The Company You Keep (2012) Poster

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8/10
This movie deserves a better rating than the one it has received here.
beabt120 April 2013
The acting by a stream of well known faces who were young I when I was also young are very good, and being a similar age as them I could relate to some of what they were experiencing in the story. I listened to a review on the radio criticising the movie because of the difficulty of enjoying watching people past their prime in a suspense movie. Maybe the reviewer should have stuck to the Bourne movies to get their kicks.

Well age has nothing to do with it but maturity certainly does. The appealing theme here is that we don't leave our past so far behind us that it doesn't exert any major influence on us years later. In fact the more years that pass the more significant the past can become. I suggest you don't be put off by the negativity of what some others say and see the movie.
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7/10
Solid well made film with reliable actors
soccercamp-114 April 2013
Although not one of Redford's best, "The Company You Keep" is still way better than the majority of so called thriller/dramas produced these days in my humble opinion...excellent acting all round, Redford is good as usual (if looking a little too old maybe for this role) and the supporting cast (Cooper, Tucci, Christie and Gleeson in particular) are a credit as well. Whilst there are not a lot of twists and surprises that you can't see coming, it's the way the story is told and unfolds, and it makes you think about your ideals and sacrifices and plotted that really counts. Although I'm a Brit in my 40's and the material is not familiar to myself at all I really enjoyed the ride. Solid, if not spectacular, but definitely worth the time to view.
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A competent political thriller with a few quiet things to say.
jdesando22 April 2013
"When we revolt it's not for a particular culture. We revolt simply because, for many reasons, we can no longer breathe." Frantz Fanon

In Robert Redford's The Company You keep, Jim Grant (Redford) is an attorney on the lam for participating in Weather Underground anti-Vietnam activities over 40 years ago. That a bank robbery resulted in the death of a guard has made the revolutionaries fugitives from murder charges.

This political thriller, in which the FBI has finally zeroed in on the robbers because Sharon Solarz (Susan Sarandon) has decided to turn herself in, devolves into a formulaic chase with helicopters and frantic cell calls, but along the way has some engaging dialogue ("Yeah we all died. Some of us just came back." Donal Fitzgerald, played by Nick Nolte) often given in the repartee style of screwball comedy without the comedy.

I am most surprised at director Redford's political restraint, given his inclination to preach baldly in previous films and in his personal life. The Company You Keep smoothly combines the pacing of a race for survival with the consciousness of a moderate liberal trying to show the unglamorous effects of sins, like excessive ambition and murder, over a lifetime. In its favor the film does not overdo its sympathy for the kids of these radicals, although Brit Marling as Rebecca Osborne would make anyone cry over her, so innocent-looking she is.

While the film tends to emphasize the personal effects on lovers and families to the exclusion of the Weatherman history, it still is instructive about the radical movements decades ago. Although the theme of the ramifications of keeping a secret are parsed by Grant in a too-contrived monologue, the point is well taken, for each secret revealed adds another layer of punishment for all, even children.

If Redford weren't so wrapped up in nostalgia and stuck to the hard-core reasons for some very bright people's stupidity, this could have been a soaring achievement of documenting history in dramatic form. As it is, it's a smart thriller that has some lessons, both political and personal, for all the audience.
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8/10
A Better Title: "The Price One Pays"
FridayBridge28 April 2013
I AM CONVINCED THE CONSERVATIVE PRESS MISSED THE ENTIRE POINT OF THE MOVIE.

While I'm totally conservative, the talking heads that trashed this film blew it completely.

This film does not glorify terrorism. Quite the opposite. It shows how a person can cross the line from being an "activist" to being a felon/terrorist. It is sort of a retrospective of an activist's two lives - one he abandoned once he crossed the line, the other, the stolen life he built afterward.

There is a price one pays to the public through the court system. There is also a private price, or a personal price one also pays. In both cases,the focus is more on the private price he foisted off on loved ones to avoid paying his public price for his acts.

(The reader must understand that Sloan was guilty of some felony activities, but NOT the murder of the bank guard. His crimes, if caught, were worth some jail time, but not a life sentence for murder.)

People should watch this just so they could consider the idea that actions they might start can easily spin out of control, leaving them with consequences they might be forced to live with for the rest of their life, and MORE IMPORTANTLY, exact an even worse price upon all their loved ones.

