The Old Man & The Gun review: A likeable rogue

November 16, 2018


The Old Man & The Gun (M) 

Rating: 3 / 5 


If you like your films to distinguish between right and wrong, The Old Man & The Gun will challenge you.

Based on the true story of career criminal Forrest Tucker (Robert Redford), it traces the life of a charismatic man who is addicted to the thrill of robbing banks.

We should detest this man who does indeed cause fear in his victims, but when questioned by police, each victim comments that Forrest was a ‘real gentleman’.

Redford’s Forrest is immensely likeable, and his bank heists never involve violence or raised voices. He simply politely shows that he has a gun and asks for his bag to be filled with money. Set in the early 1980s, there seem to be no panic buttons for staff to press and Forrest always gets away.

However, police do eventually catch him, and his life is a series of arrests, imprisonments and breakouts.

Forrest is in his 70s and has mellowed in every way except his addiction to the thrill of the heist. Along the way he meets Jewel (Sissy Spacek), a kind widow who provides a willing ear and a place to stay.

Forrest is part of what the police dub ‘The Over The Hill Gang’, with accomplices Teddy (Danny Glover) and Waller (Tom Waits) who are also big names for baby boomer audiences. 

The long arm of the law is personified by the determined Detective John Hunt (Casey Affleck) who hunts Forrest down but can’t help liking his quarry.

And that’s the dilemma for us—Forrest lives his life doing the wrong thing, but tries hard not to harm anyone, and we can’t help liking him. 

At 82, Redford has said this is his final film, and any fans of the youthful Redford will enjoy seeing this intriguing, craggier version who has lost none of his charm.


+ Robert Redford’s quirky charm


Twisted morality


Tags: Salvation Army Australia

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