Daily News header

Robot & Frank Movie Review

By     get stories by email

The burdens faced by adult children confronted with parenting in turn their aging and mentally deteriorating parents, is not a topic you'd tend to associate with science fiction. So it may come as no surprise that, even with a tenderly conceived tale at its core, Robot & Frank is more uneven mix 'n match than magical.

Frank Langella stars as the Frank in question, a grouchy, troubled elder living a withdrawn existence alone in the old family home up in rustic Cold Spring, New York. Frank also happens to be a career burglar, whose years in prison have left his two grown children feeling neglected but still periodically concerned for his well-being.

Dropping in occasionally, mostly via Skype, from their busy lives far away are son Hunter (James Marsden) and daughter Madison (Liv Tyler). But not to worry, Frank fills his empty life by periodically fine tuning his rusty breaking and entering skills in the area. When not shoplifting items from one annoying new nicknack boutique in particular in town, that replaced his favorite hangout.

Nevertheless, Hunter insists that his resistant dad could use a little help around the house, which has become untidy in the extreme of late. And much to Frank's dismay, a robot is delivered to the house whether he likes it or not. Though the crafty codger eventually concocts all sorts of unusual schemes as to how he can trick the mechanical intruder into joining up with him in assorted criminal activities. Including the theft of a priceless rare book from the local library, when not distracted by his longtime infatuation with cheerful librarian, Jennifer (Susan Sarandon).

First time director Jake Schreier does his best to infuse emotional weight into this rather light and meandering fare. But the effect is more stiff than dramatically fluid, with a sense of leading the audience around by the nose in much the way that Frank prods his robotic pal about. Though with an injection of quite a heartfelt finale that nearly salvages whatever inconsequential escapades preceded it.

On a side note, an undetectable Peter Sarsgaard pretty much disappears into his role as the voice of the robot. While Liv Tyler does turn up for a little minor mischief, but barely.

Samuel Goldwyn Films
Rated PG-13
2 1/2 stars

To see the trailer of Robot & Frank:

Prairie Miller is a NY multimedia journalist online, in print and on radio, and on WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network's Arts Express. Read more reviews by Prairie Miller. Contact Prairie through NewsBlaze. Read more stories by Prairie Miller.

  Please click this get stories by email button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

Directed by Francis Lawrence, the movie stars Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, supported by Josh Hutcherson as Peeta, Liam Hemsworth as Gale, Woody Harrelson as Haymitch...
Horrible Bosses 2 does have its moments, a captivating car chase during which our heroes drag a chain link fence onto the freeway while on the run from the authorities.
The Thanksgiving celebration will be more lavish and fabulous when family sit together to watch the fresh DVD releases for this week!
For movies opening November 21, 2014, here are the must-see movies of the week, including The Hunger Games : Mockingjay Part 1
On TV, Jeffrey Wright appears on HBO's Boardwalk Empire, as Dr. Valentin Narcisse, Doctor of Divinity, student of culture and the man who runs Harlem.
Dumb and Dumber To sees the terminally-inane antics of Lloyd Christmas (Carrey) and Harry Dunne (Daniels), gullible dimwits with a penchant for playing and being the butt of practical jokes.

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month



Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2014 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site