Robot and Frank (2012) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: In the near future, Frank is a retired catburglar living alone while his successful son, Hunter, tries to care for him from afar. Finally, Hunter gets him a robot caretaker, but Frank soon learns that it is as useful as a burglary aide. As Frank tries to restart his old profession, the uncomfortable realities of a changing world and his worsening dementia threaten to take beyond what any reboot can do for him. Runtime: 89 mins Release Date: 18 Sep 2012
Robot and Frank - This, the debut feature lots of creative debuts in this post from director Jake Schreier is sure to land the young film maker a slot on The Froggy's or Best of 2012 series...coming soon list of first time directors this year. Quite "Frank"ly I loved this picture and it was one of the happiest surprises I've gotten from a movie in quite some time.I don't know why I didn't expect more going in, honestly. Frank Langella is always stellar. Susan Sarandan is one of the best actresses working and seems to be in a minor career upswing at the moment. <more>
Neither disappoint at all. Liv Tyler turns in her best post-Altman work to date, and James Marsden holds his own capably beside the two living legends who lead the cast. Oh, and let's not forget Peter Sarsgaard's voice work as the Robot. Without his ability to portray the character with so much human and inhuman quality the picture would never have worked. I guess I just expected a flick about the frustrations of getting old and not being able to do things for yourself. I sympathize with the theme, but it has been covered in cinema often enough and well enough that I require some unique and original elements to really grab my attention. The Robot & Frank script by writer Christopher D. Ford has them in spades. It was a film about friendship and acceptance. It was also a film about the way that technology is changing the world that we live in. I would have given this a five star grade if not for the fact that the big plot twist is taken almost verbatim from an even SMALLER indie pic called Lovely, Still from a couple of years ago. Robot & Frank handled said twist with a lot more panache, so I won't judge it TOO harshly. Oh, and watch the closing credits. They tell a story all their own...4 1/2 of 5 stars.
A tender, sweet parable on the future of caregiving for the elderly (by gradyharp)
Look up the background of writer Christopher D. Ford and director Jake Schreier and be surprised that in many ways this beautifully sculpted little film is a first serious outing. The story is so well crafted, the direction so beautifully underplayed that this becomes an instant cinematic masterwork - albeit of the quiet, soulful, ruminative nature. The fact that it just happens to be populated with a brilliant cast who care more about being immersed in their characters than in the spotlight adds to the fact that this is a film everyone should experience.The place is upstate New York, the <more>
time is in the near future. Frank Frank Langella, utterly luminous in this role is a retired, independent but brain aging read encroaching dementia thief/catburglar living alone in a cluttered little house while his successful son, Hunter James Marsden , tries to care for him from afar it is a 10 hour journey for Hunter to look in on his father every week . Hunter finally gets Frank a robot caretaker - an interference Frank loathes. Frank also has world traveling and anti-robot daughter Madison Liv Tyler who moves in when she discovers that a robot is running her father's life. Frank's only area of peace is the little public library run by a compassionate librarian Jennifer Sarah Sarandon who understands Frank's growing senility and his robot caretaker as she is facing the closure of her 'book haven' by the new Internet advanced cold company headed by Jake Jeremy Strong . Frank may not be able to communicate well with his blood family, but he grows into a relationship with his robot voiced to perfection by Peter Sarsgaard and soon confides his past as a jewel thief who only stole to get back at crooked insurance companies. Frank soon learns that his robot comrade is useful as a burglary aide. As Frank tries to restart his old profession, the uncomfortable realities of a changing world and his worsening dementia threaten to take beyond what any reboot can do for him. The plot is gently complex and how the film plays out is the beauty of seeing the film firsthand. Suffice it to say this is a film about the variations of family and how plausibly aging and caregiving may be changed in the next few years, with the influx of technology and the possibilities for in-home care with robots.The cast is strong including a minor role by Jeremy Sisto , but the performances by Frank Langella and Susan Sarandon are especially rare and transcendent. This little unknown film is the kind of parable that allows us to see life as it is and could be in an intelligent and thoughtful way. Grady Harp, February 13
A feel good sci-fi with a little tear jerking (by dghockeyfreak21)
I loved everything about this film, I often don't get to catch many sci-fi feel good movies. It had it's humor at the right pace, Nothing felt awkward to watch and this was possibly the best way to interpret robot dialogue. Most movies like Robocop or Warriors of the lost world have either a very annoying monotone or high pitched setup for the automated voices of their computerized characters. The somewhat "villian" of the film, completely annoying. Although i think that works for the film to want to punch this guy in the face.It was fun to watch, The suspense kept me in, <more>
Robot and Frank...3.5 out of 4 Skittles (by FilmStallion)
Robot & Frank opens nationally this week only at a limited number of select art-house theaters across the country, and most likely won't get the larger release it deserves which frankly is too bad. The film uniquely crosses across so many genre borders and can best be described as a dramedy meets a heist thriller. Robot & Frank is incredibly charming, funny and moving.Writer Christopher D. Ford pens his rare tale set sometime in the ambiguous near future. He doesn't worry about flying cars or futuristic fashion, and keeps this tale grounded in a plausible future that is <more>
