Eppler: "Old Man & the Gun" a fitting bookend for Redford's care - FOX34 Lubbock

Eppler: "Old Man & the Gun" a fitting bookend for Redford's career

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It was almost 50 years ago that a fresh-faced Robert Redford exploded onto the scene as a charming, wily robber in 1969's "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," and now he's closing out his acting career with a role that feels like an older, wiser version of Sundance, but without an ounce of charm lost.

Set in the early 80s and shot partly in Fort Worth, "The Old Man and the Gun" is the sorta true story of career criminal Forrest Tucker, played by Redford. I say sorta true because the movie plays like a folk tale.

Redford leads the so-called Over-the-Hill gang with Danny Glover and singer Tom Waits. Casey Affleck is fantastic the cop and family man hot on their trail, and Sissy Spacek is sublime as a Texas widow drawn in by Redford's mystery man. 

"The Old Man and the Gun" is a pretty typical cops and robbers genre picture that's elevated to high art by writer and director David Lowery, one of the finest young directors working right now. Although the movie runs a quick 90 minutes, Lowery never gets himself in a hurry - letting moments breathe and allowing his camera to linger - especially in close-ups of his lead actor, whose face looks like a worn road map of experience with flashes in the eyes of a young man's exuberance. Redford, whose never won an Oscar for acting, is sensational in this movie.

 Lowery doesn't quite stick the landing with an ending that feels choppy, but "The Old Man and the Gun" is still highly enjoyable, and a perfect bookend for the career of a Hollywood legend.

EPPLER'S RATING: * * * * 

RATING SCALE

* * * * * Incredible - One of the best of the year
* * * * Excellent - Touches greatness with only minor quibbles
* * * Good - Plenty to like, definitely worth seeing
* * Mediocre - You can do better
* Awful  - The worst, an insult to movies

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