Clint Eastwood takes to the screen apparently for the last time, bringing the curtain down on a 53 year long acting career, as decorated Korean war veteran Walk Kowalski in Gran Torino.

Disgruntled Walt, who has just been widowed and can't stand most of his obnoxious family, whiles away his days sitting on his porch drinking beer.

The last white man left in the area he surveys the tattered neighbourhood he feels has been ruined by an influx of immigrants.

The only two things he seems to care about are his dog Daisy and his car - a 1972 Gran Torino he helped assemble during his years of work at the Ford garage.

The priest tasked by Walt's dead wife to keep an eye on him, Father Janovich, tells him after he recounts stories of what he saw in Korea: "You know more about dying than living."

Walt is scathing of his next door neighbours who are Asian and unrepentantly calls them 'gooks' and 'chinks' to their faces. He doesn't realise they are Vietnamese hill people who fought on the side of the Americans in Vietnam and sought sanctuary in the US after suffering persecution after the conflict.

Walt first meets the family's mild-mannered teenage son Thao when he reluctantly tries to steal Walt's beloved car as part of an initiation into a neighbourhood gang which is pressuring him to join.

His family make Thao work for Walt to gain back their honour and so begins a thawing of relations as Walt warms to his neighbours and finds they have more in common than he thought.

There are funny scenes as Walt attempts to "man up" Thao and gets him a job on a construction site. Eventually dying Walt finds redemption through Thao and his sister Sue and takes on the violent gang members in a brave and shocking last stand.

The performances from 78-year-old Eastwood, Ahney Her as Sue and Bee Vang as Tao really make the film.

Gran Torino, which tells the story of violence and alienation in American society, brings 78-year-old Eastwood's iconic career to a fitting end.