charlie's problems become too much to deal with, Alan is determined to help Charlie come out of his emotional abyss. Written by neojeff2199

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Live every day like it's the best day of your life. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexual references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 March 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Empty City See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,460,690, 23 March 2007, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$19,661,987, 29 April 2007

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$21,418,543
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Every song that's played in the background is either played on Charlie's iPod or has its album mentioned by Charlie. See more »

Goofs

In the bar scene, Alan gets soaked by Charlie's drink, covering his face, shirt, tie, and coat. Alan then turns and when he exits the door, he is completely dry. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Melanie: New patient?
New Dental Patient: Yes, I was referred by my lawyer about veneers.
[big grin]
Melanie: You're a new patient, that's all I need to know. Fill this out so we know who to contact in case we loose you in the chair.
New Dental Patient: [speechless]
Melanie: That was a joke, sweetie, I was being funny.
[abruptly slides the window closed]
See more »

Alternate Versions

A scene removed from the UK version of the film is the montage of scenes with Angela Oakhurst (Liv Tyler) consoling Charlie Fineman (Adam Sandler) with the original version of 'Love, Reign o'er me' playing in the background. See more »

Connections

Featured in Late Show with David Letterman: Episode #14.113 (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Out in the Street
Written and Performed by Bruce Springsteen
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Remarkable film about Grief, Family, and Friendship
15 March 2007 | by JustCuriositySee all my reviews

This film screened last night at Austin's Paramount theater as part of the SXSW Film Festival. We were graced with the presence of director Mike Binder and stars Adam Sandler and Don Cheadle who took audience questions after the film. It is a remarkable and powerful film about what it is like to lose yourself and begin to find your way back. The performances are phenomenal and the story manages to be both tragic and funny in a way that is all too rare. (The trailer for the film tries a little too hard to emphasize the comedic aspects.)

This is a breakout role for Adam Sandler. While he has begun to transition to more dramatic roles with Punch-Drunk Love and Spanglish, this role is a significant step forward for him as a dramatic actor. He deserves an Oscar nomination as he continues down to transition to more dramatic roles as Tom Hanks did and Jim Carrey is also doing. In this role, he seemed to be trying to channel Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man. Although playing an autistic man is certainly very different than Sandler's traumatized character, both characters for different reasons are trapped in their own worlds of child-like isolation and confusion.

Don Cheadle's performance is less surprising, but just as good. After Hotel Rwanda and Crash, we've come to expect remarkable nuanced performances from Cheadle. He has the qualities of sincerity and honesty that comes through in this role. But he, too, is also broken and struggling if not in the such profound ways as Sandler's character. Cheadle is struggling with difficulties in both his marriage and in his professional life as a dentist. Together the characters played by Cheadle and Sandler struggle to heal each other in the way that true friends often do (in a way that reminds me of Matt Damon and Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting). They are both searching for that part of the themselves that they have lost and trying to find again.

Reign over Me is one of the best major studio films to be released this year. The soundtrack, which is almost another character in the plot is wonderful. The filming in the streets of New York - a city that suffered a great tragedy and has also had to heal itself - is also quite beautiful. The supporting roles by Jada Pinkett Smith, Liv Tyler, Saffron Burrows (in a very odd role), Donald Sutherland, and Mike Binder himself are all quite good.

Writer/Director Mike Binder has really delivered a story that so many will be able to connect with on numerous levels. This is a story about grief, family, healing, male friendship, mental health, and the meaning of love. Reign over Me does not disappoint. The film is almost hypnotic as it draws you into the lives of its characters. Hollywood would have a much better reputation if it made more character-driven charming films like Reign over Me.


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