DVD Review: The Old Man & the Gun

STUDIO: Fox | DIRECTOR: David Lowery | CAST: Robert Redford, Sissy Spacek, Casey Affleck, Danny Glover, Tom Waits
RELEASE DATE: Jan. 15, 2019 | PRICE: DVD $14.96, Blu-ray $19.96
SPECS: PG-13 | 93 min. | Crime drama comedy | 2.39:1 widescreen | stereo

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

A fitting capper to a great career, Robert Redford’s (supposedly) last acting effort is a low-key gem that honors the man and his formidable acting career. Like the 82 year-old actor’s performance, the true crime story The Old Man & the Gun is unassuming and winning, delivering simple pleasures in a subtle and gratifying manner.

Directed by David Lowery, who worked with Redford on Pete’s Dragon, the film features “the Sundance Kid” as Forrest Tucker—no, not that Forrest Tucker– a bandit in his late 60s who robs banks in Texas during the 1980s with a gentlemanly politeness and quiet seductiveness that’s never been seen before. Indeed, the ladies behind the counter smile as he snags the cash.

While Tucker is doggedly pursued by a detective (Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea), Tucker gets romantically involved with a horse trainer (Sissy Spacek, The Help) and has his cronies – over-the-hill gang members Danny Glover (Sorry to Bother You)  and Tom Waits (Seven Psychopaths) — to socialize with. And if he’s caught and sent to jail, no problem it seems: Tucker has shown himself to be pretty good at breaking out of prison over the years.

While there is a weapon in its title, The Old Man & the Gun doesn’t make time for violence, preferring instead to bask in the surroundings and finely etched characters and the chemistry between them. Blue eyed, still strikingly handsome and now classically weathered with age, Redford brings a homespun likability to his performance without sacrificing his iconic stature. There is a genuine spark in the scenes with the always-natural Spacek, another performer who also carries pleasing memories of her notable (but often overlooked) career onto the screen.

The Old Man & the Gun found a decent niche audience in theaters, taking in $11 million peaking in 800 screens after a solid critical reception that yielded a 92% positive Rotten Tomatoes rating. But it’s likely to mosey into even more success at home with an older target audience that has relished the likes of Redford’s Roy Hobbs, Bob Woodward, Jeremiah Johnson, Johnny Hooker and Sundance Kid over the years.

Buy or Rent The Old Man & the Gun

About Irv

Irv Slifkin has been reviewing movies since before he got kicked off of his high school radio station for panning The Towering Inferno in 1974. He has written the books VideoHound’s Groovy Movies: Far-Out Films of the Psychedelic Era and Filmadelphia: A Celebration of a City’s Movies, and has contributed film reportage and reviews to such outlets as Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Video Business magazine and National Public Radio.