The Old Man and The Gun

Updated: Jan 28, 2019

In Cinemas 12/18




Director: David Lowery

Cast: Robert Redford, Casey Affleck, Sissey Spacek





“Spacek and Redford are the perfect match, neither overdoing the roles of a flirtatious elderly couple. Their characters are charismatic and yet gentle, and the film makers have skillfully and thankfully avoided ageist put-downs for a cheap laugh."

"Tom Waits and Denny Glover play equally likeable cameos as his side-kicks in the “Over-the-Hill-Gang” and Casey Affleck plays a peaceful, nonchalant kind of cop who holds his elder target in respect.”

Set in 1979 with perfect attention to retro detail, particularly the low-slung cars and Redford’s dapper moustache, this is an easy-going crime caper with an endearing and amusing love interest on the side.


The aged Robert Redford plays a cavalier, gentleman bank-robber, Forest Tucker, who politely and with some charm threatens his victims with a concealed gun in his pressed three-piece. Tom Waits and Denny Glover play equally likeable cameos as his side-kicks in the “Over-the-Hill-Gang” and Casey Affleck plays a peaceful, nonchalant kind of cop who holds his elder target in respect. He is not pitted as the bad cop. And although we hope Tucker evades the detective, our sympathies lie with him too.


Based on David Grann’s journalistic research for The New Yorker, Forest Tucker was a real-life character and committed his last robbery aged 79. At times portraying Tucker so fondly seems two dimensional and the joke about the old man out-tricking the cops is over-extended.


Mostly Tucker’s capers are funny to witness and the sparkle between him and Jewel are often priceless. The endlessly elegant Sissey Spacek as Jewel, gently bats jokes to and forth between herself and the old school criminal. Spacek and Redford are the perfect match, neither overdoing the roles of a flirtatious elderly couple. Their characters are charismatic and yet gentle, and the film makers have skillfully and thankfully avoided ageist put-downs for a cheap laugh.


Overall, the film is a affable tribute to the skills of Robert Redford and his contribution as one of America’s most renowned actors (there are a few photo references to Redford as a younger actor reminding us just how cinephilic he was) as he bows out of the spot light.

(Reviewed Official Competition London Film Festival October 2018)

CULTURE REVIEWS AND PODCASTS LONDON 2020

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