The Old Man & the Gun - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Old Man & the Gun Reviews

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½ May 7, 2019
One of those films I liked but can't recommend. I went into this with low expectations and expected it to be slow. It was, and it's definitely more of a character driven film but it kind of dragged a little too much. The directing felt a little film-school like. Enjoyed the idea of breaking convention from the usual film fare but some of it seem unmotivated. Won't spoil the ending but suffice it to say it could have been better.
April 29, 2019
I was very much looking forward to this film. Sadly, the movie moves too slowly and lacks the charm required to do so. Redford's performance is strong but the characters and script feel lethargic. A real shame given the cast and the fact that this is most likely Redford's final bow. These two facts also go a long way to explain the glowing reviews from most critics in my opinion. I must be wrong but I'm afraid I just don't see it.
April 28, 2019
I liked it and thought it was a pretty good movie.
April 28, 2019
A simple, old-fashioned drama and a fitting last entry for a Hollywood legend. The Old Man & the Gun may not be as great as the critics made it seem but it still manages to make something out of a very thin storyline even if it is a rather boring one. Robert Redford did what he always does best and brought life to yet another character through a pleasant performance. But for a drama about a bank robber you'd hope there'd be a little more action and a little less talking. The movie was uneventful and seemed to go on forever.
½ April 26, 2019
This may very well be the most overrated movie on the planet. Are we supposed to think it's cute because Robert Redford is 80 and retiring, or because the movie character is a lovable charming bank robber?? Both possibilities are ludicrous. It's just not a very good movie. Period.
½ April 24, 2019
A well-made, old-fashioned yarn, but the laid-back ballad-like tone will be too insubstantial for some

Written and directed by David Lowery, and originally touted as Robert Redford's final performance, although he has walked that claim back somewhat, The Old Man & the Gun is a laid-back ballad-like elegy filmed in the style of a 1970's indie.

Based on David Grann's 2003 New Yorker article, the film tells the "mostly true" story of prolific bank robber and prison escapee Forrest Tucker (Redford) who had been robbing banks since his early 20s. The story takes place in 1981, when Tucker was 61 (although in the film, he's 76), and had recently escaped from San Quentin. Meeting a widow named Jewel (Sissy Spacek), after pulling off a job, they strike up a tentative romance. Meanwhile, he is pursued by Det. John Hunt (Casey Affleck), who is starting to respect him more and more.

The first thing you'll notice about Old Man is its pace, which is measured, to say the least. Ostensibly, this is a heist film, but the crime narrative is very much secondary to tone and character beats, with Lowery relatively uninterested in excitement, suspense, plot twists, or any of the usual generic tropes. And that's not a criticism. Rather, the meditative pace is one of the film's charms. Additionally, Lowery almost completely ignores what, for many, would be the most interesting part of Tucker's story - the 18 prison escapes. Instead, he puts them all together into one montage.

Instead, Lowery's goal is to create an ode to an icon, and that icon is Robert Redford. Tucker's story is a vehicle which Lowery uses to celebrate Redford; the character is always there, but he exists behind the actor, rather than the other way around. Indeed, during the escape montage, there's even a clip of Redford from another film, The Chase (1966). We can never look past the fact that Tucker is played by Redford, and for the most part, Redford is playing Redford, with the film existing in large part only because it explicitly leans on his back catalogue and real-life legacy. Essentially, the whole thing is an extended metatextual allegory for Redford's own impending retirement, not to mention his reluctance to let go.

As one would expect from Lowery, the film is aesthetically fascinating. Shooting on Super 16, Lowery wanted the film to look like it had been made in the period in which it was set, trying to suture the viewer into the past. Another important aesthetic point is how much Lowery has obviously been influenced by Michael Mann, to whom there are several homages - a scene in a diner recalls a similarly shot scene in Thief (1981); the scene where Hunt approaches Tucker is an obvious nod to Al Pacino confronting Robert De Niro in Heat (1995); and the scene of Tucker gaining inspiration whilst sitting in a cinema recalls a scene in Public Enemies (2009).

In terms of problems, there are a few. If you're not a fan of Redford's, for example, you will get very little from this. Lowery also has a strange habit of introducing themes which seem to be setting something up, only to completely abandon them without any kind of engagement. This is most obvious in relation to Hunt's inter-racial marriage to Maureen (Tika Sumpter) and their two mixed-race children. This is a fictional element added by Lowery, so one assumes there was some thought behind it. But this is Texas in 1981; there wouldn't have been a huge amount of mixed marriages. Yet Lowery seems to portray it as if it's the most normal thing in the world. Indeed, for the wife and children, life is fairly idyllic, with not a hint of any kind of societal disapproval. Why would you introduce a mixed-race marriage into this milieu without commenting on it?