This is a VERY tightly packed movie, hardly a word that isn't important to the development of the plot. Watch it closely.

This movie does need a bit more tension and rage at one particular point, but that's about the biggest flaw I saw.

Just so you know, Redford, 76, is playing the role of a late 60 year-old, and there are very important reasons why he has a young daughter. Now, it is up to you to see this film and figure out why.

By the way, this movie has a lot of great talent in it, and they each do very well for themselves and the presentation of the movie's theme. There are 14 class act performers, plus one. This would be a hard cast to play against, but "plus one" did a super job in her first movie role.
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7/10
great cast in this grim reminder of another time
blanche-215 August 2013
Robert Redford stars with a wonderful cast of golden oldies in "The Company You Keep," a 2012 film.

Redford plays Jim Grant, an attorney and widower, who is contacted by a friend to help a former activist (Susan Sarandon). Now a housewife, she has just been arrested for the murder of a bank guard during a robbery many years earlier. At that time, she was a member of the notorious underground Weathermen group, which protested the Vietnam war, the killings at Kent State, and were part of the violence and chaos of the time. She was intending to turn herself in, but the FBI got to her first.

Grant says he can't help, but that puts an ambitious reporter, Ben Shepard (Shia LeBoeuf) onto him. It doesn't take long for Shepard to find out that Jim Grant is in reality Nick Sloan, part of the Weathermen, who has changed his identity. Grant/Sloan goes on the run, leaving his 11-year-old daughter with his brother (Chris Cooper). This tells the reporter that Sloan is not intending to go underground and take on a new identity, or he would have taken his daughter. Shepard thinks that Sloan is thing to clear his name once and for all, and is trying to locate other Weathermen in order to help him.

The cast includes, besides those listed above, Julie Christie, Stanley Tucci, Sam Elliot, Nick Nolte, and Brit Marling.

I had two major problems with this film, which was actually good if not terribly suspenseful. The first is, I was around during the era talked about in the film; and the second thing is, I remember what Robert Redford used to look like.

This film I believe is supposed to take place in the present day, yet everyone talks about these events that occurred "thirty years ago." Well, not to be picky, but "thirty years ago" is what, 1981, since the film was made in 2011. Youthful uprisings, protests against Vietnam, the Kent State killings -- I'm sorry, those happened 40-45 years ago. What happened thirty years ago? Dynasty. Ebony and Ivory. Diana and Charles got engaged. Reagan.

The second issue I had is this: Susan Sarandon, Richard Jenkins, and Stephen Root were the right age to play aging hippies (so is Chris Cooper but he didn't play one); Christie I could buy - first of all, she's fabulously beautiful and doesn't look her age - and secondly, her character was a Jane Fonda type, so she would have been active in her early thirties, as the character still was an activist. Nick Nolte - I'm not totally convinced that his character was an activist in his late twenties and thirties.

But Robert Redford is 76. Now, I've read where people think he looks good. I think he looks every millisecond of 76. He's obviously supposed to be playing someone 10 years younger, and to me, he doesn't pull it off. And the 11-year-old daughter - I find that interesting. They cast women as mothers who in real life are one year older than the person playing their sons, but no one blinks when Redford or Eastwood have children under ten.

Unfortunately, those distractions took away from this film for me. If I hadn't lived through that time, I could have gotten into it more. I admire Robert Redford, I like that he does this type of film, but he needs a small reality check. He wasn't a hippie then, and he's not an aging hippie now.
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8/10
Provocative throwback to another era
Emma_Stewart14 April 2013
The Company You Keep has a startlingly star-studded cast and I was surprised to see that most of them were in small, thankless roles. People like Sam Elliott, Nick Nolte, Chris Cooper and Stanley Tucci have a couple, three scenes at most and aren't given much of anything to sink their teeth into. What I think this suggests is an immense respect for Robert Redford - there are very few directors who could assemble actors of that caliber for roles that probably anyone could play. And that respect is merited - with Company, Redford proves once again that he is an exceptionally talented director who deserves to be taken more seriously than he is.

It begins with the abrupt arrest of Sharon Solarz (Susan Sarandon), an American terrorist who had been living in hiding for decades since she was connected to a robbery that resulted in the murder of a security guard. Her arrest sparks renewed interest in the case and as a reporter (Shia LaBeouf) starts to dig deeper, a lawyer and newly single father (Robert Redford) realizes he is about to be uncovered and flees, leaving his daughter to stay with his younger brother (Chris Cooper) while he searches for an unknown something.

