The Company You Keep

Year: 2013
Production Co: Voltage Pictures
Director: Robert Redford
Producer: Robert Redford
Writer: Lem Dobbs
Cast: Robert Redford, Shia LeBeouf, Julie Christie, Susan Sarandon, Nick Nolte, Chris Cooper, Stanley Tucci, Terrence Howard, Richard Jenkins, Anna Kendrick, Brendan Gleeson, Brit Marling, Stephen Root, Sam Elliott

This is the first inkling I've had that Robert Redford suffers from the same malady as Clint Eastwood, and it might just be age. Despite his evident good health for a man of nearly 80, I saw too many performing and directorial shortcomings I think a younger, hungrier director would have worked harder to get right.

He plays an upstate, small-town lawyer with a cute daughter and a simple life, but when a violent underground protest activist (Sarandon), now a suburban wife and mother is arrested, an associate they have in common approaches him to ask for help.

With a new life and an assumed name, Nick (Redford) wants no part in the violence of the past and the murder the group were charged with. But when dogged local reporter Ben (LeBeouf, deep into his drive to do smaller movies that matter rather than empty-headed blockbusters) overturns Nick's true past, he goes on the run to clear his name by seeking out the group's former ringleader to convince her to tell the cops he wasn't responsible for the killing.

With the reporter and the FBI on his tail, Nick has to leave his daughter with his brother (Cooper) in secret, give the authorities the slip and crisscross the country to track Mimi (Christie), now a pot dealer, down.

It's a procedural, plot-heavy drama/thriller with a host of big names, most of whom have one or two scenes and then drift away. Redford's name no doubt drew them in, and while the performances are all fine and serviceable, I don't think anyone here except for younger actors like LeBeouf and Anna Kendrick as a junior FBI staffer tried especially hard.

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