Reviews

  • Aug 19, 2021

    What a lovely film. It's hard to describe it in more simple terms, and the set up is not a complicated one. Set in the near future, Frank, an ageing jewel thief, lives on his own and suffers from increasingly severe dementia. His son buys him a live-in robot, to help him with day to day life and to at least postpone the inevitable move to a retirement home, something that Frank is desperate to avoid. Initially very reluctant to accept the help of the android, as you might expect, Frank soon grows very fond of his robot companion when he realises the robot can help him restart his old career as a cat burglar. Frank Langella, always excellent, is superb as Frank and is wonderfully supported by Susan Surandon in a beautifully nuanced performance. There are subtle undertones in the film that deal with technology as well as some emotional connotations that are left mostly for the audience to pick up on themselves, as Robot & Frank chooses to focus itself on the lighter material. This decision could have been one that sold the film short, but it's written so well, it turns out to be terrifically judged. Robot & Frank is laugh out loud funny, and it is only those with hearts of stone that would fail to have a smile on their face by the end of this. Best to avoid those people in general though.

    What a lovely film. It's hard to describe it in more simple terms, and the set up is not a complicated one. Set in the near future, Frank, an ageing jewel thief, lives on his own and suffers from increasingly severe dementia. His son buys him a live-in robot, to help him with day to day life and to at least postpone the inevitable move to a retirement home, something that Frank is desperate to avoid. Initially very reluctant to accept the help of the android, as you might expect, Frank soon grows very fond of his robot companion when he realises the robot can help him restart his old career as a cat burglar. Frank Langella, always excellent, is superb as Frank and is wonderfully supported by Susan Surandon in a beautifully nuanced performance. There are subtle undertones in the film that deal with technology as well as some emotional connotations that are left mostly for the audience to pick up on themselves, as Robot & Frank chooses to focus itself on the lighter material. This decision could have been one that sold the film short, but it's written so well, it turns out to be terrifically judged. Robot & Frank is laugh out loud funny, and it is only those with hearts of stone that would fail to have a smile on their face by the end of this. Best to avoid those people in general though.

  • Aug 06, 2021

    As a big fan of Frank Langella, an actor who doesn't get nearly the respect he deserves, and having seen several film clips a year or so ago, I was very much looking forward to seeing Robot & Frank. It's true that the movie doesn't do as much as it could with the premise. The film is too shot to offer much in the way of retrospection, and it does frequently veer towards sentimentality as things go on. But it works fantastically well as a simple tale of a man in a battle with his own memory, and reluctantly accepting the help he needs. The antagonistic back and forth between Frank and his robotic companion get the films biggest laughs, and Peter Sarsgaard's earnest voice work does make the robot feel very human. It might have been better served as a short TV show, where we could have seen the pair do more together, and concurrently witness Frank's deteriorating condition. But for an hour and 25 minutes, the film very much delivers.

    As a big fan of Frank Langella, an actor who doesn't get nearly the respect he deserves, and having seen several film clips a year or so ago, I was very much looking forward to seeing Robot & Frank. It's true that the movie doesn't do as much as it could with the premise. The film is too shot to offer much in the way of retrospection, and it does frequently veer towards sentimentality as things go on. But it works fantastically well as a simple tale of a man in a battle with his own memory, and reluctantly accepting the help he needs. The antagonistic back and forth between Frank and his robotic companion get the films biggest laughs, and Peter Sarsgaard's earnest voice work does make the robot feel very human. It might have been better served as a short TV show, where we could have seen the pair do more together, and concurrently witness Frank's deteriorating condition. But for an hour and 25 minutes, the film very much delivers.

  • Jun 11, 2021

    Small, charming indie about an aging cat burglar who uses his new "helper robot" to pull off a few more heists. Frank Langella is very good in the lead. The robot (voiced by Peter Sarsgaard) is a precursor for Baymax in Big Hero 6.

    Small, charming indie about an aging cat burglar who uses his new "helper robot" to pull off a few more heists. Frank Langella is very good in the lead. The robot (voiced by Peter Sarsgaard) is a precursor for Baymax in Big Hero 6.

  • Feb 13, 2021

    A relatively little known gem. For the first few minutes, it may not appear promising, but stick with it.

    A relatively little known gem. For the first few minutes, it may not appear promising, but stick with it.

