When I first started watching this movie, I was worried it was going to be awful. The sons speaking at the funeral was a little too obvious of a character fill-in-the-audience set-up. But Eastwood quickly drew me in with his rough, non-compromising Walt. The relationship between his neighbours grows pretty naturally, naturally enough that we can believe that this racist old man would end up befriending these kids.
Eastwood is very good in this film, despite not having much help. The kid who plays Tao was just atrocious, yet it didn’t actually affect the movie that bad.
I have to say that I loved the ending. It really gave the movie a lot of meaning. I was wondering along with the characters what he was planning to do about the gang, and I think that the direction they went with the ending was brilliant.