Robot & Frank (2012)

PG-13   |    |  Comedy, Crime, Drama


Robot & Frank (2012) Poster

Set in the near future, an ex-jewel thief receives a gift from his son: a robot butler programmed to look after him. But soon the two companions try their luck as a heist team.

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7.1/10
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  • Liv Tyler and James Marsden in Robot & Frank (2012)
  • Frank Langella and Jake Schreier in Robot & Frank (2012)
  • Frank Langella in Robot & Frank (2012)
  • Jeremy Sisto in Robot & Frank (2012)
  • Frank Langella and Jake Schreier at an event for Robot & Frank (2012)
  • Liv Tyler and James Marsden in Robot & Frank (2012)

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6 September 2012 | FilmStallion
9
| Robot and Frank...3.5 out of 4 Skittles
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 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?

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