The foundation of Company is a clever, taut screenplay reminiscent of classic 70's American thrillers. It shocks the audience with reveal after reveal, always bringing up more questions and arousing more suspicions, but does so without a hint of self-importance and gracefully avoids inflated tension. Redford's graceful direction brings the electric writing to life and creates a suitably foreboding atmosphere - it's gritty, but not too dark; fast-paced, but not so much that it sacrifices plot or character; emotional, but not saccharine. For such an outlandish plot, Redford makes it feel as real as it possibly could. Too many modern thrillers like this try to make every beat into a high emotion scene, or build around the twist so it's as dramatic as possibly. Company avoids that - there is a refreshing lack of forced grandeur, and in its wake we get a surprisingly intimate film filled with truly fascinating characters and provocative moral questions that the screenplay doesn't answer for us.

The cast, as expected, are uniformly excellent. If there is a weak link it's Shia LeBeouf, whose real-life smug vanity suits the character but can only carry him so far when he's up against acting titans. He seems amateurish in his one-on-one scenes with Redford and Sarandon even though neither of them give especially domineering performances. Redford is an appropriately sympathetic lead but the supporting actors steal the movie - Susan Sarandon sets the bar very high right from the off. In her two or three short scenes, she reveals everything about her secretive, stony character; her microexpressions tell all. Cooper, Nick Nolte, Sam Elliott and Richard Jenkins light up their segments with their presences alone, while Brendan Gleeson delivers a hauntingly conflicted portrayal.

Julie Christie, though, is the standout. If this has to be her last screen appearance, it's comforting to know that she went out with a loud bang, playing a character so unlike anything she's ever done before. Her Mimi is ferocious and spirited, but her steely conviction can't quite mask the naive little girl who never really grew up hiding underneath. She communicates a world of internal conflict with a simple raise of her eyebrows, a pang of regret merely by letting her mouth fall open; she's a master of her craft, fully realizing her character in maybe 15 minutes of screen time where most of her lines hit the same note.

If there's one problem with the movie, it's that it's too short. A significant plot point towards the end isn't given the time and attention it deserves, considering its weight and implications. It felt like a wasted opportunity for an amazing, thematically fathoms-deep ending. However, the ending as it is is satisfying and well-done nonetheless, and cleanly wraps up an expertly crafted breath of fresh air for the genre. If only it had come out 35 years ago where it would have been right at home and probably would have garnered a better reception.
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7/10
Sure he keeps good company, but...
RolyRoly17 September 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Robert Redford can certainly muster an impressive list of acting talent, but this film is a reminder that there is more to a good film than that.

Like many others at TIFF this year, particularly baby boomers like myself, I was keen to see how Redford would go about dealing with an especially controversial aspect of recent American history. The premise here is compelling: members of the Weather Underground who are accused of murder after what appears to have been a bungled bank robbery have gone to ground, have built lives with varying degrees of success and respectability, only to have it all reopened years later when one of them decides to turn herself in. An earnest young reporter at a small newspaper is given (or seizes) the opportunity to dig into the story and finds out more than he bargained for.

There are several problems, though. For one, the film pulls its main punch, and telegraphs that move so early on that the natural tension is never allowed to build. I know that Redford is an old-fashioned movie star, and the prospect of his having actually been guilty is perhaps just not in the cards, but knowing this in the first few minutes makes the rest of the story rather unsuspenseful. Instead of wondering whether this (frankly rather dull) single father really did what he was accused of, we are left with watching him try to exonerate himself in a cross-country odyssey that is implausible and often tedious.

To be sure, there are some fine performances. The scene between Susan Sarandon and Shia LaBeouf in prison, as she tries, with only limited success, to explain herself to a sceptical and ambitious young journalist from such a different era, is very convincing.

Redford himself, though, does not really command our attention or interest. If you're going to star in your own movie, you should be sure that you really are the best choice for the role. At the age of 76 (and yes, despite being fit and well put together, he really does look his age), Redford is at least ten years older than his role would demand. And he has a 12 year old daughter!

Moreover, he fails to infuse the role with any real passion. Now, raw emotion has never been Redford's strong suit. He is just too cool for that. But here is a role that really calls out for something other than his typical calculated, rational, "nice guy" approach.

