Review Round Up: The Old Man & The Gun

Robert Redford stars in David Lowery’s film about criminal Forrest Tucker – but what have critics made of it? Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews…

The Guardian: *** “Redford carries off this role with a stately good nature and residual charisma, but I have to admit to finding something a bit stiff and waxworky in his style, certainly compared with Danny Glover and Tom Waits who are appreciably more relaxed and limber playing the other gang members.”

The Telegraph: *** “The Old Man and the Gun is content – maybe a little too content – to saunter along with him, plugging in to that unflappable Redford star wattage and wanting us to thank it for the memories. It’s so squarely the Redford show that the fact he’s playing a real-life career criminal, Forrest Tucker, is curiously by-the-by.”

The Independent: **** “Redford is wonderful in this will-o’-the-wisp role: his easy way with comedy is to the fore, his physical grace apparently undimmed by age. ”

Empire Online: **** “A delightful folk story from one of the best filmmakers working today — and a fitting final turn from Redford, all easy charm and grace. It takes a lifetime of effort to look this effortless.” *** 1/2 “Lowery enhances the charming outlaw attitude of it all, resulting in a movie that’s so light on its feet that some people will think it just floats away. At first, it might. But, make no mistake, you’ll think about this film. It’ll be a line of dialogue, or an image of Redford’s charm or Spacek’s laugh or Affleck’s attitude—it’s just one of those movies that keeps sneaking up on you in memory. Like Forrest himself, it refuses to go away. And like Redford himself, it’s unforgettable.”

The Independent: *** “Above all, the film exists as a platform for Redford to take a final bow on screen. His scenes with Spacek in particular are beautifully played and have just enough bite and irony to avoid slipping into mushy nostalgia. It’s refreshing, too, to see him in his final role playing a character with a devilry and sense of mischief about him, rather than an earnest do-gooder preaching to us from the Utah mountain tops.”

City AM: “This film does a fine job of allowing the viewer to peer inside the mind of a career criminal, not driven by hatred or violence, but simply the need ‘to live’. As we sit with Redford during the third act’s breath-taking chase, it’s a mentality that becomes easy to understand.”

Herald Scotland: **** “Affleck is pitch perfect as the cop who talks a cynical game but holds tight to traditional views of right and wrong. Waits and Glover shine brightly around the tale’s edges, while Spacek is plain wonderful as a woman who knows the importance of doing what you love in life, and loving what you do.”

The Arts Desk: ***** “If you’re pining for a movie steeped in old-school charm and Hollywood mystique, it’s here.”

Express: ** ” Despite some decent performances, its quirky off-beat style doesn’t make up for its lack of pace, flat characters and insipid plot.”

Irish Times: **** “Aside from anything else, David Lowery’s film has the grace to treat its elder characters with respect. It does that by treating them like human beings.”

Scotsman: **** “The resulting film is flat-out charming, a movie stripped of the usual clichés about ageing (it’s a world away from the recent Michael Caine dud King of Thieves) and shot with the retro feel of a New Hollywood classic.”

The Mirror: **** “it’s a deft, nostalgic, sentimental and surprisingly life affirming caper which is every bit as smart and accomplished as its star.”

Indie London: “Lowery instead works hard to keep Tucker likeable, even injecting a bittersweet tone belatedly into the movie as the veteran realises he is addicted to the thrill of the job more than anything else in life. It’s a realisation that makes for a lovely final scene.”

The Old Man & the Gun is out in cinemas now. 


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