Written July 31, 2014
At this point in his career, Mr. Redford doesn't have to do anything that doesn't feed his social views. And why not...he's earned it. In a way, this movie made me think of Clint Eastwood's "Unforgiven"...a revisit to tie up loose ends. Yes there are consequences, Virginia, even if it takes a lifetime for them to flower. First, the cast is over the top. One can imagine the phone calls and the ensuing "hell yeah I'll do it" from the assembled old line; Sarandon, Nolte, Chris Cooper, Sam Elliot, Terrence Howard and more pop up in 'cameo's to give it authenticity. Shia LaBeouf was outstanding as the prying reporter. Redford is...well, Redford-weathered (though his leather jacket seemed a bit buff) and dependable. Julie Christie (!) was remarkable. To see a movie on domestic terrorism on the night the Boston Marathon bomber was extracted from his hidey-hole was also oddly serendipitous. As an aging nonviolent hippie it was interesting to see what it was like from the other side. B+
Written April 13, 2013
A worthwhile depiction of an era when values mattered and people acted on them, against the age of indifference that surrounds us. The movie is static at times, oversimplifies issues and plot, but also confronts us with a time when people were willing to sacrifice for deeply felt values about a country and a people they cared deeply about. And it presents an interesting historical perspective on them viewed through the filter of today's post 9/11 world, when acts of protest are conflated with lack of patriotism in a climate of purposefully manipulated Cheney-originated fear. See it to remember or to learn.
Written June 23, 2013
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Written April 07, 2013
A group of fugitives who committed crimes in the 60s in the name of anti-establishment principles unexpectedly get outed after one of them turns herself in. I'm sure there are plenty of leftist baby boomers out there who will love this movie for the memories it brings and the principles it preaches about, namely anti-establishment rhetoric. However, as a movie it plays like a second-rate remake of The Fugitive. The storyline is similar: Redford's character is unjustly accused and he goes on the run to prove his innocence. The premise is weak, since a women he once loved has to turn herself in and confess all, including Redford's character's non-involvement for it to work. Nevertheless, Redford is on the run in this movie and he contacts his old network of leftist revolutionaries to try and clear his name. All this is very entertaining and some of the moments are thrilling, but no enough to save the film from its righteous preaching and uninspired storyline.
Written August 26, 2014
I was interested in what the dynamics would be with Labeouf and Redford on the screen. Labeouf was spot on! Redford was very good, especially portraying an aging revolutionary. The supporting cast was made up of a list of people that would have lived the unrest of the 60's. When Sarandon spoke of the the events at Kent State you know she remembers it as news, not as an element in a movie's plot sequence. And it goes on with the litany of characters that follow. They all lived through that turmoil. I was drawn deeper and deeper into the movie as it unfolded because I began to realize that I had lived through and struggled with many of the same issues that were highlighted in the storyline. And for what it's worth, go to the bathroom before starting the movie. I wanted to go for a bathroom break after about 20 minutes, but refused to go because I was afraid I was going to miss something important. I waited until the movie was over, and not because I didn't have to go.