As a director, Redford is more successful. For movie buffs, it's fun to watch the train scene, for example, (how many directors have train scenes anymore?) which pays homage to some of the great train scenes from older suspense films like North by Northwest.

With this subject matter, The Company You Keep could have been an edgy and provocative political thriller, with a resonance that makes connections between the student terrorism of the 1970's and the burning economic and social issues of today. The fact is that many of the same underlying problems that led to the formation of the Weathermen - foreign military involvement, economic disparities, reactionary social policies - remain with us. Instead, however, the film never really brings itself to confront these issues except in the most oblique and politically correct fashion. It is an opportunity squandered.
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7/10
Interesting character development. Stellar Cast
JohnRayPeterson20 April 2013
Warning: Spoilers
If you are at all familiar with Robert Redford's recent productions, you may very well have noticed that he is, as director and producer, very much interested in character development within unique stories, whether he co-stars in the movie or not. He also has a knack at picking a good cast; such is the case here with Shia Labeouf, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci, Chris Cooper, Terrence Howard, Nick Nolte, Brendan Gleeson and Julie Christie.

Redford plays a former political activist, Jim Grant, on the run for thirty years for terrorist related charges including murder; having built a new life, widowed with a teenage daughter, he is found out by up and coming reporter Ben Shepard, played by Shia LaBeouf. Shepard's boss, played by Stanley Tucci, reluctantly provides him the support to pursue the story. Grant entrusts his daughter to his brother, played by Chris Cooper, whilst FBI agent played by Terrence Howard is hot on his heels. Shepard suspects Grant is not guilty of the charges but the reporter's quest for the truth unravels secrets Grant has kept for very personal reasons. With the help of old friends and sympathizers, played by Nick Nolte and Brendan Gleeson, Grant eludes the FBI for a while. To mention more would spoil your pleasure to discover how all the guilt floating around is dealt with and how Shepard's life is changed, not to mention other characters lives as well.

I had expectations from such a cast and from the basic promotional synopsis; I was not disappointed, nor will you.
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Could have been even better
Gordon-1121 April 2013
This film is about a journalist who uncovers the hidden truth of the events of a failed bank robbery by a radical anti-war group thirty years ago.

"The Company You Keep" looks amazing on paper, with an impressively stellar cast. The plot involves both a journalist and the FBI chasing after Robert Redford, which appears to have much tension but there really isn't. The journalist has the upper hand in unravelling the stories, making the FBI rather displeased. This supposed rivalry between the two parties is not portrayed deep enough, for example, the search warrant subplot was not followed through. How the journalist uncovers all that information was not presented, and hence I was confused about a few things, such as how he knew about the former policeman's daughter's true identity, and how he knew the true intention of Robert Redford's cross-state travels. There are too many loose ends and unexplained subplots, and too little tension. "The Company You Keep" could have been better, but is still worth watching for the stellar cast.
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10/10
Best Movie I've seen in a while...
LilsZoo201317 August 2013
Being a child of the times this movie was about, I cannot say enough about the authenticity of the feelings of those portrayed in the film. An important movie of a time lost, to the "new" technology of the gen-X. No cell phones, no computers. Our communication was with actual feelings and underground, unheard, simple word of mouth to those whose cares were for a better world, without war. That we were unheard at the time caused the radical behavior of some who put their lives on the line for some kind of justice to happen. We can't be the great Country that we are without paying some kind of price. There is no free lunch. And as we are all beginning to notice some of us don't have a lunch to eat, still. Make a difference. Stop tweeting and start feeding.
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8/10
A subversive, courageous and clever movie about American revolutionaries
scottmontreal20 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
The plot is simple, an underground former radical, now father, (Robert Redford), is smoked out and on the run, meeting with former comrades. Does he want to escape, or does he want to clear his name? Both an investigative reporter and the FBI are chasing him.

However, weaved into this clever plot is the intellectual substance of the movie - how do we understand, (and judge) today, former armed Weather Underground members who fought against the U.S. war on Vietnam?

They took armed action after non-violent protests failed to stop the war. They are fugitives after robbing a bank and consequently killing a bank guard. They too, also failed to end the war.

"We made mistakes, but we were right." says one arrested radical (Susan Sarandon).

The elderly revolutionaries now with kids, honestly debate their choices and the times. The "establishment" won, and gets to write the history of those years.

