The Old Man & the Gun ★★★½

At the very least a feat of charisma, with the pre-credits scenes of Spacek and Redford representing an absolutely lovely meet-cute. It’s only mildly problematic that it doesn’t develop much from there, preferring to keep things in the mode of a boys’ adventure tale instead of digging deeper to examine what’s underneath. Lowery, for his part, fully commits to this sense of arrested development, not only using late ‘70s film aesthetics (film grain, drifting zooms, a wipe transition, sound/image disconnects, etc…), but also infusing it into every element of the film. The key image here is probably of Affleck’s boyish detective sprawled on the floor with his kids, poring over a map, but the tales of wild exploits, the boys’ club that the robbers form, and that impossibly sweet Spacek/Redford courtship all reinforce that sense of nostalgia. Again, once it becomes obvious that the film has little interesting in digging beyond that the myopic attitude begins to feel like a liability, but for a long while this remains a effortlessly casual pleasure to behold and serves as a fitting send-off for Redford.