easily believable. First time director Jake Schreier reveals a mature ability to find the perfect pacing that develops the characters with ease and exact timing that turns the comedy bits into gold.Frank Langella Frost/Nixon, Good Night, and Good Luck is nothing short of exceptional as the title character of Frank. He is hilarious and poignant as the surly ex-con who is starting to lose his mind, and radiates a million emotions across his face without saying a word. If this film could possibly find a larger audience, Langella would have a good shot at punching his Oscar card again.The smaller supporting cast plays in perfect to establish Frank's present and his past. Susan Sarandon Thelma & Louise, Dead Man Walking radiates a beautiful sadness playing a lonely librarian and one of Frank's only connections to the real world. Liv Tyler Lord of the Rings, Armageddon and James Marsden X-Men, 27 Dresses are solid as Frank's grown-up kids who don't have the time to care for their father and his worsening condition. Best of all is Peter Sarsgaard Jarhead, Garden State who brings a perfect sense of comedy and real life validation as the voice of the robot. His dry wit steals the scene on numerous occasions.Robot & Frank is one of the best films of the year. It's a mystery why bigger studio distributors are so afraid to fully get behind a film like this and push it out the mass audience, especially when you think about the $80 million that was spent on advertising costs for a film like Battleship alone. Robot & Frank is funny, exciting and touching. What else does a movie need?For more quick reviews check out www.FilmStallion.com
It's hard to fault this movie. Literally. I was going to rate it as an 8, but I have to give it a 9 because I can't think of anything about it to criticise.The plot is rather simple. Frank is a confused older man who is finding it difficult to take care of himself. He is given a robot medical assistant who is programmed to do only one thing: help Frank. Frank resists mightily at first, but soon Frank improves remarkably and takes up his earlier vocation: stealing jewels. It turns out that the robot's programming does not extend to obeying the law...This film is interesting, <more>
surprising, heart-warming, intelligent, thought-provoking, amusing, understated, well written and well directed. It delivers first-rate performances by first-rate actors.It defies categorisation. Is it science fiction? A heist movie? A family drama? A melancholic feel-good story about aging? It has no shootouts, no car chases, no superspies, no superheros, no martial arts scenes, no demented villains. What it does have is character development, good writing and a nice story.Kudos to Schreier, Ford, Langella and Sarandon.
I didn't expect much. Frank Langella is a great old actor, but I don't really like him much. Same for Susan Sarandon. Then it is an indie film, something that just a few people would see in a limited release. So I hoped for something slightly funny, maybe with crazy people that try to seem deep, that kind of stuff. Well, I was mistaken on all counts!Frank Langella played beautifully his role of an amnesic old man helped by a caretaker robot to plan and execute heists. His son and daughter have minimal roles, as well as most other actors. Susan Sarandon's important role is revealed <more>
towards the end. All actors play very well, though the gem of this movie is the story and the little details in the script. Finally I can say that I saw a movie with a fantastic script and am naturally puzzled how this kind of film gets a limited release.Bottom line: a comedic drama which explores the depth of soul, while taking us through a story that is both original and very well written and executed. The Keystone cops type of thing at the end blew it a little for me, but the rest is top notch and the film is definitely worth the watch.
It seems like once a year or so an Alzheimer's movie comes along and knocks me for a loop. I don't know what it is; I've never had any personal, real-life experience with the condition or its unfortunate sufferers, but there's ripe material for crafting warm and moving stories which invariably end with me in tears. In the last few years I have been devastated by films such as Away From Her and Barney's Version, and while Robot and Frank is certainly comparable, it's a lighter, less harrowing take on a tragic side of aging, and ultimately results in a much more <more>
enjoyable experience.Frank Langella plays Frank, a divorced senior living a life of solitude in rural New York. Between visits and video calls from his children James Marsden and Liv Tyler concerned about his seemingly deteriorating mental state, Frank fills his time with visits to the local library to flirt with librarian Jennifer Susan Sarandon , and by shoplifting decorative soaps from the store occupying the former site of his favourite restaurant. He is a man of the past, and his little moments of defiance in the face of change establish his character early, so when Hunter Marsden arrives with a new robot caregiver, Frank is understandably offended.As much as Frank's memory regarding the day to day seems to be fading, his former 'profession' as a cat burglar remains at the front of his mind, and the robot's insistence on finding a project to keep him mentally engaged opens a window of opportunity for Frank to focus his mind and retreat back to the glory days of his youth. The planning and execution of heists sees a charming relationship forming between Frank and his robot companion, complemented by a sweet potential romance and stark moments of sadness.There's a clever subtext running through Robot and Frank as well, commenting on the loss of personality in the digital age, and the disposable nature of modern life. The more we come to rely on technology for everything, from our reading material to our aged care, the less we ourselves are practically capable of, giving rise to a generation of privileged, ironic, but purposeless people 'yuppies' as Frank calls them . What Robot and Frank highlights is not just the fragility, but also the value of a mind filled with life experience and skills. There's no substitute for the complex intelligence of our brains, and even the most sophisticated technology has more to learn from us.Robot and Frank feels like a film aimed at an older generation, but there is so much to enjoy for anyone who might be occasionally frustrated by our cynical modern world. There's a great balance of laughs, romance and sadness with a fun sci-fi twist, right down to the subtle Star Wars reference.tinribs27.wordpress.com
Enjoyable and unique...but it might leave you a tad unfulfilled. (by MartinHafer)
I enjoyed "Robot & Frank", though I am not quite sure why I've seen it referred to as a comedy or a 'buddy comedy'. It's actually a rather serious and ultimately depressing film--but one that is highly original.Frank Langella stars as an aging man who is slipping mentally and physically. Exasperated, his son decides to do something to free him from having to worry about his father--buy him a helper robot that will keep an eye on him and care for him. However, Langella's memory is spotty--and the very larcenous part of his past is still alive and kicking. And, <more>
he's hoping that the robot might help him on his next caper.The film is a bit hard to rate. I was stuck between a 7 and an 8. It is super-original and fresh but also a bit of a downer--particularly towards the end. It's nice to see some very good acting but I wish the film was a bit more fulfilling. What did you think? Did you also find it a tad unsatisfying when all was said and done. Good--very good. But also not exactly an enjoyable film.
