The Old Man & the Gun ★★★★

"Ten-year-old you may have hopes and dreams, but he doesn't understand time like you."

It is truly a marvel how director David Lowery (Pete's Dragon, A Ghost Story) makes films that are both so straightforward and simple yet feel immensely significant.

The story of Forrest Tucker is one that could have squarely been told in the genre of your traditional heist films, but Lowery approaches the tone of the film the same way his protagonist would approach his stick-ups. Lowery emphasizes this tone further by employing filmmaking techniques of the time period to reinforce the feeling of being in that era (the film spans the length of 1981). Furthermore even, is Daniel Hart's easy-listening score comprised of soft jazz and classy riffs that, while sometimes deceiving, is never used simply as filler.

The film is constructed from the get-go in such a way that we understand Robert Redford's incarnation of Tucker is the best, most appealing "bad guy" we've ever encountered and if you think you're going to change your mind as the film goes on and reveals more of the character's notorious past Redford is here to make sure you won't. And you don't. From the uber-stylized transitions Lowery uses to capture the infinite amount of charm Redford as Tucker possesses to something as simple as the font in the title cards everything about The Old Man & the Gun is inviting, involving, and all-encompassing. Even when Lowery's films are about death, or dragons, or bank robbers they still feel like the warmest, most honest, and re-assuring of hugs.

Finally, Lowery once again helps us contemplate the fleeting and indefinable quality of time as he delivers a movie that could have been made decades ago with stars who we feel we know personally after having watched them over so much time presented as the look today. That may sound convoluted and as if it doesn't make sense, but it will register as you let the credits of this excessively charming picture wash over you.

Philip liked this review