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Review: Redford’s charisma carries ‘The Old Man & the Gun’

A charming and charismatic performance by Robert Redford elevates “The Old Man & the Gun” from a typical heist film to one worth watching over and over again. (Photo courtesy of IMDb)

Much like its star, Robert Redford, “The Old Man & the Gun” is charming and fun. It’s a perfectly enjoyable film – nothing more, nothing less.

Based on a true story, Redford plays Forrest Tucker, a charismatic 70-something bank robber who’s escaped prison 18 times, just because it makes him feel alive. This time around, Tucker falls in love with Jewel (Sissy Spacek), a widowed ranch owner, all while on the run from Detective John Hunt (Casey Affleck).

Redford and Spacek have convincing chemistry as he attempts to woo her, despite his criminal past, and present. Spacek adds an intriguing, hesitant contrast to Redford’s confident and eager character, which provides for a nice dynamic between the two.

Unlike Redford and his critical casting, Affleck delivers a rather forgettable performance as the burnt out cop chasing down the crook. It’s clear being a seasoned, worn out officer is in Affleck’s character description, but beyond that, he comes off as bored and dull.

In a refreshing change of pace from a typical heist film, director David Lowery takes a laid-back and whimsical approach, which makes this an amusing, low stakes film.

Much like Forrest Tucker robbing a bank, audiences will enjoy “The Old Man & the Gun” with a smile on their face, but without Redford and his moxie, it’s nothing more than a heist film – but because of legend at the helm, it works perfectly as a lovely farewell.


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Zach Goins View All

Zach Goins is a member of the North Carolina Film Critics Association based in Raleigh, N.C. Zach co-founded Inside The Film Room in 2018 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of the website and co-host of the podcast. Zach also serves as a film critic for

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