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Movie Review

Gran Torino

MPAA Rating: R for language throughout, and some violence.

Reviewed by: Daniel Thompson

Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Action, Drama
2 hr. 5 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
December 12, 2008 (LA/NYC)
December 19, 2008 (Chicago/San Francisco/Toronto)
December 25, 2008 (expanded)
January 9, 2009 (wide—2,300 theaters)
Copyright, Warner Bros. Copyright, Warner Bros. Copyright, Warner Bros. Copyright, Warner Bros. Copyright, Warner Bros. Copyright, Warner Bros. Copyright, Warner Bros. Copyright, Warner Bros. Copyright, Warner Bros. Copyright, Warner Bros.
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Warner Bros.

What are the consequences of racial prejudice and false beliefs about the origin of races? Answer

Racism, Racial Issues and Christianity
Get biblical answers to racial hot-topics. Where did the races come from? How did different skin colors come about? Why is it important to have a biblical foundation for such issues?

Sin and the Bible

God’s forgiveness

How can I be and feel forgiven? Answer

If God forgives me every time I ask, why do I still feel so guilty? Answer

Forgiveness of sin

Pain and suffering

Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer

What kind of world would you create? Answer

What about the issue of suffering? Doesn’t this prove that there is no God and that we are on our own? Answer

Does God feel our pain? Answer

The Origin of bad—How did bad things come about? Answer

Featuring: Clint Eastwood, Christopher Carley, Bee Vang, Ahney Her, Brian Haley, Geraldine Hughes, Dreama Walker, Brian Howe, John Carroll Lynch, William Hill, Brooke Chia Thao, Chee Thao, Choua Kue, Scott Eastwood, Xia Soua Chang, Sonny Vue, Doua Moua, Greg Trzaskoma, John Johns, Davis Gloff, Tom Mahard, Cory Hardrict, Nana Gbewonyo, Arthur Cartwright, Austin Douglas Smith, Conor Liam Callaghan, Michael E. Kurowski, Julia Ho, Maykao K. Lytongpao, Carlos Guadarrama, Andrew Tamez-Hull, Ramon Camacho, Antonio Mireles, Ia Vue Yang, Zoua Kue, Elvis Thao, Jerry Lee, Lee Mong Vang, Tru Hang, Alice Lor, Tong Pao Kue, Douacha Ly, Parng D. Yarng, Nelly Yang Sao Yia, Marty Bufalini, My-Ishia Cason-Brown, Clint Ward, Stephen Kue, Rochelle Winter, Claudia Rodgers, Vincent Bonasso
Director: Clint Eastwood
Producer: Double Nickel Entertainment, Gerber Pictures, Malpaso Productions, Media Magik Entertainment, Village Roadshow Pictures, Warner Bros., Clint Eastwood, Bill Gerber, Jenette Kahn, Robert Lorenz, Tim Moore, Adam Richman
Distributor: Warner Bros.

I can remember vividly a time as a young kid when I was riding to lunch with my grandfather in the small town of Camden, South Carolina, and getting pulled over by the police. As the police started coming to the car, I was scared to death. But as I looked over at my grandfather, he just smiled as he spit his chewing tobacco out the window. It turned out that we weren’t in trouble, but the police officer wanted to purchase my grandfather’s 1974 Ford Ranchero Squire. Not only was the car my grandfather’s prized possession, but it was also a good portrayal of him: tough as nails, strong as an ox, and one of a kind.

Similar to my grandfather is Walt Kowalski (Clint Eastwood), the main character in “Gran Torino.” Walt’s a tobacco chewing, chain-smoking Korean War vet and a no nonsense kind of guy. His pride and joy is a 1972 Ford Gran Torino. He doesn’t do well with change, including the changes his neighborhood is going through. What used to be a white suburban Michigan neighborhood is now one filled with multi-racial gang wars and a predominantly Asian community. Walt is too stubborn to move, and now that his wife is gone, it’s just him and his dog Daisy, left to sit on the porch, drink beer, and grumble under his breath about his neighbors.

