Director Mike Binder has twigged on to the fact that if you root Sandler's genially churlish moron act into a more sober foundation, a vulnerable, believable and even lovable character can begin to emerge.
There are lots of things in the script that ring false, but the acting is honest, witty and soulful. Sandler's performance is perfectly believable while the weak link, surprisingly enough, is the writing.
Director-writer and former Detroiter Mike Binder (The Upside of Anger) has always had a great movie in him, and it bursts out, emotionally, dramatically, sometimes sloppily yet always honestly, in Reign Over Me.
Reign Over Me closes with, at best, a cautious hope, leaving us more anxious than when we went in, and throughout the film there is a stunned and bewildered air hanging over the city, like a heavy smog.