Reign Over Me

Rated 4.0

Adam Sandler made his dramatic debut a few years back in Punch Drunk Love, but he’s done so many stupid movies that it’s still hard to believe he can be serious. Well, he once again proves his acting chops here, as Charlie Fineman, whose wife and three daughters were killed on Sept. 11. Post-traumatic stress disorder leaves him a little kooky. He has given up his past—including his in-laws and the color of his kitchen—in favor of things that don’t remind him of his loss. That all changes one day when Charlie runs into Alan Johnson (Don Cheadle), his old college roommate. What ensues is a friendship between Alan, a family man and dentist who has a few troubles of his own, and Charlie, who at the outset doesn’t even remember his old buddy. Mike Binder (The Upside of Anger), who wrote, directed and played a small part, asked a lot of this film. And though he’s a bit long-winded, he pulls it off with a strong cast and a script that teeters seamlessly between drama and comedy.