"A Portrait of the Gentleman Thief as an Old Man"
What You Need To Know:
Based on a true story, THE OLD MAN & THE GUN is an entertaining character study with solid performances. Redford maintains the confident, genial disposition that made him a movie star. Except for brief foul language, the movie is free of any lewd content. However, it has a Romantic worldview that sympathizes too much with the elderly bank robber who’s addicted to his criminal work. MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for THE OLD MAN & THE GUN.
THE OLD MAN & THE GUN is Robert Redford’s latest movie, where he plays a 76-year-old bank robber in 1981 who enjoys his “job” a little too much while he’s being hunted by a local robbery detective. Based on a true story, THE OLD MAN & THE GUN is an entertaining diversion with solid performances, but it has a Romantic worldview that sympathizes too much with the elderly bank robber, who’s addicted to stealing.
The movie begins in July 1981 at a small Texas bank, where an old man with a happy disposition and dressed in a hat and a fake moustache robs a female teller, then switches his getaway car. Calling himself Bob, the robber spies an older woman stuck on the freeway with a stalled car. He stops to try to help the woman, whose name is Jewel, and the two end up having lunch at a diner. At first, Bob says he’s a traveling salesman, but then decides to trust Jewel. So, he tells her he’s actually a bank robber. However, Jewel doesn’t believe him, and they exchange phone numbers.
Bob robs a couple more banks with two elderly men. The local police, led by a robbery detective named John Hunt, figure out they’re hunting a gang of bank robbers. All the bank managers and tellers remark how gentlemanly Bob is when he approaches them and even when he shows them his gun. Meanwhile, the media has labeled Bob and his friends the “Over the Hill Gang,” and Bob continues to see Jewel on the side.
THE OLD MAN & THE GUN is an entertaining character study with solid performances by all the cast members. Redford maintains the confident, genial disposition that made him a movie star. In between the bank robberies and police chases, there are warm scenes of Bob with Jewel and John with his wife and two children. At the end, there’s even a slight homage to THE STING, one of Robert Redford’s best movies.
THE OLD MAN & THE GUN has no sex scenes. Also, the foul language count is minimal, though it does include three strong profanities and one “f” word. Finally, THE OLD MAN & THE GUN has a strong Romantic worldview with antinomian tendencies. The detective, played by Casey Affleck, begins to sympathize with the bank robber, even though he learns the criminal has escaped from prison and reform school 16 times since the 1940s. By the end of the movie, the old bank robber is viewed as an iconic rebel who just happens to love robbing banks and escaping from prison.
MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for THE OLD MAN & THE GUN.