Things change, however, when Walt catches someone trying to steal his Gran Torino. That someone is next door neighbor Thao, a teenage boy who’s being initiated into a gang. It’s through this incident that Walt finally connects with those in his neighborhood. Walt takes it upon himself to keep Thao out of the gang and out of trouble. An unlikely friendship begins to develop between Thao and Walt.

From that friendship comes an inspiring, redemptive, sometimes funny, and heartfelt film by Clint Eastwood. The film chronicles a man realizing the mistakes he’s made in his life and finding his way to come to terms with them and accept forgiveness. It also does a great job of showing to viewers who didn’t grow up with a grandfather, like mine, a realistic portrayal of the generation of Walt Kowalski: hard working, good hearted, but rough around the edges.

There are many great qualities and teachable moments in “Gran Torin,o” but it does come with a price. The film is rated “R,” mainly for its very strong language, as well as some violence. There are over 100 profanities in the film, and while that is clearly a lot, it’s founded in realism. The majority of the language comes from the various gangs in the neighborhood, as well as Walt himself. Along with the profanities, one of the central themes of the film is racism. Racial slurs come flying out of Walt’s mouth all movie long, and while this isn’t appropriate, the film does put into context that Walt uses these slurs just as much with his friends (his barber) as he does with people he doesn’t like. It’s seen more of as a generational gap than anything overly mean-spirited. It’s also the way that Walt keeps others at arms distance, and once the neighborhood realizes this, they ignore the comments and befriend him anyway.

Because of my relationship with my grandfather, this movie really hit home for me, and it will definitely do the same for those with similar experiences growing up. Clint Eastwood has made a film that is sometimes hard to watch. It’s rough, realistic, but ultimately redemptive. Just like my grandfather, the lead character, and the car itself, “Gran Torino” is tough as nails, strong as an ox, and one of a kind.

Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Mild

What are the consequences of racial prejudice and false beliefs about the origin of races? Answer

Get biblical answers to racial hot-topics. Where did the races come from? How did skin color come about? Why is it important to have a biblical foundation for such issues? Go

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive—If you like Clint Eastwood and are comfortable watching any of his R rated movies, you should enjoy this film. If you are not a Clint fan, or you are generally sensitive about profanity or racial slurs, you should probably avoid this. I would put this up there in quality with “Unforgiven” and “Million Dollar Baby.” What’s fun is that Clint is in his best Man With No Name/ Dirty Harry-type persona, even though he is just a retired auto worker who happens to have a classic Ford in his garage and a house in a declining neighborhood. Trust me, you don’t mess with Clint! The movie is chock full of swearing, and probably every insult ever invented about Asians. However, the movie has a very positive message about overcoming stereotypes and forming unexpected friendships. There is also an excellent example of Jn. 15:13. There is nothing sexual in the movie, and really no violence, until near the end. Some people do get shot, and we see the after effects of a beating and rape. So if you can deal with the potty mouths, and you enjoy a good, heavy drama, Clint has still got it!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Jonathan, age 37 (USA)
Positive—Okay, I’m one of those Christians that can appreciate a movie for what it is and what it isn’t. I loved “Braveheart,” “Shawshank Redemption” and “Forest Gump,” because of the accurate portrayal of the world we live in (a cursed and broken world). It’s what makes a movie feel real to me. With the backdrop of realism, I expect others with critical thinking skills will have no problem picking out the beauty, truth and redemption in these films. “Gran Torino” is no different. I loved this movie, though no fan of profanity, the movie is ripe with it. Forget all that, it’s the backdrop. What is beautiful and true is Clint Eastwood’s redemptive act in saving a neighborhood boy who probably wasn’t much different than the boy he shot in Korea. Don’t miss Clint Eastwood’s body position when he falls to the ground dead—unmistakable!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Matt Lindley, age 35 (USA)
Positive—If ever you’ve seen any of Clint Eastwood’s movies, the ones with the robust “R” rating and the ones that actually feature him, then you can expect to be inundated with coarse speech throughout the entire movie. “Gran Torino” is full of racial slurs and four letter epithets. Since I’ve been thoroughly desensitized by the military, I can’t say the paltry 70+ f bombs phase me. Now, the handful of gd’s, that’s another story. You can never grow numb to hearing God getting blasted by sinful tongues. A shame, but ’tis the world we live in.