These white revolutionaries were terrorists, or were they freedom fighters? "The Company You Keep" encourages us to judge these revolutionaries with an open mind - something that seems downright subversive in today's America.
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9/10
This movie rocks
serialteg14 August 2013
I'm a fan of drawn-out, engrossing movies. Although this one doesn't go to the depths that would've made it a 10, it's got great actors, and a solid all around movie. Very good entertainment, plus it made me wonder about the meteorology site I so often use and am a decade-long+ member - the Weather Underground!

Last movie I gave a 10 to was Inception. This one's a 9, based on my knowledge of cinematography - a bachelor's degree worth, and my personal tastes. There's a fine line between being a terrorist and being a patriotic freedom fighter. This movie dwelves some into that, but I believe that to make it to the top, you really have to drill hard on this one, really have to go into the meat of the plot that you're barely touching on historically.
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2/10
A poorly written and thriller-less "thriller"
kamagla25 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I've just watched the DVD and I have to say I'm puzzled by the description of the film as a "thriller" by some of the reviews I had read. I was expecting something much better than what the film delivered. It's a very flat movie and that seems to be the fault of script, performances and editing. It has the odour of "high art" film making, sententious and vacuous by turns. "Let this be a lesson unto you..." and "The past isn't another country..." Ponderous! Particularly I found Shia LeBeouf's performance as the young reporter rather too bright-eyed and perky. The character lacked a sense of the growing excitement I would have expected as he started to understand the history of the people he's investigating and as he drew closer to his quarry. It's a very "Johnny one-note" performance - no development. I was increasingly irritated by a mannerism - his repetitive touching the bridge of his glasses. And why the glasses? So he could deliver the character defining mannerism? I was shocked when I first saw Julie Christie's character appear. I had difficulty in recognizing her. The immediate thought was that plastic surgery is not always a wise choice with a good result. I simply focused on the face and found it impossibly to see the character in the film. It disrupted the movie for me. And the performance was as featureless as the face. At least Susan Sarandon appears to have by-passed on facial reconstruction and, with little to do, did it well.

Redford was simply too old for the part he played. And the final scene, as he walked away from the camera with his adopted daughter, was very mechanical - the waving hand gestures.

All of these actors have been better in other films. Not a must see.

kamagla
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3/10
Waste of time...
moush16 November 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Robert Redford's latest film has nothing original to offer as far as the story goes. Group members of a radical organization from the 70s, living a life with new identities for the last 30 years, have to face their past crimes when one of its members surrenders to the authorities. It focuses on Robert Redford's character, Jim Grant, a single father with a 12 year old daughter who makes a run for it to clear his name from an alleged bank heist and subsequent murder, and avoid getting caught at the same time.

With some characters being introduced too late in the story, it is hard to care or give a damn about the situation in general. As far as the story goes, things just fall into place too easily without any interesting obstacles. The main character being on the run or even the reporter's investigation for that matter is just too convenient.

I would have personally liked to see more of Susan Sarandon's character, her back story, what drives her to surrender to the authorities after 30 years and why. Her character is the main catalyst that sets the events in motion but without knowing or understanding her relation to the main character (besides the bank heist) and what's really at stake, it just seems pointless.

125 minutes was too long for this movie especially considering it was just a waste of time. By the end of it, I frankly just didn't care.
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6/10
Halfway failed thriller
JvH4826 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this film at the Ghent filmfestival 2012. It was not part of the official selection nor the official competition section, but rather put in a "miscellaneous" section called Previews.

A considerable part of the story line is about the contrast between a resourceful young journalist who finds out interesting things on his own devices, compared with the FBI continuously running behind the facts. Both stories run in parallel, thereby creating some weak form of tension, but not too much while it is obvious that the eager journalist will win the race eventually. We've seen a plot model like this many times before, and variants thereof in the form of an amateur detective versus the police. In other words, not very original, but it works here only to a certain degree. Some of the time I even found it a bit of a stretch, wondering why the young journalist had so much luck in his discoveries.

A more interesting topic is how the past comes back to bite our main character. In his younger years when the underground movement where he belonged to, undertook several illegal actions, each participant could depend on the others to keep things secret. The anti-Vietnam movement as of 30 years ago probably will not ring a bell with most modern viewers, failing to appreciate how radical some such actions were at the time. It went much further than the rather peaceful movements we saw recently, like Occupy and the like. In other words: we would call them "terrorists" nowadays. Placing bombs and killing adversaries were tools of the trade, when deemed necessary in view of the greater good.

