The Company You Keep

2012

Drama / Thriller

144
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 55%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 45%
IMDb Rating 6.4

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Robert Redford as Jim Grant/Nick Sloan
Brit Marling as Rebecca Osborne
Stanley Tucci as Ray Fuller
Nick Nolte as Donal Fitzgerald
720p 1080p
1.00 GB
1280*528
English
R
23.976 fps
2hr 5 min
P/S 2 / 9
1.90 GB
1920*796
English
R
23.976 fps
2hr 5 min
P/S 1 / 2

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by RolyRoly 7 / 10

Sure he keeps good company, but...

Robert Redford can certainly muster an impressive list of acting talent, but this film is a reminder that there is more to a good film than that.

Like many others at TIFF this year, particularly baby boomers like myself, I was keen to see how Redford would go about dealing with an especially controversial aspect of recent American history. The premise here is compelling: members of the Weather Underground who are accused of murder after what appears to have been a bungled bank robbery have gone to ground, have built lives with varying degrees of success and respectability, only to have it all reopened years later when one of them decides to turn herself in. An earnest young reporter at a small newspaper is given (or seizes) the opportunity to dig into the story and finds out more than he bargained for.

There are several problems, though. For one, the film pulls its main punch, and telegraphs that move so early on that the natural tension is never allowed to build. I know that Redford is an old-fashioned movie star, and the prospect of his having actually been guilty is perhaps just not in the cards, but knowing this in the first few minutes makes the rest of the story rather unsuspenseful. Instead of wondering whether this (frankly rather dull) single father really did what he was accused of, we are left with watching him try to exonerate himself in a cross-country odyssey that is implausible and often tedious.

To be sure, there are some fine performances. The scene between Susan Sarandon and Shia LaBeouf in prison, as she tries, with only limited success, to explain herself to a sceptical and ambitious young journalist from such a different era, is very convincing.

Redford himself, though, does not really command our attention or interest. If you're going to star in your own movie, you should be sure that you really are the best choice for the role. At the age of 76 (and yes, despite being fit and well put together, he really does look his age), Redford is at least ten years older than his role would demand. And he has a 12 year old daughter!

Moreover, he fails to infuse the role with any real passion. Now, raw emotion has never been Redford's strong suit. He is just too cool for that. But here is a role that really calls out for something other than his typical calculated, rational, "nice guy" approach.

As a director, Redford is more successful. For movie buffs, it's fun to watch the train scene, for example, (how many directors have train scenes anymore?) which pays homage to some of the great train scenes from older suspense films like North by Northwest.

With this subject matter, The Company You Keep could have been an edgy and provocative political thriller, with a resonance that makes connections between the student terrorism of the 1970's and the burning economic and social issues of today. The fact is that many of the same underlying problems that led to the formation of the Weathermen - foreign military involvement, economic disparities, reactionary social policies - remain with us. Instead, however, the film never really brings itself to confront these issues except in the most oblique and politically correct fashion. It is an opportunity squandered.

Reviewed by John DeSando (jdesando@columbus.rr.com) 5 / 10

A competent political thriller with a few quiet things to say.

"When we revolt it's not for a particular culture. We revolt simply because, for many reasons, we can no longer breathe." Frantz Fanon

In Robert Redford's The Company You keep, Jim Grant (Redford) is an attorney on the lam for participating in Weather Underground anti-Vietnam activities over 40 years ago. That a bank robbery resulted in the death of a guard has made the revolutionaries fugitives from murder charges.

This political thriller, in which the FBI has finally zeroed in on the robbers because Sharon Solarz (Susan Sarandon) has decided to turn herself in, devolves into a formulaic chase with helicopters and frantic cell calls, but along the way has some engaging dialogue ("Yeah we all died. Some of us just came back." Donal Fitzgerald, played by Nick Nolte) often given in the repartee style of screwball comedy without the comedy.

I am most surprised at director Redford's political restraint, given his inclination to preach baldly in previous films and in his personal life. The Company You Keep smoothly combines the pacing of a race for survival with the consciousness of a moderate liberal trying to show the unglamorous effects of sins, like excessive ambition and murder, over a lifetime. In its favor the film does not overdo its sympathy for the kids of these radicals, although Brit Marling as Rebecca Osborne would make anyone cry over her, so innocent-looking she is.

While the film tends to emphasize the personal effects on lovers and families to the exclusion of the Weatherman history, it still is instructive about the radical movements decades ago. Although the theme of the ramifications of keeping a secret are parsed by Grant in a too-contrived monologue, the point is well taken, for each secret revealed adds another layer of punishment for all, even children.

If Redford weren't so wrapped up in nostalgia and stuck to the hard-core reasons for some very bright people's stupidity, this could have been a soaring achievement of documenting history in dramatic form. As it is, it's a smart thriller that has some lessons, both political and personal, for all the audience.

Reviewed by sean simpson 7 / 10

Solid well made film with reliable actors

Although not one of Redford's best, "The Company You Keep" is still way better than the majority of so called thriller/dramas produced these days in my humble opinion...excellent acting all round, Redford is good as usual (if looking a little too old maybe for this role) and the supporting cast (Cooper, Tucci, Christie and Gleeson in particular) are a credit as well. Whilst there are not a lot of twists and surprises that you can't see coming, it's the way the story is told and unfolds, and it makes you think about your ideals and sacrifices and plotted that really counts. Although I'm a Brit in my 40's and the material is not familiar to myself at all I really enjoyed the ride. Solid, if not spectacular, but definitely worth the time to view.

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