The Old Man & the Gun

The Old Man & the Gun ★½

This movie is designed to be tasteful and nuanced, with lots of delicate cinematography, succinctly scripted character interactions and plenty of tinkly piano music. But mostly it seems oblivious to its own conceits, especially with regard to race.

The idea of an inveterate bank robber coming off as appealingly polite and charming is a courtesy no one working in a bank—and no mainstream audiences—would ever allow to anyone not white and male. Director David Lowery also seems to pat himself on the back for applying a colorblind approach to his cast, but if you've got a movie with both John David Washington and Tika Sumpter, two of the most magnetic Black screen presences working today, and they never get to share a single scene, that's creative malpractice. This is especially true when so much on screen time is devoted to Casey Affleck, one of the least genuine actors of the last two decades, as he virtually sleepwalks his way through this overly earnest script.

Lowery obviously intended “The Old Man & The Gun” to work as a career-capping showcase for Robert Redford, whose good looks and magnetism remain undiminished. But it's actually quite depressing to see the iconic actor end his career with postcard-level fluff like this and his “Captain America: Winter Soldier” appearance, both of which are equally beneath his talents. I wish he’d stopped with the incredible “All Is Lost.”

Block or Report