Our main character (Jim Grant, played by Robert Redford, starring in his own movie) has a new identity since a failed bank robbery, where people were killed and video images suggest that Jim shot someone in the process. An eager young journalist happens to unravel some loose ends, and partly finds out what has been hidden for more than 30 years. This starts two parallel chases after Jim, one by the journalist (Ben Shepard) and an other one by the FBI. Most of the time we see the FBI always behind the facts (might be construed as intentional satire). The route Jim follows as a fugitive, looks random at first sight, but in fact rounds up a series of former team members to find out who really did the killing he is still accused of. For spoiler's sake I won't go further with summarizing the story line. The basic ingredients can be derived from the above.

All in all, I found a lot to be desired for a movie labeled "thriller". Indeed, there is a reasonable amount of tension throughout, where one wonders what will happen next. However, I saw several things happen that seem far fetched, too much for my taste. That applies to Jim's route he follows as a refugee, as well as the hunt by journalist Ben. Both are running far too smooth, a bit unrealistic given the circumstances. When one looks for a thriller deservedly labeled as such, I can think of several better choices.
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9/10
Pushing 80.. and as compelling as ever
A_Different_Drummer11 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
It was not that long ago that I happened to meet a female resident in a Florida retirement home with even stronger views on most topics than my own. The lady in question was 98 years old, and going strong. When the subject of Robert Redford popped up, she paused, as if considering for a moment some complex Newtonian equation, and then confided in me, shyly, "he doesn't look the way he used to." Truth is, none of us do. Truth is, I can claim to have seen every major film starring Redford over the last 50 years except THE WAY WE WERE. And I have tried to watch that one on a few occasions, but it aggravates my diabetes. And I don't have diabetes. Anyway, going into this film, produced, directed, and starring the almost 80 year old Redford, you need to know that this man is considered a deity by many in the industry, and his Rolodex is more prized than any at the "3 letter" agencies. When Bob Redford sets out to make a film, he picks his cast with the same care and precision that Mr. Phelps did in the old Mission Impossible series. Because he has access to just about everyone. Typical of the man, THE COMPANY YOU KEEP is subtle and seemingly underwhelming -- which explains the too-low IMDb rating. But the film does something that many "name" studio projects can't manage even with a budget 10x what this costs. It engages. You start the story with Redford and, lo, two hours later you end it with him. And you don't get bored, not even once. And you part company amicably. The old codger can move like a 20 year old when he wants to, and it is not much of a spoiler to tell you that for much of the film he is on the run - literally - and setting a pace to avoid capture that would test a man one-quarter his age. And, even better, he sells it, the vitality, the mobility, without CGI. Impressive. Shia Labeouf has done some impressive work since he left the Disney channel (not counting Transformers, which was just a guilty pleasure) but in this picture he achieves a startling amount of audience impact from, again, a very understated performance. Whether this film attracts a crowd or cult is not the issue. The issue is that Redford once again wanted to show the young upstarts what film-making is supposed to be, what it can be, and once again he has succeeded.
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6/10
Peter Pan isn't alone!
ken_bethell24 April 2013
The first thing I would like to say about this film is that it kept me entertained for two hours without once glancing at the clock.This in itself is no mean achievement in an age where many movies are unnecessary long. Hollywood obviously believes length is important if you want to be successful. Entertaining as it was I'm not so sure it was plot that kept me watching as much as the parade of veteran actors on display. A rather disparaging comment and maybe one that should have been reserved for the confusing historical context of the storyline itself. Being of an age that remembers the activities of the Weather Underground I was under the impression that their acts of terrorism had ceased by the time the Vietnam peace agreement was signed in 1973 since the Vietnam War had been the organisation's raison d'etre but in this film the Weather Men are still on a mission as we approach 1980. The film also has amusing parallels with another piece of Redford left-wing theatre, 'The Way we were'. In this 1973 film the Redford character, a talented screen writer, backs away from confrontation with the Communist witch-hunt in Hollywood and seeks respectability by compromising his ability and forsaking the woman he loves in the process. His 2012 alta ego also loses his passion for the cause and sacrifices love and a daughter by walking away, 'I grew up'. In both films Redford played people much younger than himself. I'm not sure what this says about Robert Redford but I think my wife summed it up when she remarked after watching an early scene in 'Company, 'He's not the father of that young girl, is he?' Exactly, a 75 year old unconvincingly playing somebody twenty years younger while in 1973 film he was a 36 year college student! Anyway,enough of Redford who otherwise gives a competent performance. It was good to see Julie Christie again and who along with Nick Nolte, Susan Sarandon and Chris Cooper and still capable of teaching the young pretenders a thing or two. All in all and enjoyable and nostalgic evening's viewing.
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9/10
Not as dull as I initially feared.
Carycomic27 April 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Oh, the plot twist was pretty easy to figure out, once Ben Shepherd unearthed those childhood photos during his background research on Lurie and Grant-Sloan. Plus, the chronology was a little too mix-and-match.