I didn’t expect a comedy, though I should have known, considering one of my favorite movies is “Heartbreak Ridge.” In it, Clint Eastwood plays an ol’ crusty gunnery sergeant on the verge of retiring from the Corps; he busts chops but earns respect with his last platoon and goes out in a bang in this 80’s dramedy classic. “Gran Torino” is sorta similar. Crusty ol’ man on the precipice of the final retirement—swears a lot, loves to throw down, etc. This movie works because Eastwood is as virile as ever, both in speech and sheer prowess, and proves yet again he’s a bad mamma jamma.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Jacob Keenum, age 22 (USA)
Positive—“Gran Torino” is just amazing and profane, and yet, it is what it is. Clint Eastwood is the star and the one who carries the whole movie. It is the singular story of Walt Kowalski, a recent widowed Korean Vet with a mean M1 Garand and the vintage car that his Hmong teenage neighbor tried to steal in a gang initiation. The script by Nick Shcenk is filled with bigotry and racial slurs which suited Eastwood like a glove. The moment Walt accepted to take in Thao (newcomer Bee Vang) at the request of his mother and sister Sue (newcomer Ahney Her), Walt gradually warmed up to the boy and his family. The story is simple but Eastwood has such a presence that we like the bigoted Walt. We rooted for him though his cranky, tough exterior is only skin deep. Living here in the South, I have made friends with just such a people and in its irony, the discriminating south is more hospitable than elsewhere I have lived, including the state where “Gran Torino” was filmed.

The supporting casts ranges from the familiars like Brain Howe (“The Pursuit of Happyness”), Brian Haley (“The Departed”), John Caroll Lynch (“Gothika”) to Christopher Carley (“Lions For Lambs”) while the majority of all the Hmong characters are new comers with no or very little acting credits. Carley is passable as the young parish priest, Father Janovich, who tried to get through to the grumpy Walt while both the young leads of the Hmong protagonists, Bee Vang and Ahney Her did their best without prior acting experiences. Vang is stilted but Her comes with a likable presence and I can see a future for Her in films.

Overall, Eastwood rightfully deserved an Oscar® nod while the film is a major stepping stone for future Hmong actors. For me being Hmong, myself, although “Gran Torino” is filled with profanities from just about every angle on racism, I found the film to be positive in a wonderful kind of way. Also, I have converted from the old religion of my people, Walt’s reluctance with Father Janovich’s approach, in the end, I believe he has found peace.

This is a strictly R rated movie therefore, it is highly recommended for mature audience.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Mang Yang, age 36 (USA)
Positive—You watch the trailer and you say, hmmm, another drama. So I was surprised to find the movie just hilarious. You laugh hard… when you laugh at life. What I found extremely refreshing is how the movie bravely (in this generation) painted a picture of Christ on the Cross. Highly recommended movie. Filled with the unexpected—just like life.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Pol Gonzales, age 46 (Philippines)
Positive—I think it was the best movie ever. It’s a good movie for Clint Eastwood fans and people to. Everyone should see it. He learns to settle things peacefully, like God.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Grant, age 32 (USA)
Positive—As a Christian, veteran and person who is Black and who lived in the South when people spoke first and thought later, I had seen people like Walt. But there are two Walt’s in the world—those too afraid to open their heart to humanity and the Walt who fought for the freedom of all Americans. I think this movie was a collision of those two Walt’s, the one who saw a wrong (a young girl being harassed) and got involved. The Walt who saw a people and generalized their behavior, rather than getting to know them (scene where cultural norms are explained to him at dinner party).

Truth is not something sugar-coated or clean, but today’s society has made it seem that way. Everyone gets a trophy, and everyone becomes a doctor or a lawyer; failure is not discussed. I used to be happy when someone made a racial remark, because I knew where they stood, but today they smile at me and just do something vindictive behind my back.

I asked myself at the end of the movie, was Walt trying to atone for the bad things in his life? His wife, who we never meet, obviously was the one who noticed the changes in the neighborhood and embraced these changes for the better. I got a sense at the end of the movie that Walt fell in love with the people on his block and especially his neighbors. I loved the neighbors, especially the grandmother.

