Sundance 2012 Review: ROBOT AND FRANK - Cute and Touching Sci-Fi Heist Film

ReviewMovie Sundance by Joey Paur

Robot and Frank was an unexpectedly fun and charming sci-fi heist movie starring Frank Langella, Susan Sarandon, James Marsden, Liv Tyler, and Peter Saarsgard. The story takes place in the near future, and follows a character named Frank who is old, lives alone, and can't remember a lot of things. His son gets tired of coming up all of the time to check on his dad and taking care of him. So instead of putting him in a old people home, he buys him a robot to take care of him. Frank doesn't like the idea of being taken care of a robot at first, but it eventually grows on him, and the two form a bond. Frank teams up with the robot to start reliving his old days as a burglar, and starts pulling off heists in the town he lives in, which sparks a fire within Frank, as well as an investigation. 

The film was wonderfully directed by Jake Schreier from a solid script written by Christopher Ford. The movie had a good mix of humor and drama, and it was very entertaining watching Frank and this robot form a friendship and pull off these robberies together. It's such an odd concept, but it works great. There were also a couple interesting and dramatic twists added to the story that I appreciated. 

Frank Langella was awesome in this movie. He's such a great actor, and this was a fantastic role for him to take on. James Marsden was solidly good in his role. Liv Tyler played Franks daughter in the film, who is against this robot revolution. Susan Sarandon plays a librarian in the film at a library where Frank spends most of his time, and Peter Saarsgard lends his voice to the robot.  

Robot and Frank was a very cute and touching film, one I would recommend watching when the opportunity presents itself.

Here's the Synopsis:

Set sometime in the future, Robot & Frank is a delightful dramatic comedy, a buddy picture, and, for good measure, a heist film. Curmudgeonly old Frank lives by himself. His routine involves daily visits to his local library, where he has a twinkle in his eye for the librarian. His grown children are concerned about their father’s well-being and buy him a caretaker robot. Initially resistant to the idea, Frank soon appreciates the benefits of robotic support—like nutritious meals and a clean house—and eventually begins to treat his robot like a true companion. With his robot’s assistance, Frank’s passion for his old, unlawful profession is reignited, for better or worse. 

Frank Langella makes acting—and acting with a robot, no less—look effortless, and his relationship with the machine is filled with poignant exchanges and amusing adventures. First-time director Jake Schreier creates a lush world with futuristic flourishes and tells a beautiful story about family and the implications of humankind’s ever-changing relationship with technology.

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