Film Festivals

TIFF 2018: The Old Man and the Gun Review

This will be one of many reviews during this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. If you would like to keep up with our content, click here. For photos of the premiere, check out our social media accounts (link below).

Synopsis: THE OLD MAN & THE GUN is based on the true story of Forrest Tucker, from his audacious escape from San Quentin at the age of 70 to an unprecedented string of heists that confounded authorities and enchanted the public.  Wrapped up in the pursuit are detective John Hunt, who becomes captivated with Forrest’s commitment to his craft, and a woman, who loves him in spite of his chosen profession. (Fox Searchlight)

Starring: Robert Redford, Casey Affleck, and Sissy Spacek

Writer: David Lowery

Director: David Lowery

Rating: PG-13 (United States)

Running Time: 93mins

Trailer: 

Robert Redford is a bonafide movie star. There’s no denying that. There have been plenty of reports that his role in The Old Man and the Gun will be his last film role. This is sad to hear but if this film is indeed Redford’s last, this is definitely a fitting sendoff. Here Redford plays Forrest Tucker, a infamous, larger than life, career criminal with a pension for robbing banks. Now he wasn’t just any bank robber as he would do so with a very unique style that involved gentlemanly charm and politeness. In addition to robbing banks, the many stories of his exploits were legendary and real for the most part. Tucker was simply magnetic to watch as he could use his skill to get just about anything he wanted and seeing him often succeeding was amazing.

However, Tucker was not alone for these heists as he was often accompanied by his crew of other older men named Teddy (Danny Glover) and Waller (Tom Waits). While it was mostly Tucker’s show, the three had great chemistry together which along with the sharp script, created plenty of hilarious moments. The plot for the most part was a cat and mouse game played by Tucker and a determined detective named John Hunt (Affleck). It was through Hunt’s investigation of Tucker that we learned of Tucker’s impressive reputation and his many exploits. It was fun to watch both he and Tucker at work since Tucker would almost always be one step ahead of Hunt until his inevitable capture. Though along the way, Tucker would find himself falling for a woman named Jewel (Spacek) who didn’t seem to have a problem with who he was.

Just as Tucker had style, so did the rest of the film. The film’s depiction of the 1980s was top notch, from the wardrobes, to the sets, the soundtrack, and being shot using super 16. Everything worked together to create a real old school vibe that fit the aura of Tucker. Obviously, the film would not have worked at all if not for Redford and his stellar, effortless performance as Tucker. His charm and screen presence was perfect for a character like Tucker. Affleck was great as the determined Hunt and as a vehicle to tell Tucker’s unbelievable story. Spacek was excellent as Jewel and had incredible chemistry with Redford.

Overall, this was an amazing, old school crime film that was both fun to watch and well-acted all around while also helping to remind us why Robert Redford is a bonafide movie star by giving him the type of sendoff that he rightfully deserves.

Score: 10/10

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  1. Nice review, but from such a great director as David Lowery and from such an actor as Robert Redford I really had not expected anything less than perfect.