Freedom is not free, and the price keeps going up, but, for those who believe, your debt has been paid in full, no matter what the price. This is a movie that someone who is prejudiced (we all are) and that person they are prejudiced towards—go together. I challenge any of you to take the uncomfortable steps of reaching out to someone who makes you feel a little indifferent and share the Good News.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Tony Burch, age 42 (USA)
Positive—My husband and I saw this movie and have been recommending it to everyone. I am a Christian and also a dramatic stage writer with a degree in theater studies. I have come across the issue of language and cursing often in theater, is it appropriate or not. I think it’s appropriate sometimes, if it’s true to the character being portrayed. In this movie, Clint Eastwood’s character is a war vet, and was placed in the darkest part of war. A place where there is no thought of censorship, “gosh darnit’s” just don’t cut it when you are in the trenches surrounded by unpredictability and death. The soldiers’ language is their language—their bond.

The theme of this movie is that he is still living in a war, a war of his mind for peace, a war in his soul for forgiveness and a war over his identity, his tolerance of others, and his life. This story is one of redemption and in order to see the light the darkness must be revealed in an honest raw way.

I do not like using the Lord’s name, but,in perspective, he was at war with God as well, and made peace, I believe. The priest was an interesting character, how he pursued Clint Eastwood like God pursues us. He had an interesting transformation, as well, in the movie. As a young priest right out of the seminary, like a green soldier right out of boot camp, following all his training to a tee. But Clint Eastwood seems to bring out the man in him, and in a way seems to teach him that the “boot camp” is good training, but when you are in the trenches, your job is to survive, and you will do whatever it takes. I think that is why we see the priest, letting his priestly guard down a bit when faced with the ugliness of life.

Good movie—I could go on forever. I believe God could really use this movie to open people up to releasing the sins of their past that haunt them.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Sarah B, age 32 (Canada)
Positive—AWESOME MOVIE. I get the cuss words and things going on in the movie are unacceptable so Christians and other faiths for that matter… but do you understand that some of this if not all of this takes place on a DAILY basis …all over the country.

KUDOS to Clint for directing a wonderful film. My mom and dad both loved Clint Eastwood—acting and films. I think he is a wonderful director, as well as actor. Thank you for a “reality Check.” AWESOME FILM. IF you don’t want to hear the swear words, don’t watch it. Other than that, it is an extremely good movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Shannon, age 34 (USA)
Positive—This was a great movie overall. Yes, there was profanity and violence, but these things are found in everyday life. As a former US Marine and a Christian, the main idea that jumped out at me when I watched this movie is the popular quote, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” I believe wholeheartedly that much of our world’s problem is due to good people not taking action to stop those from doing evil.

I recommend this film to all adults, and I have no problems with it’s portrayal of reality. I know it felt severely out of place for the priest to act the way he did in this movie, but priest are human just like the rest of us, and his behavior made me feel like this was very realistic.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Troy Mendez, age 33 (USA)
Positive—My wife and I loved this movie. The heart of love and self-sacrifice shown by the protagonist Walter Kowalski, far out-weighs his offensive language. I would want this man as my neighbor. The young priest in this movie is sincere, strong, loving and wise. The language: it’s bad, but it’s not gratuitous.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Frank Schildgen, age 29 (USA)
Positive—I found the film very thought-provoking. The language seems to be a barrier for some, but as a theatre person, I can understand why the film was full of bad language: if you want to portray real characters, you have to be truthful about them. The beauty of the film was Walt’s transformation to a more tender-hearted person and to someone whose life and sacrifice put others on a better road. Isn’t that the impact Christians are supposed to have on others?
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Jane, age 48 (USA)
Positive—Clint Eastwood has said this will be his last movie as an actor. This is an important fact if you look at the movies he has directed and acted on during the last years. Movies like “A Perfect World,” “Million Dollar Baby,” “Mystic River” and even “Unforgiven” have always left the viewer with a feeling of emptiness as they usually end with unanswered questions, unresolved spiritual problems, revenge, anger, lack of hope, death, homicide, corruption, euthanasia… a long list of mayor topics not at all far away from real life.