I mean; the movie (according to that morning newspaper on Grant-Sloan's breakfast table) was set in 2011. Which would make thirty years earlier 1981. Yet, the Weather Underground had disbanded about six or seven years before that! Which would have placed the bank robbery circa 1975 (or thirty-six years earlier). So, rightfully, the writers should have rounded upwards to forty.

I was also a bit disappointed that they didn't ultimately reveal who the accomplice was that _posed_ as Grant-Sloan during that fateful robbery (and presumably killed that poor guard). But, on the whole? It was suspenseful and action-packed enough that I sat on the edge of my seat, when and where I was supposed to. I laughed at all the intended jokes. And, I softly applauded the happy ending.

So, in my opinion, it was definitely worth the matinée price of $6.75.
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4/10
So Disappointed
diane-660-27358917 April 2013
With a stellar cast and Robert Redford directing, the expectations are high, which is why the final result was so disappointing. Billed as a Thriller, this storyline had all the hallmarks of a great, edge-of-your-seat, surprise-around-the-corner true thriller but it just didn't cut it.

The cast was outstanding but all wrong! Sorry, but Mr. Redford you're 77 years old, hardly an impressionable college kid in the 70's when The Weather Underground was active. Likewise Julie Christie at 71 (both of these people look fantastic for their age but...) was too old for her role. Oh yeah, and Brendan Gleeson (who I adore) would have been no more than 15 when he was the officer investigating the crime that ties this all together. For some viewers these details may not have mattered (clearly they didn't based on reviews) but it was a big deal to me.

I may have been able to get past what I thought were serious casting mistakes if the story had lived up to what it could have been, suspenseful, exciting, intelligent drama. Instead it was weak and boring.

The Company You Keep certainly isn't the worst movie of the year and it might be an okay rental if you aren't expecting too much from the start.
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5/10
Anachronisms abound
ngore-700-5103891 June 2013
This is a marginally competent thriller, but aspects of it bothered me to the point of being deal-breakers. The characters say repeatedly that the Weather Underground activities occurred 30 years ago - which would set the film in the early 2000s. Yet (a relatively minor quibble) the cars are contemporary models (early 2010s). What's worse, Robert Redford is 78 years old and looks it. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but he is quite obviously 20+ years too old for the role (given that the Weather Underground action occurred 30 years ago, according to the script; if they let it be 40 years ago, he'd be at 10+ years too old). Indeed, several of these actors are too old for their roles. I applaud Redford for wanting to make a film with aging actors, but the discrepancy between the characters' ages and the actors' (obvious) ages is so great that you really can't get past it. These kinds of things are just not that hard.
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4/10
Don't keep company with this one.
Quietb-15 April 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Start with a cast too familiar to believe in their roles. Robert Redford by any name is Robert Redford. Same with Stanley Tucci, Nick Nolte, Susan Sarandon, Chris Cooper, Richard Jenkins, and Sam Elliott. Jackie Evancho is at least a fresh face, and does a great job in her role.

The next problem is Robert Redford cast himself as the father of Jackie Evancho but seems more likely he would be her grandfather. That feels absurd. It gets even more preposterous with the love child twist.

Good performances, plenty of conversations. Billed as a thriller, there are no thrills. There is no sense of urgency. It is directed with no pizazz. It seems like the book might fill in the holes. How did the police chief get that baby? Why did the FBI take the retired police chief in the helicopter? The movie feels too long but there are things that must have landed on the New Mexico cutting room floor. Seems like it couldn't get made without Robert Redford in the lead and doesn't work with Robert Redford in the lead.

