The Old Man & the Gun

In Cinemas Now

It's not about making a living. It's about living.

True story crime drama with Robert Redford as Forrest Tucker, the man who escaped San Quentin at age 70 to go on a string of heists. Wrapped up in the pursuit are detective John Hunt (Casey Affleck), who becomes captivated with Forrest’s commitment to his craft, and a woman (Sissy Spacek), who loves him in spite of his chosen profession.

Trailers

Directed by

  • David Lowery('A Ghost Story', 'Pete's Dragon', 'Ain't Them Bodies Saints')

Written by

Crime, Drama

93mins

Rating: M Coarse language

USA

Aaron-Yap2

Aaron Yap

flicks

Summation, farewell, tribute—whatever you want to call it —David Lowery’s The Old Man & the Gun eases Robert Redford’s 60-year movie career to a disarmingly laid-back, sweetly nostalgic close.

It’s a minor movie in many respects, not dissimilar to the way that The Hot Rock is rarely considered to be top-tier Redford. And almost wispy to a fault: it’s as if Lowery, no stranger to curveballs having just come off the delightfully strange A Ghost Story, was engaging in an exercise to see how little story he could hang off Redford’s gracefully aged shoulders. That said, when you have this much low-key loveliness breezing in your face, it’s hard to do anything but grin watching one of a few remaining charismatic leading men of his generation charm our pants off one last time.

Real-life bank robber/escape artist Forrest Tucker, the subject of David Grann’s 2003 New Yorker article, couldn’t have been a more tailor-made fit for this occasion. The character deftly dials into the folksy, mythic Americana of Redford’s most memorable roles while playing to his ingratiating, gentlemanly strengths.

If you’re hoping for grander gestures or deeper characterisation, The Old Man & the Gun isn’t that movie. Tucker just bloody loved robbing banks. The bulk of the runtime circles around his sublimely matched courtship with rancher Jewel (a radiant Sissy Spacek) and amusingly relaxed cat-and-mouse run-ins with lawman John Hunt (Casey Affleck). Not much happens, but its leisurely, unusually congenial temperament strikes me as a small miracle.

Aided by the homely lustre of Joe Anderson’s Super 16mm cinematography and Daniel Hart’s blissed-out jazz score—both on the right side of pastiche—The Old Man & the Gun sends the Sundance Kid off into retirement with a gentle squeeze of a goodbye.

Hollywood Reporter

press

If this sounds a bit like Hollywood glamorization of a career criminal, so be it, especially when the old man is played by Redford, whose full head of hair, alert mental antenna and nimbleness would put to shame many men decades his junior.

Vanity Fair

press

The cat-and-mouse of Lowery's film is just reason enough to contemplate the shuffling everydayness of life, of how we are ever aware of its finality while also tending to, seeking out, and appreciating the little joys, mercies, and adventures of it.

Variety (USA)

press

Instead of going big and giving Redford some bombastic swan song, he crafts a gracious exit that simultaneously feels like an encore of sorts.

The Guardian

press

It would require a true curmudgeon to not derive pleasure from that twinkling performance from Redford, radiating smoothness, wisdom and charm to the very end.

FilmInk (Australia)

press

...a fantastic swan song for a great actor...

Los Angeles Times

press

A puckish film with a wistful quality, a gently comic end-of-the-line adventure about doing what you love, the passage of time and the things that might have been.

Rolling Stone

press

Robert Redford robs banks and steals your heart. And whether David Lowery's exuberant gift of a film reps his final bow or not, Redford gives a virtuoso performance that feels like a valedictory. You want to salute him.

New York Times

press

At a time when bluster, bragging and histrionic displays of self-pity are apparently the defining characteristics of American manhood, it's nice to be reminded of the virtues of discretion and quiet.