The Old Man & the Gun (2018)
Critic Consensus: A well-told story brought to life by a beautifully matched cast, The Old Man & the Gun is pure, easygoing entertainment for film fans - and a fitting farewell to a legend.
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Critic Reviews for The Old Man & the Gun
Loose-limbed, rascally and Texan to its bones, The Old Man & the Gun is a throwback to an era when making beautifully understated crime comedies was the peak of Hollywood's ambition (before all the spandex took over).
If this is truly Robert Redford's final performance, he's going out with an exclamation point.
If Clint Eastwood's barely reformed killer was Unforgiven, Robert Redford is unrepentant in this love letter to...Robert Redford.
It's a light, warm story that's punctuated by the power of Redford's smile, one of the best special effects in movie history.
If there's a reason to see the movie, it's Redford, whose charismatic, mature presence argues that age has done nothing to diminish his ability to command the screen.
Audience Reviews for The Old Man & the Gun
"Ten-year-old you may have hopes and dreams, but he doesn't understand time like you." It is truly a marvel how director David Lowery (Pete's Dragon, A Ghost Story) makes films that are both so straightforward and simple yet feel immensely significant. The story of Forrest Tucker is one that could have squarely been told in the genre of your traditional heist films, but Lowery approaches the tone of the film the same way his protagonist would approach his stick-ups. Lowery emphasizes this tone further by employing filmmaking techniques of the time period to reinforce the feeling of being in that era (the film spans the length of 1981). Furthermore even, is Daniel Hart's easy-listening score comprised of soft jazz and classy riffs that, while sometimes deceiving, is never used simply as filler. The film is constructed from the get-go in such a way that we understand Robert Redford's incarnation of Tucker is the best, most appealing "bad guy" we've ever encountered and if you think you're going to change your mind as the film goes on and reveals more of the character's notorious past Redford is here to make sure you won't. And you don't. From the uber-stylized transitions Lowery uses to capture the infinite amount of charm Redford as Tucker possesses to something as simple as the font in the title cards everything about The Old Man & the Gun is inviting, involving, and all-encompassing. Even when Lowery's films are about death, or dragons, or bank robbers they still feel like the warmest, most honest, and re-assuring of hugs. Finally, Lowery once again helps us contemplate the fleeting and indefinable quality of time as he delivers a movie that could have been made decades ago with stars who we feel we know personally after having watched them over so much time presented as the look today. That may sound convoluted and as if it doesn't make sense, but it will register as you let the credits of this excessively charming picture wash over you.
Redford and an exceptionally fine supporting cast create a sophisticated, grown-up tale of whimsy and romance. Yes this may have been a true story, yet its real charm lies in the weaving in gently of people's deep wishes and feelings. Visually, it is remarkable how interesting the old faces look and how they sound. Meanwhile, Affleck presents like a young Redford, the brooding good looks, the distance and assurance, down to the moustache and flopping hair - his detective role is more of an alter-ego than a nemesis. The sensuality in the film revolves around him and his beautiful wife; watch for their breathtaking dance. Spacek's lovely presence balances the Redford persona and there is no sex scene: a good decision. These and the other supporting roles bring contrasts and harmonies (Waits' spoken voice literally), all played by superlative actors including an all star line-up and very good child actors particularly the little daughter. The ensemble eliminates the vanity element. All of that is a fine directorial achievement. It's not a screenplay likely to appeal much to the fast paced rhythm of younger audiences. The gun of the title is a notable non-starter. This is a film full of wisdom, kindness, fun and humour and, in line with Forrest's own story and no doubt without coincidence Redford's too - it is brimming with happiness.
Though slow in spots what's not to like with Redford and Spacek keeping you company. The Kid goes out in style. (11-3-18)
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