FIND MOVIES
Movie List
Loading ...
or
Find Theaters and Movie Times
or
Search Movies

Review: Robot & Frank

A gentle, incisive comedy
By BETSY SHERMAN  |  August 21, 2012
3.0 3.0 Stars

Frank Langella adds to his string of understated, riveting performances in this gentle, incisive comedy. In rural upstate New York, in a near future in which robot labor is commonplace, cranky Frank (Langella) is vexed when his son buys him a robot programmed to monitor his health and coax him into better habits. An injustice at the local library — a subtheme is the demise of libraries — spurs Frank to enlist his new companion in the theft of an antique Don Quixote. Director Jake Schreier has fun with the pair's series of heists, but also folds in darker notes such as Frank's regrets about having been in prison for robbery when his kids were growing up. Peter Sarsgaard's subtle voice performance gives the faceless humanoid a combination of wisdom and innocence that makes believable Frank's eventual paternal feelings for Robot. There's a twist toward the end that I didn't buy, but even so, Robot & Frank is the best old-man buddy movie I've seen since Up.

  Topics: Reviews , Movies, Frank Langella, James Marsden,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY BETSY SHERMAN
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   REVIEW: IDENTITY THIEF  |  February 20, 2013
    Seth Gordon directs this funny, though formulaic, mismatched-duo comedy in which Jason Bateman's straight-laced family man must nab Melissa McCarthy, the identity thief who has ruined his credit, and haul her from Florida to Denver for prosecution.
  •   REVIEW: OSCAR NOMINATED SHORTS: DOCUMENTARY  |  January 30, 2013
    For this year's program of Oscar-nominated documentary shorts, it's best to bring tissues. Things can get emotional.
  •   REVIEW: THE OSCAR NOMINATED SHORT FILMS: LIVE ACTION AND ANIMATED  |  January 30, 2013
    Highlights of the live-action shorts include the beautifully direct performances by Somali refugees in "Asad," a contemporary story (with folkloric undertones) of a boy who wants to be a pirate; the del Toro–esque fantasy setting of "Death of a Shadow"; the blend of dark comedy and gritty drama in the New York story of a little girl and her black-sheep uncle, "Curfew"; and the warmth of memory giving way to cold reality for an elderly man in "Henry."
  •   REVIEW: A LIAR'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY  |  January 25, 2013
    The discovery of tapes of Graham Chapman reading from his 1980 A Liar’s Autobiography has made it possible for the expired Monty Python member to star, posthumously, in his own biopic.
  •   REVIEW: PARENTAL GUIDANCE  |  January 02, 2013
    Billy Crystal and Bette Midler star in what could have been a decent comedy, if director Andy Fickman hadn't made it such a tearjerker.

 See all articles by: BETSY SHERMAN