Elderly Walt Kowalski (Clint Eastwood) is recently widowed. Much of Walt's views of life are shaped by his time in the Korean War. On strained relations with his grown sons and not wanting the advice of the Priest, Father Janovich (Christopher Carley), of his wife's church, Walt is a gruff man who has few friends. As such, he lives a solitary life with his pet Labrador retriever Daisy in the same house in which he has lived for years, which is located in a working class Highland Park, Michigan neighborhood. Recently, the neighborhood has gone through changes where it is now racially mixed. The Lor family, of ethnic Hmong descent, move into the house next door to Walt's, the family which includes two teenagers, streetwise Sue (Ahney Her) and shy Thao (Bee Vang). Initially, Walt wants nothing to do with his new foreign neighbors. Slowly, Walt does get involved in Sue and Thao's lives, despite Thao having once tried to steal Walt's beloved 1972 Gran Torino. That attempted theft was a Hmong gang initiation ritual, a gang to which Thao does not want to belong. Walt sees that Sue and Thao will never be able to live in peace as long as that gang exists. As his teen-aged neighbors' unofficial protector, Walt has to figure out how best to restore his sense of right in the neighborhood.