Film Review – The Company You Keep (2012)

The Company You Keep - post

Title – The Company You Keep (2012)

Director – Robert Redford (The Horse Whisperer)

Cast – Robert Redford, Shia LeBeouf, Julie Christie, Nick Nolte, Terrence Howard, Susan Sarandon, Chris Cooper, Richard Jenkins, Brit Marling, Stanley Tucci, Anna Kendrick, Brendan Gleeson, Sam Elliot

Plot – An aged former Weather Underground activist turned lawyer Nick Sloan (Redford) must give up his life and go on the run after reporter Ben Shepard (LeBeouf) outs him in the local newspaper setting in chain a wide ranging domino effect for all those involved.

“Secrets are a dangerous thing”

Review by Eddie on 16/06/2014

Sometimes there is just no beating around the bush and in saying that The Company You Keep is a very bad film, a film that is quite clearly a vanity project for the ever aging Robert Redford and a film that obviously was thinking it was onto something very good indeed and that awards and critical plaudits were there for the taking. Sometimes there is just no beating around the bush, they were all very wrong.

A thriller that is never in the slightest thrilling and an investigation procedural that is never investigating anything that really seems that appealing The Company You Keep is therefore left as a bare bones drama that is looking to say something meaningful about far too many different things that it ends up not saying anything of note for a single worthy cause. Many of the films problems stem from screenwriter Lem Dobbs script but blame for the films complete blandness must fall onto the sunburnt shoulders of screen legend Redford who should of known a thing or too about a good thriller having himself starred in many a good example of the genre. Redford’s direction is so heartless that it’s hard to know why he even bothered and sadly his acting along with his other cast members follows suite.

In a role that he seems far to be old to be playing (eww he has an 11 year old daughter and ditto for his unbelievable jogging scenes) Redford’s portrayal of former Weather Underground member Nick Sloan is in the end a mere embarrassing entry to his filmography that includes far better roles and turns by him. Other lead cast members don’t fare much better with the recently bag wearing Shia LeBeouf delivering a shocking turn as reporter Sam a role that he obviously believes will work wonders if he wears wide rimmed glasses and carry a man bag with him on all occasions. Other cast members (and what a cast on name value!) must of turned up as a favour to an old friend with the likes of Susan Sarandon, Richard Jenkins, Brendan Gleeson and Julie Christie all showing up and adding nothing to what is essentially a movie that adds up to nothing.

It took me a long time to finally watch The Company You Keep and I can now confidently say I now know why. It’s hard to know exactly why this film was made but with a script this dire and predictable and with a story that needed a lot more smarts the film is a real non-event and a very forgettable and I think regrettable movie for Robert Redford.

1 “look at me I’m a reporter with a very important reporters bag” out of 5

11 responses to “Film Review – The Company You Keep (2012)

  1. The ensemble was good, but it was a bit hard believing in Redford as a fugitive on the run. Dude’s just too old. Good review Eddie.

  2. Hahaha! Your review made me relive my experience watching the film, Eddie! I always think it’s a bad sign when the poster has the name of every single actor with “Academy Award/Golden Globe winner/nominee” above their name… and the fact that there are about 15 names on that poster makes it even worse…

    I also found it unlikely that Redford would be the father of an 11 year old, but it is explained in the film that he had married a younger woman… so as creepy as it seemed, it is possible. Cary Grant was 60 when he had his daughter, and I would bet there are 75 year old fathers of newborns throughout the world as I write this!

    • Mate that is a bad sign isn’t it – this movie just seemed to die a death before it was even released but it’s not hard to see why.

      Oh man I am feeling pretty dirty now you mentioned all these old fathers eww. Just seemed so wrong in this film ha.

    • Mate avoid at all costs ha, can see why no one remembers or talks about this nasty little piece just an all round average tale! At least Redford had All is Lost and the new Captain America to win back some brownie points.

  3. Pingback: Film Review - The Company You Keep (2012) | Tinseltown Times·

  4. It’s interesting that I agree with this so much, considering the trailer sold me and got me excited for it. After watching it, I couldn’t figure out why something wasn’t sitting right about the movie as a whole. Now I know. I have to mention too, that my expectations were somewhat higher than just because of the big names that make up the cast. I read the book. And I know everyone says books are better than the film, which may really be true here, but having done so, set me up for a pretty big fall. Thanks for clarifying this for me, finally.

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