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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on 29 March 2013
Everyone's familiar with the concepts behind a buddy movie: two wildly different characters are thrown together to fight injustice/ unite against a common foe etc and hilarity ensues en route. On that front, Robot & Frank is no different to any other buddy movie but for me, was something a little bit special.

Oscar nominated actor Frank Langella is fantastic as the aging burglar and his performance is truly touching. For me however, I will always remember him as Skeletor in the Masters of the Universe movie and at times when he spoke during this film, that's all I could picture!

The Robot of the title is voiced by Peter Sarsgaard and is in effect, the straight man in this buddy movie. Governed by Asimovian laws, Robot is eventually, perhaps inevitably, led astray by Frank...

Robot & Frank has at its core, the very serious and real issue of the on-set of dementia and manages to handle this subject matter in a sensitive way, without being demeaning to those who suffer from the condition. I went to see this with my girlfriend, expecting a quirky and charming film with a bit of sci-fi thrown in. I wasn't disappointed on that front but from the trailer, I hadn't expected the Alzheimer's aspect of the story. Given that my girlfriend's grandfather suffered from this, it resulted in quite a few tears in the cinema.

However, a stellar cast, great story and all in all, a memorable movie!
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
The first thing to say is that this film`s heart is in a good place, it`s not quite like anything you`ll have seen before, and I`d watch Frank Langella just doing the shopping or eating a meal.
It almost pulls off the trick of having, at his son`s insistence, a robot move in with Frank (Langella in dignified elderly mode - this vigorous, soulful actor was already 74 at the time of filming) and gradually gain his confidence, as well as a kind of friendship.
Where it scores is in allowing us to take for granted a near-contemporary world in which robots can cheerfully do the gardening or cook dinner. Langella acts with the robot (perfectly voiced by Peter Sarsgaard) as if it were the most normal thing in the world. There are no ironic `nudges` to the audience, and mercifully few moments of rom-com sentimentality, though the film does not avoid gravitating towards an inevitable soft centre, especially in its final scenes.
Susan Sarandon underplays and is lovely as a librarian whom Frank befriends - and thereby hangs a tale, which might have been made more of - with Liv Tyler making a too rare appearance these days as Madison, his daughter. (I wish someone would give Liv a whacking good role in a film, where she could show what she`s really capable of.)
The film has a nice, measured pace to it, and Langella is such a joy to watch that a certain lack of dramatic tension at times isn`t too much to put up with.
As has been pointed out elsewhere, the film loses itself a little towards the end, and the last few minutes left me unsatisfied, even a tad confused. It was left both too tidily wrapped-up and too open-ended.
Frank Langella is one of the most undervalued of American actors - though he`s a rather bigger name in the States - and the film is worth seeing for 90 minutes of this formidable, humane, haunting, slightly otherworldly actor having what looks like the time of his life. He`s very funny too - his timing impeccable - without ever overdoing it.
A subtle, offbeat film, flawed, but well worth watching.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
bot & Frank' is a film of quiet understanding and under statements. Frank, played by Frank Langella,is a retired burglar and lives by himself in upstate New York. He seems to have some form of dementia, but just how much is a secret from us all. His son comes to visit once a week to clean up and bring groceries. During the week Frank walks to and fro to the library for books. He keeps in touch with his family via FaceTime on his big TV. His son needs more time with his family, so he brings Frank a robot who cleans and cooks and looks after Frank. Much resistance from Frank at first, but soon they are a pair. The robot keeps him on a low sodium diet and plans activities, like a garden and walking in the woods. An idyllic existence, until Frank decides to go back to his old profession.

I have to say I will be first in line for this robot, cleaning and cooking, wow! The robot has to remind Frank that he is a robot with no feelings, programmed to help out. That said, a relationship of sorts seems to develop. Frank visits the library often, and limes the librarian a great deal. Now, that relationship is weird. You will see what I mean.

Frank fools us in many ways, crafty fella that he is. Frank seems pretty much together many times, but then he forgets easily. A remarkable bit of acting by Frank Langella. This film is really a fun and emotional film. I enjoyed it, but it seemed far fetched to me in many ways. However, an entertaining film and well acted.

Recommended. 11-22-13
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Set a little time in the future Frank Langella plays an ageing jewel burglar who's befriended by a robot bought for him by his son to help him around the house he's reluctant to accept it at first but later when he gets to know it better he agrees and he and the robot plan heists together. An interesting concept but what makes this different from other films is that it's really about Alzheimer's Disease and the need to be understood and cared for by family or carers. Franks' predicament is made worse by his refusal to admit that he has a problem with his memory but his relationship with the robot ( voiced by Peter Sarsgaard ) is sweet and provides a touching lesson in acceptance and trust. A very good film with a hidden lesson that we should all take note of as most , if not all of us , will come into contact with this disease at some time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This is the confusing world of early dementia - where one does not quite see that one has it and tries to act normally. THis is Frank. The son, maybe in denial, seems not to understand either and acts like an idiot. Sarandon his ex-wife is much more aware as is Madison his daughter. That said, he pulls off some stunts with his robot friend which is quite sophisticated and in a way has a last laugh. The ending is where he sinks further into dementia and is in a home with other such sufferers and their robots. If you know someone with dementia, you will know this gradual path of denial to oblvion. Good thoughtful film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 5 May 2014
This is a touching exploration of what a man in the elder years of his life is going through in his retirement - but it avoids the usual stereotypes. Frank is not a stereotypical pensioner - he is a retired burglar.

