Robot & Frank Movie Reviews

Robot & Frank

Robot & Frank

Release Date: Aug 24, 2012

Genre: Comedy

Rating: ()

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User reviews on Robot & Frank

  • 1
    horrible. I write saucy reviews and this is the driest one I typed yet. I despise the creator of this pointless film.
  • 5
    This movie made me cry and laugh all the way through - it's really sweet and a little sappy and very, very smart. I really loved Liv Tyler's performance as the caring daughter, she's so perfect in her part and I honestly hope I get to be like her in real life when my poppa is old (and gold!) Frank Langella is also really great and I expect he will get a lot of awards for this performance. But the scene stealer for me was Susan Sarandon. Her character was such a refreshing change from the usual roles played by older actresses. She's smart and quirky and full of life and with just enough sadness to make you want to be her friend without pitying her. I also liked the whole idea of people in their older years finding love and not having to settle for what's given to them. Sometimes those of us who are younger can be thoughtless until we find ourselves in the same boat. And if we all end up living to 150 as they say we will, let this be a cautionary tale.
  • 4
    Is there anyone who can play an earnest and caring daughter like Liv Tyler? For that matter, is there anyone who can play a sufferable old grouch like Frank Langella? The reason we like to suffer him, it seems, is because he is an actor who (like Meryl Streep) you would gladly pay to hear recite the alphabet. They take the mundane and make it marvelous, the banal becomes breathtaking in their artistry, and the same holds true for the good-but-quite-great movie Robot & Frank.

    Frank (Langella) is a crotchety old miser who is advancing in age and beginning to lose his memory. His kids (played by Liv Tyler and James Marsden) try to remedy his situation by bringing him a companion: not a dog, or a caregiver, or a parakeet even. It’s a robot. Something that looks like a hybrid between Eva in Wall-E and the Scion IQ. You probably think “Oh, so this movie is about the bond between a widower slipping into dementia and a humanized robot. How sentimental and saccharine!” Nope, not even close. Robot doesn’t feel anything or pretend to be anything other than a cleverly programmed information and response system. The movie is set in the future so we can imagine that such contraptions are commonplace.

    Frank becomes romantically interested in the bookish front desk lady at the local library played by Susan Sarandon in yet another one of her ‘offbeat gal’ roles. They develop a friendship that soon begins to supersede whatever bond he has developed with Robot who simply acknowledges what he says and then offers a simple, automated response. Could it be that all he wants in the twilight of his life is to be heard?

    There’s a subplot involving Frank’s past as a small time cat burglar which becomes far too important toward the climactic moments of the movie and which ultimately distracts from the main story of the film. The performances are all superb, especially those of Langella and Sarandon (and yes, in that order), that to carp seems almost unseemly. Some will argue that the whole premise is far too sentimental to be taken seriously, and with any other actor in the lead I would agree. But Langella plays Frank with such pitch perfect misery and hopeful despair that we cannot help but feel for him. Even if the film only works intermittently, those moments are worth the audience’s time.
  • 3
    I liked this movie, though I found it rather unbelievable. I'm guessing that since it's set in the future we're supposed to believe that grown kids would get their Alzheimer's suffering Dad a robot instead of asking him to move in with them or putting him in a nursing home or senior living facility. Is that what the future holds for them? The movie is kind of a muddled mess but that doesn't keep Frank Langella from keeping it grounded by underplaying his part as the Grumply Old Man that no one wants anything to do with. I always confuse him with Alan Arkin, but there's no denying that Langella is a much stronger actor. I wish the others in the movie played their parts the same way because that would have made it much more believable. I'm told that Peter Saarsgard voiced the robot but I really couldn't tell. A lot of us these days are attached to our devices, so in a way it makes sense that the future will show us attached to moving robots that replace our friends and family. Comforting and terrifying at the same time.
  • 2
    For some reason, I am convinced that the makers of this movie just watched the Pixar classics "Up" and "Wall-E" and decided that they could make this movie by combining the two stories together. It's about an old curmudgeon (Langella) who gets paid a visit from a space age stranger that's really just a robot gifted to him by his kids. He spends a lot of time looking at the thing, though since it's a robot, it just stares back until it's told what to do. It's kind of creepy to be honest, and very very sappy - to think that the lonely old man becomes attached to the robot just because he has nothing and no one in his life and looking at it all day somehow animates his imagination and keeps him from slipping too far too fast. It's a depressing portrait of growing old and I hope that when I'm that age I get someone to talk to besides a hunk of metal. The performances are solid, but the story is way too far fetched.
  • 5
    Yes, I'll admit I'm a sucker for movies about kids trying to do nice things for their elderly parents, even if what they choose to do is a bit weird. In this movie we have the dashing James Marsden and the gorgeous Liv Tyler as siblings who are worried that their elderly father (played by Frank Langella) is going through a tough patch as he comes to terms with his aging mind. His memory is not what it used to be, so he's worried that if he's all alone in the house all day he'll have nothing to do but lose his memories. So the kids get him a robot which they hope will keep him company. The reason they get him a robot is because the story is set in the future so there are apparently lots of technological advances available that we don't have today. I watched this movie the whole time wondering if my kids would do the same for me when I am old: I came out believing that they would, so it's definitely a feel-good movie!
  • 5
    If any other actor BUT Frank Langella were in the lead, this movie would have been unbearable. But he is such an amazingly gifted actor and artist that he takes what is an absolutely ludicrous premise and makes us believe it wholesale: he plays an old man who was once a cat burglar. He is now in his old age and he is beginning to show the first signs of memory loss. His kids decide that what he needs is a companion, so they end up buying him . . . a robot. You might think that, oh, well this is easy to predict: the old man and the robot understand each other better than any other pair of human beings in the history of the world and it all ends happily ever after.... not quite. It could have been very treacly and sappy, but Langella plays it absolutely real and nothing gets spoiled in the execution. It's a lot like an old person's version of E.T., except that this time the human needs saving, not the strange non-human species.
  • 4
    I absolutely loved this film and I think it is the best film i have seen so far and I highly recommend seeing it in the theaters. This film is smart, funny and really endearing and I had an amazing time watching it and thinking about it and urging my friends to see it. I did not expect this film to be as emotional and genuine as it was and it definitely took me by surprise. I can also describe this film as very charming and Frank Langella is to blame for that, he was truly incredible in this film and I hope he is nominated for this performance. Overall, this is one of those films that you do not want to miss.
  • 4
    I thought this was an amazing film and I highly recommend seeing it in the theaters. I have not see a film like this in a very long time and it was truly a breath of fresh air. The film is sweet, smart and heartbreaking and it was also acted superbly. Langella gave one of his best performances in this film and it was a true pleasure and a privilege to watch him act, I was in awe of him. The thing that I liked the most about this film is that it has a very humane spirit and a beautiful message.

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