THE COMPANY YOU KEEP = 7 ½
Directed by and starring Robert Redford, this is a good movie with plot twists and suspense starting from the opening scene when Susan Sarandon is arrested for a crime that occurred thirty years earlier when she and a group of others belonging to the Weather Underground terrorized American institutions in protest of the Viet Nam War. The arrest sparks a search for a number of other conspirators of those times, wanted for murder.
Redford, aging and settled into Americana, was one of those underground protesters of 1972, since changing his name and living as a reputable lawyer in Albany New York, a widower with the responsibility of an eleven year-old daughter for whom he devotes his life. (played ably by screen newcomer, Jackie Evancho) Suddenly, after living a comfortable life in disguise, Redford is on the run.
As the story unfolds, many characters come into play, all played by seasoned actors like Terrence Howard (FBI chief Investigator), Nick Nolte (old time comrade), Julie Christie (another old comrade) Stanley Tucci (Chief editor of the Albany newspaper) Richard Jenkins (old comrade now professor), Sam Elliott, and Shia LeBeouff who plays the dogged news reporter who defiantly pursues the story.
This is what movies are meant to be; a story, good acting, surprise twists, human struggle and suspense. It keeps the viewer captivated without car chases, crashes, glass breaking and bullets flying everywhere. It even minimizes the “F” word which is way overused in today’s motion picture vernacular.
Pay particular attention to the child star, Jackie Evancho. This bundle of talent rose to instant stardom on America’s Got Talent in 2010 when she sang opera arias with the voice of a seasoned diva. She has since blossomed into a successful recording artist and now, has made her first movie. I suspect there will be many more.
If you don’t remember Jackie, here’s a link from that show:
I think this could have been a better movie had it been directed by an Eastwood or a Ron Howard. Some of the acting was cheesy and implausible though all the primary actors were major stars. Terrence Howard overplayed his role as head of the FBI team. I also felt the script over-glamourized the era of domestic terrorists, a la Bill Ayres, and the like…which some of these characters portrayed.
I score this movie a 7 ½ … worth the price of a ticket for people who enjoy good suspense, plot and unpredictable endings.