5. Gran Torino
Call me a sucker for liking Clint Eastwood so much in these fatherly, mentor-esque roles, but between Million Dollar Baby and Gran Torino, Eastwood crafted a new identity for himself that was separate from his hard-nosed, action hero past. What makes Gran Torino great, besides great back-and-forth between Eastwood’s Walt and Bee Vang’s Thao, are the heavy themes it deals with. Loss, racism, family, and sacrifice are all at the center of the film, but Eastwood never feels like he’s being too preachy and overly sentimental about any of them. That’s why Gran Torino is so superior to other films like i. The movie isn’t a morality lesson – it’s a story first and foremost.
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