Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

"The Company You Keep": Robert Redford Brings Back Activism 

Wednesday, Apr 10 2013

Robert Redford's new thriller seems pleasingly to share some DNA with his old thrillers — the ones he starred in, like Three Days of the Condor, and All the President's Men, and for that matter even Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. He's in his element calling shots both in front of and behind the camera in The Company You Keep, a movie about outlaws and aging lefty crusaders coming to terms with their legacies. Here Redford stars as a former Weather Undergrounder dodging the feds and tending to some urgent unfinished business with an old flame, now a pot-runner in Big Sur, played by Julie Christie. Hot on his trail is a tenacious journalist played by Shia LaBeouf in clever-guy glasses and an old-school-muckraker pose. The huge roster of strong supporting players includes Chris Cooper, Brendan Gleeson, Richard Jenkins, Susan Sarandon, Sam Elliott, Stanley Tucci, Anna Kendrick, Stephen Root, Terrence Howard, Brit Marling, and even Nick Nolte. Lem Dobbs's script, adapted from Neil Gordon's novel, is intelligent and only just slightly speechifying. The subtext – "Listen, kids, there was a time in this country when activists acted and reporters reported!" — seems sufficiently restrained. And although the movie seems gradually to tire of chewing on all it has bitten off, one senses its maker's respect for principled people of any generation.

About The Author

Jonathan Kiefer

SF Weekly movie critic Jonathan Kiefer is on Twitter: @kieferama and of course @sfweeklyfilm.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"