'The Old Man & the Gun' celebrates not only the talents of Robert Redford, but a style of storytelling rarely appreciated anymore

Fox SearchlightRobert Redford in ‘The Old Man & the Gun.’
  • “The Old Man & the Gun” stars Robert Redford as a 70-year-old bank robber.
  • But director David Lowery tells the story in a way that makes it more than just a cops-and-robbers movie.

Every weekend we pick an indie movie currently playing in theatres we think is definitely worth your time and money, and this week’s is “The Old Man & the Gun.”

From the opening shot of “The Old Man & the Gun” you know you are watching something from a different era.

Director David Lowery’s use of grainy Super 16mm film to capture the story of a 70-year-old bank robber transports you immediately to the early 1980s, where the internet and smart phones are replaced with transistor radios and pay phones.

And at the center of it all is Robert Redford. Still sporting that grin that made him a big-screen idol in the very decade the movie is set in, it seems like Redford is having the time of his life in every frame of the movie playing a character he knows how to do so well, a charmer from the wrong side of the tracks.

Based on a true story, Redford plays career criminal Forrest Tucker, who since 15 has spent most of his life getting sent to prisons and eventually escaping them. The movie looks at Tucker as he goes on a string of bank heists after escaping San Quentin State Prison.

But this is hardly a “Bonnie and Clyde” cops-and-robbers movie. Lowery, who has always made movies that have a mythical feel (“Ain’t Them Bodies Saints,” “Pete’s Dragon”), delves deeper into the persona of Tucker and what makes him tick. From the relationship he has with his crew (played by Danny Glover and Tom Waits) to his own vagabond lifestyle that pulls in Jewel (Sissy Spacek) to how he goes about robbing banks. Though he has a gun (we never really ever see him holding it when he’s in the bank), it’s more a wink and a smile that leads him to getting the money.

Lowery obviously uses the incredible talents of Redford to push all this forward. One of the more meatier roles he’s done in a while (supposedly this is his final movie), he uses every moment on film to explore the layers of his character while also entertaining the heck out of us, the audience.

“The Old Man & the Gun” has an ease to it that sucks you in. It’s a mellow vibe of storytelling that isn’t appreciated anymore, but it’s absolutely worth revisiting.

See where “The Old Man & the Gun” is playing near you.

Our indie movie picks from previous weekends:

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