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