THE COMPANY YOU KEEP
(directed by Robert Redford, 2012)
**** (out of 5)
> Robert Redford is a fine craftsman and a detail-oriented technician. He makes good films. He occasionally makes near-great films. He certainly has here!
. This is a taut thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. It’s a formulaic tale really: man with a tainted past reinvents himself to escape the mistaken hand of justice (LES MISERABLES), but led by a dogged nemesis (Javert) he is forced underground in a desperate gambit to clear his sullied name. This film features one of those impossibly wonderful ensemble casts of superb actors at the peak of their game. There is not a weak performance in the film, even when (as with Sam Elliot and Chris Cooper) they are not given much to do. Carefully-lit to minimize the rugged roadmap that is now his face, Redford is very good here, and we root for him even as we are unsure if he was guilty of the murder rap he has been saddled with. Also appearing: Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci, a very crusty Nick Nolte, an eternally young Julie Christie, Terrence Howard, Richard Jenkins, it’s an amazing array of stellar talent.
. But the big surprise here is the new kid on the block. Shia LaBeouf is very good in the central role of the ambitious reporter struggling to uncover the truth, if only he can avoid self-destructing in his personal life.
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