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Sissy Spacek as Jewel and Robert Redford as Forrest Tucker in The Old Man & the Gun.

Photo by Eric Zachanowich/Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

  • The Old Man & the Gun
  • Written and directed by: David Lowery
  • Starring: Robert Redford, Casey Affleck, Sissy Spacek, Danny Glover, Tom Waits
  • Classification: 14A
  • 93 minutes

rating

In the charming, elegiac heist film The Old Man & the Gun, Casey Affleck’s detective makes a gesture to Robert Redford’s titular bank robber, a knowing reference to The Sting. The gesture is salutatory, from one actor to another, this being Redford’s final film (so he says). He plays Forrest Tucker, a true-life gentleman crook and prison escapist who has used a smile to steal money the way Redford has used it to make off with our affections. Sissy Spacek plays opposite him: The two veterans share graceful scenes and a gently used luminosity. The pace is leisurely; this is no amped-up police procedural. I love what savvy director David Lowery does with the camera, panning here and there, picking up stray sights and happenings. Top-rate stuff. Background police-radio sounds provide some grit, as does the seventies-style photography and Tom Waits’s face. A stopwatch clicks away meaningfully, but folksy old-aged existentialism isn’t overdone. As for Redford’s genial robber, witnesses to his crimes uniformly said the same thing: “He seemed happy.” That he did.

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