Reign Over Me with Adam Sandler, Don Cheadle, Jada Pinkett Smith, Liv Tyler – a Review

‘Reign Over Me’ is a movie drama starring Adam Sandler, Don Cheadle, Jada Pinkett Smith, Liv Tyler, Donald Sutherland, and Saffron Burrows. It is perhaps Sandler’s finest movie. Much like ‘The Soloist’ with Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr., ‘Reign Over Me’ is the story of a man who befriends a person suffering from emotional problems and discovers his own life improves through the friendship.

In Reign Over Me,’ Alan Johnson (Don Cheadle) is a successful dentist who seems to have it all, but he is dissatisfied with his almost-perfect life. One day he sees a familiar face on the streets of New York City, his old roommate from dental college Charlie Fineman (Adam Sandler), but the man does not seem to recognize Johnson. A few days later, Johnson runs into Fineman again and tries to engage him in conversation, but soon realizes his old friend is no longer all there.

Reign Over Me

Fineman has escaped from reality, lost touch with his family and friends and now wears headphones to drown out the world and his painful memories.

Johnson knows of Fineman’s tragic story, how five years previously, his wife, three daughters and family poodle were on board an airplane which flew into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Johnson begins to spend time with the emotionally-crippled Fineman, hoping to help him come to terms with the past and to find his place in the present. As the two men reconnect, they face difficulties including Fineman’s attempted suicide and subsequent stay in a a sanitarium, but both men find the growing friendship transforming.

‘Reign Over Me’ was written and directed by Mike Binder who is also cast in the movie. A work of fiction, ‘Reign Over Me’ is an uplifting movie. There is some rough language as well as some sexual situations, so this is not a family movie, but ‘Reign Over Me’ hits several of the same beautiful high notes ‘The Soloist’ did and is definitely worth a view.

‘The Soloist’

‘Reign Over Me’ released in theaters on March 23, 2007 and was released to DVD and Blu-ray on October 9, 2007.

Also see The Soloist with Jamie Foxx & Robert Downey, Jr. Hits the Right Note