Actually, when going to watch this movie, I was expecting the regular Clint, some action, guns, good lines, and hopefully the good guys taking care of the bad ones. I was not disappointed, although in a different way, as finally the movie offers much more. On the contrary to the movies listed before, this time Clint surprises us with a story of repentance and an unexpected ending (when we think of Clint´s trajectory).

Filmmaking is not great, but that is not the point with this movie (***spoilers ahead***): It is actually a story of reconciliation, of friendship, of forgiveness, of repentance, of love, and love to the end, just as the Lord: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). When we expect Clint to pull out his gun, he really takes out the strongest weapon of all: real love, the only one that can really make a difference.

Its Catholic background makes it a movie hard to understand for non-Catholics, as seen in some of the negative comments. But please do not stop because of the swearing—get real, that´s life if you´re not an Amish—and lose the chance to see Clint with a final Christian answer after a lifetime of the opposite.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Andrew, age 33 (USA)
Positive—This film was amazing. It showed the importance of friendship, of God, and of finding peace. The language was hard for me to hear but in portraying the gangs I think it was probably realistic. It was a very moving film. It really showed the depth of the main character. He appeared to be racist and angry but deep down he still helped others and had a heart. I thought it was neat to show how his own family did now know him as well as his friend who actually took the time to see the real him. Something that was not mentioned that was also hard for me to watch though was someone gets burned purposely by a cigarette. And it is hard to see the girl in the film who was obviously attacked and raped (even though it only showed her after the fact). The priest in the movie does not give up on the main character and I think that it showed that if you keep trying you really can save someone.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Bethany, age 37 (USA)
Positive—I give this movie the excellent moral rating for how it depicts Walt Kowalski’s story of Christian journey and redemption. He is a hurting, angry man who lashes out at his family and his neighbors. He openly rejects God and the church. As events play out, we do find that he has compassion, and will not stand to see those around him hurt. After he is able to voice the pain of his action in war that he has carried for more than 50 years, he does come to God and gains an inner peace. Once there, he realizes that the cycle of violence can not continue, so that even as we the audience might expect a “go ahead make my day” climax, instead Walt performs the ultimate sacrifice, laying down his life for others.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Brian Cartwright, age 49 (USA)
Positive—…I think we can get past the point of how offensive the language is. The movie fully puts everything that Walt (Clint Eastwood) says into context. The moral of the story is that of a Christian tale anyway. ***SPOILER in this paragraph*** In the end, Walt gives his life up to save Thao and his family. He gets his priorities in the right order and does everything he should have in the past several years to redeem himself with God. What isn’t healthy about that? It’s almost as if Thao helped fight away a demon that was making Walt so bitter before. Perhaps God sent Thao to help Walt. ***spoiler finished***

My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Anthony Talerico, age 19 (USA)
Positive—How can you rate something immoral that portrays the world the way it is. But this is a movie that can be very rough to watch with with the terrorizing done by gangs, a mans rejection of God and some strong violence. But it also shows the compassion of a priest and the gratefulness of a family. Adults only to this one but dont go to it if you dont want to stressed.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—Joe, age 61 (USA)


Negative—I liked this film, and this disturbs me. I didn’t count the profanity, but I have read that there were over 100 cuss words in this film, including over 70 F-bombs and God’s name taken in vain several times. But I liked the movie. I don’t normally watch R rated movies. Have I become so desensitized? I still cringe when someone takes God’s name in vain, but the other profanity didn’t stir up my spirit. I really need to pray and do some self-checks.