It is an odd-couple movie with a twist - the twist here is that his new buddy is a robot, not a robot that is intelligent like C3-PO or Data from Star Trek, but something more likely to be made as a consumer product in the near future. It says something about the script that you can believe a friendship is developing between a man and what is essentially a high tech appliance, albeit with a programmed personality.

Good for a Sunday evening film when you want to watch something a bit more light-hearted.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 May 2015
In a near future a lonely, retired cat burglar, Frank Weld has been given a robot carer by his busy son with the ulterior motive of saving journeys to see his increasingly fragile and forgetful Dad. Frank is at first hostile to this invasion of his privacy, with the robot cooking, cleaning and programmed to assist Frank live a healthier lifestyle. Frank begrudgingly begins to accept the help and starts questioning the robot about its programming. He discovers after a minor shoplifting incident that it has no legal compass, and hatches a plot to use the robot to help him spice up his dull life , using it as a tool to assist his lapsed skill set and rekindle interest in a dull existence. The robot goes along with this because promoting an interest, any interest improves cognitive function.

This unlikely tale is an acting masterclass from the film's star Frank Langella. As well as being an offbeat buddy movie it's also a parable about the relationship between an aging parent and grown up children with their own lives to lead. Langella makes the role believable, aided by an excellent script from first-time scriptwriter Christopher D.Ford. Relationships between characters are well developed, particularly so between Frank and Jennifer, a librarian played beautifully by Susan Sarandon, who is revealed to be a little more than Frank realises late on thanks to his by now apparent Alzheimer's Disease.

A thoughtful film, well played, well written, well directed, well worth seeing for any fan of independent art cinema; or simply those who appreciate a film with a good, thoughtful storyline and a tale to tell.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 August 2014
I've been stuck in bed for the past week recovering from surgery for a fractured ankle. (Happened while I was showing my 9-year old son how to bunny hop on his new stunt scooter... DOH!)

Anyway, I've been trawling Amazon Prime looking for a half decent film that I haven't seen yet... slim pickings!

I've been getting increasingly sick and tired of brainless action movies, big-budget blockbusters and overly 'slick & stylised' thrillers - feel asleep during the last one I watched this afternoon, despite the high-speed camera work, pyrotechnics and special effects.

This evening I wanted something different to keep me totally occupied for a few more hours - but not an Indie-film 'snooze fest' ... the opiate based medication I'm on for my ankle would have endured I missed the latter half of anything less than totally engaging.

Luckily I stumbled on 'Robot & Frank', a title I remember had a great review in Empire magazine. Something about an elderly ex-Jewel thief, living on his own who gets a Robot to look after him. (I admit the synopsis didn't make me rush to watch it, but like I say, after the stupid formulaic action movies I've been watching, anything was worth a try this evening!)

And what a treat! Robot & Frank is without doubt one of the best films I've seen in a long long time.

Lots of laugh out loud moments, perfectly blended with poignant and genuinely touching surprises that result in a film watching experience which surpasses any I've had in a long time.

I never realised what a good actor Frank Langella is either. I've seen him in plenty of other films, but this one really lets him shine.

He gives a completely believable performance - which is saying something when his co-star who he spends a lot of the movie talking to is a faceless robot.

I won't spoil the ending but I'll be amazed if it doesn't put a lump in your throat.

If you're sick and tired of brainless big-budget blockbusters, give this a try instead - I promise you'll be very pleasantly surprised.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 June 2014
In a rural area just outside New York,an ex jewel thief lives on his own,a poor husband & not a very good father.His daughters job involves alot of travelling but his son visits every week.His kids worry that he is not coping so as it's the near future & trying to help,they buy him some help,a robot butler.The robot has Franks health & well being as important in its programing but Frank discovers it might come in useful on some burgleries.
A buddie film with a difference,the odd friendship built between man & a machine,the robot reminds Frank every now & then that he is not a person,he is a robot.
This is a light hearted drama thats well acted with a good cast but its really not funny.The robot is really well done & voiced perfectly by Peter Sarsgaard,three stars is really for the complete lack of laughs,didn't anyone see the potential here for some really good visual jokes at least.

Good but should have been much better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 May 2014
You know how when you see film trailers they always contain the best bits and then when you see the whole thing it can disappoint, right? Well, we bought this as we saw the trailer at the start of another DVD and my wife thought it looked great, so.......
To be fair it doesn't disappoint, but you've got to stick with it. The first hour or so can seem a little bit pedestrian as far as the plot goes, and you do wonder why the characters put up with so much bad behaviour from 'Frank' (Frank Langella on good form and making it look easy, as always) but there are some interesting twists in the last part that make the journey worth while.
Try not to over-analyse the robots moral behaviour as its enough to make Asimov spin in his grave , just go with the flow .
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