  • Jan 27, 2021

    It's wonderful to see Frank Langella in a lead role at age 75. He looks good and his considerable acting chops have matured like fine wine. Here, his performance is low key but greatly nuanced. The story takes pace in the "near future," as we are told in the beginning. Everything looks pretty much the same as today, but smart phones are now transparent and smart TV's take care of video calls. Langella plays the aptly named Fran, a curmudgeonly former jewelry thief, now retired in a small northeastern town. He's showing signs of early dementia, which concerns his son Hunter (James Marsden), who buys him a robot (Peter Sarsgaard) which is programmed to cook, clean, and look after Frank's health. He cooks Frank brown rice and veggies, when Frank wants a cheeseburger. It leads to some hilarious conflicts. At one point, Frank says, "What am I doing talking to an appliance?" The robot, who remains nameless) has some funny lines, too. But the robot comes in handy when Frank teaches him to pick locks. His plan is to burglarize the opulent house of his neighbors, a yuppie couple who is involved in "modernizing" the town library, replacing all the books with digital content and replacing Jennifer the librarian (Susan Sarandon) with a robot. Frank loves old books, and he has a crush on Jennifer. He and the robot make off with a couple million in jewelry. The local cops, knowing about Frank's past, start watching him, and the plot thickens. It's all very amusing, maybe a bit lightweight, but Langella keeps your eyes glued to the screen. The straightforward story is not just comedic, but also suspenseful and dramatic. There's also a surprising twist toward the end involving Sarandon. And if you thought you'd never feel emotional about a robot, you may be surprised in one particular scene. The story lapses into sentimentality about aging and dementia at the end, but that was fine with me. I thought it ended on a perfect note. And a small mystery is also solved. This is a clever, engaging film with no spectacular special effects. Just good cinema with a great, great star. I was sorry when it was over.

    It's wonderful to see Frank Langella in a lead role at age 75. He looks good and his considerable acting chops have matured like fine wine. Here, his performance is low key but greatly nuanced. The story takes pace in the "near future," as we are told in the beginning. Everything looks pretty much the same as today, but smart phones are now transparent and smart TV's take care of video calls. Langella plays the aptly named Fran, a curmudgeonly former jewelry thief, now retired in a small northeastern town. He's showing signs of early dementia, which concerns his son Hunter (James Marsden), who buys him a robot (Peter Sarsgaard) which is programmed to cook, clean, and look after Frank's health. He cooks Frank brown rice and veggies, when Frank wants a cheeseburger. It leads to some hilarious conflicts. At one point, Frank says, "What am I doing talking to an appliance?" The robot, who remains nameless) has some funny lines, too. But the robot comes in handy when Frank teaches him to pick locks. His plan is to burglarize the opulent house of his neighbors, a yuppie couple who is involved in "modernizing" the town library, replacing all the books with digital content and replacing Jennifer the librarian (Susan Sarandon) with a robot. Frank loves old books, and he has a crush on Jennifer. He and the robot make off with a couple million in jewelry. The local cops, knowing about Frank's past, start watching him, and the plot thickens. It's all very amusing, maybe a bit lightweight, but Langella keeps your eyes glued to the screen. The straightforward story is not just comedic, but also suspenseful and dramatic. There's also a surprising twist toward the end involving Sarandon. And if you thought you'd never feel emotional about a robot, you may be surprised in one particular scene. The story lapses into sentimentality about aging and dementia at the end, but that was fine with me. I thought it ended on a perfect note. And a small mystery is also solved. This is a clever, engaging film with no spectacular special effects. Just good cinema with a great, great star. I was sorry when it was over.

  • Oct 06, 2020

    This is maybe my all-time favorite movie, and one I almost didn't see. It's a comedy, it's sad, it's a heist movie, but not an action movie. Just absolutely lovely.

    This is maybe my all-time favorite movie, and one I almost didn't see. It's a comedy, it's sad, it's a heist movie, but not an action movie. Just absolutely lovely.

  • Oct 04, 2020

    Robot & Frank is fantastic. Funny, tender, and genuine.

    Robot & Frank is fantastic. Funny, tender, and genuine.

  • Jun 08, 2020

    Good film. Well acted and humorous, a look at aging, friendships, and the endurance of family. Enjoyably entertaining

    Good film. Well acted and humorous, a look at aging, friendships, and the endurance of family. Enjoyably entertaining

  • May 31, 2020

    Its a nice, endearing film, but nothing more.

    Its a nice, endearing film, but nothing more.

  • Apr 20, 2020

    Smart and entertaining. Real fun with a lightness that gives this indie its appeal. The kind of film i'd recommend and wouldn't mined seeing again with a friend or two.

    Smart and entertaining. Real fun with a lightness that gives this indie its appeal. The kind of film i'd recommend and wouldn't mined seeing again with a friend or two.