These few issues aside, however, The Old Man & the Gun is a fine film. As much about Robert Redford as it is Forrest Tucker, although it won't appeal to everyone, there is much to praise. Made in a key so low, it's practically subterranean, Lowery hinges everything on Redford's presence, and, for the most part, it works well. There's little to get overly excited about, but neither is there much to criticise. Yes, the film is somewhat insubstantial, and there's virtually nothing here beyond the Redford/Tucker character, but it's still beautifully made, and, honestly, there's nothing wrong with spending 93 minutes hanging out with Redford, whether he's playing Forrest Tucker or Robert Redford. Whether or not this is actually his last performance remains to be seen, but if it is, it's as fine a send-off as any Hollywood icon could hope for.
April 21, 2019
Robert Redford's goodbye film and director David Lowery treats it as such. One for the geriatric crowd, I guess, although it doesn't seem too long ago when Danny Glover, Redford, Sissy Spacek, and even Tom Waits were in their prime. OK, scratch that " it was long ago but we've all aged together. But Redford is really old here, as a bank robber (based on a real story) who can't give up the life of crime even well into his seventies. (In fact, Redford is already 80 plus). I selected this on an international flight, seeking something easy and indeed it was. Not much of a challenge to any viewer. We have Casey Affleck mumbling his way through the part of the police detective on the case (the film is set in 1981 which feels very nostalgic). He's in an inter-racial marriage which is interesting but not the focus here. We have Sissy Spacek as the love interest. We have Waits and Glover as accomplices. Waits gets to deliver a typical monologue but he's gone before the film reaches the halfway mark. Keith Carradine is credited but missing in action. Redford is really the focus and there are quite a few sly references to his movies and his younger self. It's a bit of fun and rather wistful. But I wouldn't go out of my way to see it.
April 13, 2019
Movie night with Iris.

Robert Redford's movie is lovely if overly sentimental stuff. It has a leisurely pace to match the leisurely fashion of the robbers. This isn't really a heist movie, more an existential tale about a man who can't accept the passing of time.

Redford gives a poignant performance. And Casey Affleck co-stars in a low-key, sometimes comic role. It looks and feels old-fashioned, and that's no bad thing.
½ April 5, 2019
Redfords last movie. Thank you, sir!
½ April 4, 2019
Beautifully crafted of someone who owns a disease that pushes him to steal dollars from banks.
½ April 1, 2019
Pretty good movie in general with a lot of nostalgia for the viewers and most importantly Redford, a very nice way to end his long and fruitful career.
March 30, 2019
The best I can make of this film is it was a make-work project for a couple of former headliners at the end of their careers. The film splices in prison escapes by the principle -- apparently to pad out 90 minutes' worth of film. The film overall gave me the impression that several script lines were duct-taped together to create a movie. I'd imagine this has already hit the Amazon Prime or Netflix 'Included' list. But if not, save your money.
March 20, 2019
Good simple movie with great heart and character portrayals. It was a beautiful film about crime without a negative character. Definite watch.
½ March 16, 2019
Not a movie you would say was action pack with gun fights and fast chase scenes, but certainly was a entertaining movie that had a good story line as well as good acting from Robert Redford, it is a genuinely slow movie but all in all it was a great movie to watch
½ March 14, 2019
What a horrid movie. Besides the one-dimensional Redford, every frame is predictable. These actors must have needed a paycheck to sign on to this dog. I've notice that Redford is still banking on his fulsome hair and charming smile (both in tattred condition) to mesmerize folks into thinking he can act. What's tiresome about Redford, aside from the fact that he is not an actor, is that he always chooses roles so he can be the star of his own fantasies. Maybe that is what draws him to acting; if he can't be an interesting man in real life at least he can pretend to be in the movies.
½ March 8, 2019
As anticipated, this is a fun movie with good chemistry. Some attempts at life messages, entertaining. Did you notice the flip of the finger over the nose? Reference to The Sting movie I think.
½ March 8, 2019
A charming character story. The performances are the thing here, and not much else going on. I enjoyed it.
March 6, 2019
Based on a true story as Robert Redford stars as Forrest Tucker - the kind and gentle bank robber, aged 70 plus. He has done it all his grown life. Robbing something, escape a prison, rob again, escape again.

I dig the cast here. Man, Redford, Spacek, Casey Affleck, Danny Glover and Tom Waits - that's quite a crew! It's fun to see elder films of Redfords filography in this one - a sweet little gesture.

This anti-hero of a man and his story feels genuine and is told pretty good. Straight forward, nothing special, but it works. Cool music and a rather short playtime helps. Actually it felt a bit short - but then the epilogue got on and it felt too long. I guess the "then and there" story was a bit rushed in the climax scene, but in total I guess it was all right.

A cool story, that was executed in an OK manner. Not a bummer, not a total hit. It's known to be Redford's last on camera. Thank you for the many great films, Sir!

6.5 out of 10 hearing aids.
March 6, 2019
Always interesting to me when pro reviewers % is a lot different from audience. Here I'd side with the audience, this movie is a bit over-rated. Redford's legendary charm doesn't work this time; he's pleased with himself but it doesn't transmit. Spacek is good in her role.
March 6, 2019
Tries to be a romantic view of the detective versus bank robber movie genre.
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