Monday, September 16, 2013

Movie Review ... The Company You Keep


The Company You Keep posterThroughout his career, Robert Redford has done it all with his success affording him the luxury of choosing quality projects.  ‘The Company You Keep’ provides a compelling story and a chance for his directing/acting skills to shine.  Using classic-style film-making with a leisurely pace and strong characters, Redford’s talents remind why his infrequent cinematic appearances are always welcome.

Jim Grant (Robert Redford) is a wanted former anti-Vietnam War militant on the run.  Having hid from the FBI for decades, his whereabouts have been exposed by journalist Ben Shepard (Shia LaBeouf).  Wanted for bank robbery and murder, Jim attempts to clear his name.  With his past catching up with him and his future quickly unravelling, he turns to some surprising people in his quest for the truth.

A thriller with only a modicum of genuine thrills, ‘The Company You Keep’ is compelling.  Due to strong performers who add depth to their roles it is easy becoming immersed in the story.  The characters’ plight is engaging replacing a physical battle with an emotional one.  How their older selves reconcile with their youthful actions provides interest as is the continual debate in the decline of genuine convictions.

Although the leaden pace drags down the story’s urgency, it’s easy believing in its often surprising plot developments.  Nothing is ever black and white in Redford’s world with the grey areas something he enjoys exploring.  Echoing films like ‘The French Connection’ and ‘All the President’s Men’, he crafts a movie Hollywood had no qualms of releasing back in the 1970’s.  It’s a wistful reminder of not only the passions people had then but also the creativity commercial films had as well.

Whilst it could have been punchier in terms of rhythm ‘The Company You Keep’ is still a fine movie.  It’s adherence in providing a character-driven piece devoid of technological wonder is as pleasing as seeing Redford back on screen.

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Movie Review Rating out of 10:  7

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

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