Gran Torino is an amazingly over-the-top anti-racism parable but, despite its obvious shortcomings, it is nevertheless effective and affecting. The storytelling style is old fashioned in what it does and unsubtle in the way it goes about doing it, and Eastwood doesn't plumb any new depths in his stereotyped portrayal of the film's central character. Yet, perhaps because the ending doesn't unspool quite as expected and perhaps because the film has something to say (even if it is presented with a heavy hand), it's hard to deny that Gran Torino works on a certain level. This is far from Eastwood's best work as a director, but it's a respectable effort and is more successful that his tepid earlier 2008 effort, Changeling.
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