The film contained a lot pertaining to Catholicism (which I disagree with on many facets), and the film featured a Hmong shaman who “reads” Clint Eastwood’s character. Clint’s character seemed very anti-god and anti-church. As I watch our nation in moral, spiritual, and economic decline, I could sympathize with the “old school” character that Clint played. I sometimes grieve for our nation when I look back at how God blessed this nation, and then I look at what it has become—at what we have become. I gave this film a negative because it should be extremely offensive to all Christians, if you are walking in the spirit.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—James, age 44 (USA)
Negative—…the language is awful, and I mean BAD. Even a priest takes the name of our Lord in vain. The racial jokes are crude and very offensive. The acting is very poor, except for the dog. Nice car! As a Christian, I cannot recommend this movie to anyone. The reason being that Jesus’ name is treated like “trash.”
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
—Jacques Lemieux, age 56 (Canada)
Negative—I am disgusted by the sexual perversion in this film. There is a scene in the movie that the reviewer failed to note, and another viewer said “there is nothing sexual in the film,” but they are very wrong. There is a scene where a man is viewing a porno magazine, and the inside of the magazine is the focal point of the scene. There is not full nudity (nipples, etc.), but it is obviously pornographic. I think it is especially important to note the context of the scene. It is not one of the “bad guys” who is looking at the porn magazine The main character takes the young man to see his barber to “man him up.” He wants to teach the young man how to act like a real man, and how to interact. When they walk into the barber’s place, we see the magazine in the center of the screen. After a few seconds, the barber puts the magazine down, and then they go on to instruct the young man in how to act manly. I believe the makers of this film, intentionally or not, are teaching young men that “real men” look at porn, and there’s nothing wrong with it. It teaches young women that they are not special, and any guy they date/marry is going to be into porn—it is just a fact of life, and they will just have to learn to be okay with it. Well, I am not okay with it, and I am not okay with the film industry trying to make it okay.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Bonnie, age 26 (USA)
Positive—Oh Bonnie. Do not listen to her okay? This movie was not sexual. There was a guy in a barbershop looking at a playboy magazine for a few seconds. This movie does not glorify pornography. It has a great message of self-sacrifice and the importance of friendship, brotherly love and forgiveness. ***SPOILER*** Self sacrifice is shown at the end. The gang is hurting Thao and Sue and the only way to stop them is for them to go to prison. Walt (Clint) goes to the gang’s house and makes sure many people are watching and reaches for his gun, and the gang shoots him dead. He really didn’t have a gun, he was reaching for his lighter, and the police take the gang away. ***END SPOILER***

The language is bad but its real. Gangs talk like that. “Gran Torino” is a superb movie that needs to be seen by everyone.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Ty, age 13 (USA)
Negative—I was surprise by Clint for producing a movie with not much of a story. There was nothing else than an old man having problems with his past. The language used in this movie was not good. I was wondering how his wife was able to live with him. Even the priest coming and going, at times, never brought him to a realization that his attitude should change. Clint is a great actor, that’s for sure, but, for me, I really got nothing out of this movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—David, age 34 (Canada)
Comments from young people
Positive—This is a must see movie! I love going to see movies and only have a top few “Gran Torino” is one of them! This movie is actually pretty clean for being rated “R” (but, yes there are over 100 profanities!) Most “R” movies have: sex, nudity, drugs, alcohol, tons of bloody violence, but this one really doesn’t! The offensive content in this movie I would say would definitely be the profanity. There are over 100 profanities used during the movie. But, I think the whole point of “Gran Torino” is to teach you a life lesson, and, yes, gangs ranging from Mexican to Chinese do use a lot of language! The other things that may be offensive would be the shooting, bullying, and the rape scene. The rape scene though, is not shown; the girl who is raped walks in all bloody into her house. (We know that she has been raped.) Overall, though, this movie is a must see! And has a few biblical things in it!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Kaitlin, age 13 (USA)
Positive—I very much enjoyed this movie. It is about an old man named Walt who just lost his wife. Some new Vietnamese people move in next door, and he doesn’t like them. Thao, pressured by his cousin, tries to steal Walt’s car. Thao’s family makes him repay his debt by working for Walt. Walt comes to realize that not all Vietnamese people are bad, and comes to rescue them in the end. While the language was rough, my mom and I enjoyed this film, and though it had some great lessons to be learned, like how people can change.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Rebecca, age 16 (USA)
Positive—Yes, this movie does have a lot of profanity; however, it really didn’t bother me much. Much of the profanity was used by the gangs, and it’s the hard truth. Yes, I think they could’ve toned it down a bit—but it did make the movie more realistic.

Ignoring the profanity though, this movie was very well-made and had a great story. I really grew to like some of the characters—and I was surprised at the end. I would recommend this movie to anyone who is not offended by profanity: the storyline is great, and there really is not much violence and absolutely no sex.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Daniel H., age 16 (USA)