The film will have a short theatrical run. Look for it in a platform coming to your home soon. It is worth some time but not a lot of money, to see the aging stars.
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1/10
Very Slow and uneventful
mbarba111814 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This movie really has no point. It starts off slow and the story really does not develop into anything worth watching let alone making any sense. Casting was way off. Robert Redford is in his 70's and the rest of the players that were part of his posse in the 1970's are only in their 50's and 60's. Hard to believe that they all hung out in the 1970's. They also keep on referring to everything happening 30 years ago, that would make it 1983. Kent State happened in the 1970's and the politic era they refer to is the 60's and 1970's. They needed to say it happened 40 years ago. Movie had no tension builders that held my interest to wonder what the big secret was that Robert Redford's character was hiding. Too bad, this movie had a great cast, it's script needed more work to create a bigger revel.
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1/10
don't bother
constance2219 April 2013
Not a good movie or story here. Terribly acted by all. When will people older than I stop trying to look as young as Shia la Boeuf. Poor. Dull, too. I lived through this time in history and this movie did nothing to capture it. The best acting was done by Shia, of course, to me he is always right for his parts. The demise of good newspapers is only equaled by the demise of good movies about newspapers as far as I can judge. Robert Redford should have stayed director only in this one.

I remember when Redford was excellent in The Sting, or Butch Cassidy, or Out of Africa, All the Presidents Men, or The Way We Were. He shone in those movies. The bloom is definitely off the rose.
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All-Star Cast in Good Thriller
Michael_Elliott9 May 2013
The Company You Keep (2012)

*** (out of 4)

Robert Redford directs and all-star cast in this political thriller about the past coming back to haunt you. When a former Weather Underground member (Susan Sarandon) turns herself in for a murder committed thirty years earlier, a reporter (Shia LaBeouf) soon realizes that a local man (Redford) might have some connection. Soon this man goes on the run and it's up to the reporter to try and find out why and put all the pieces together. THE COMPANY YOU KEEP certainly has some flaws but for the most part I thought it was an extremely well-made thriller with some terrific performances. As with Redford's previous film THE CONSPIRATOR, this here certainly has some things to say about current politics but thankfully none of them come off as preaching. I thought the film's story was actually quite compelling but a lot of this was due to you enjoying the all-star cast. Redford turns in his best performances in ages as he has no problem slipping into this role as a man on the run. I thought he was very believable early on and as all the twists in the story come out the actor still manages to make us care for him and want to see him succeed. LaBeouf probably gives the weakest performances in the film but he's still quite good and comes across well as the young reporter. The supporting cast includes top acts like Sarandon, Nick Nolte, Sam Elliott, Richard Jenkins, Terrence Howard, Stanley Tucci, Anna Kendrick, Chris Cooper and Julie Christie. What's amazing is that this all-star cast just doesn't stick out like a sore thumb and all of them fit into their roles so we see characters and not famous actors. I think the one major flaw in the film deals with the FBI manhunt of Redford. I just think these scenes needed to have a lot more tension than they did. I liked the laid back nature of the picture and it's clear that the director wanted this to follow in the footsteps of pictures like ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN and ABSENCE OF MALICE. This here doesn't quite reach their levels but it's still very much worth watching.
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8/10
old rebels seek truth
maurice_yacowar2 May 2013
Warning: Spoilers
The last shot of Robert Redford's The Company You Keep is a long view of the hero Nick Sloan (Redford) reuniting with his 11-year-old daughter and explaining how he had to run away to clear up a 30-year-old charge that -- as a radical in the Weather Underground -- he murdered a security guard in a bank robbery. The two stand amid lines of trees, in a quiet enclave beside the rush of traffic. We see him explaining and her reacting but we don't hear a word. Of course the explanation would be redundant. We know it from the action. But prolonging that unheard conversation confirms the film's respect for privacy.

With the exception of the man who falsely claimed Sloan killed the guard, all the old radicals support each other. Whatever other ideals they have compromised that remains. Mimi has to relearn that, to save Sloan. The title, of course, is half an adage: You are judged -- because you are influenced -- by the company you keep.

This is very much an old liberal's film. Hence the casting of such familiar icons as the leads, Nick Nolte, Richard Jenkins, Sam Elliot, in the radical geezer roles. But the revolution is treated with such a sensible, principled balance that Republicans shouldn't run out screaming either. For more see www.yacowar.blogspot.com.
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