Robot and Frank is a sweet and tender drama, set in what it proclaims to be "the near future," about a retired cat-burglar, responsible for several crimes that were said to rob the insurance criminals and the robot that is placed in his life as a caregiver when he becomes no longer able-bodied enough to do so. The man is Frank Frank Langella , an ex-convict beginning to experience dementia/Alzheimer's like symptoms. His son, Hunter James Marsden , is tired of commuting ten hours round-trip on a weekly basis to care for his father, so to assure his safety and health, he buys <more>
him a slick domestic robot voiced by Peter Sarsgaard , which is programmed to help the elderly in their daily activities. The bot also promotes a rather therapeutic lifestyle, emphasizing healthy eating habits and cognitive exercises to restore and maintain brain activity. I can only hope these things become available publicly in the near future.As expected, Frank is hesitant to use the robot, finding it useless since he sees himself as capable to take care of himself. Yet when he realizes that the robot doesn't have the conscious ability to distinguish ethical behavior from illegal behavior, Frank believes he can get back into the petty-crime business and use the robot as a lock-picking device. Their first crime involves stealing a rare antique book from the local library, which is looking to overhaul its print media format in favor of the digital age. The librarian, Jennifer Susan Sarandon , who Frank begins to develop a small little crush on, is dismayed, but coping with the loss of print books in the world, so Frank believes that his effort to save one of the rarest books of all time will make her a bit happier.A subplot involves Frank's daughter Madison Liv Tyler , who works on-location in Turkmenistan, coming to visit him shortly after Hunter gives him the robot, to show that human-care is the best care of all and that robots can not provide a human with the same kind of love a human can. She possesses something of the opinion Frank held before this robot came into his life, and we wonder if she will come out changed like him.The "near future" presented is the kind of near future that we ourselves can kind of predict, rather than it being a Jetsons-esque utopia. All cars have a "Smart Car" built towards them if the "Smart Car" was compressed and made leaner they look like a twenty-five mile-an-hour wind can blow them over , digital media is taking over in places like libraries, phone calls are made through the TV in a Skype-like format, and the aforementioned domestic robot has become something of a standard. This is the second most favorable aspect to this film, next to the relationship Frank has with his robot. The world the film erects is pragmatic and easily-likable. It doesn't require the suspension of disbelief. It might have if this was made in the 1990's. Libraries going away? Yeah, right.The film sweetly gives us a parable on how aging and caregiving may be changed in the next few years, with the influx of technology and the possibilities for in-home care with robots. As foreign as this sounds, it isn't far from likely. American citizens, especially the elderly, have had a terrifically tough time adapting to a world that is changing faster than many can keep up, and this film details that. We see Frank is more in-tuned with technology than many others his age, but he may be one of the lucky ones. If there's anything to take away from Robot and Frank, it's that there will be a frightening increase of new and a depressing decrease of old. Life as we know it may not be as simple as it once was - one of the downsides to technological advances.Many of the film's ideas and actions, such as humanizing a burglar, constructing a believable world where robots have become dependable caregivers, and injecting a very small love story, all work with the gentle direction of Jake Schreier and the thoughtful, sympathetic writing by Christopher D. Ford. This is a premise that shouldn't work as well as it does, but there are many smart people in front of and behind the camera, assuring greatness with every shot. As it ended, I kind of wanted to see it again, which is a high compliment to pay to a movie.Starring: Frank Langella, James Marsden, Liv Tyler, Susan Sarandon, and Peter Sarsgaard. Directed by: Jake Schreier.