The Company You Keep: One of this year's best films

Gary Wolcott, atomictown.comApril 25, 2013 

The acting company Robert Redford keeps in The Company You Keep doesn't get any better. A who's who list of current and former A-list actors and actresses dot this thriller's landscape.

Redford directs and stars as Nick Sloan, one of the leaders of a 1960s radical anti-war, anti-U.S. government group. For decades, he's been underground. Instead of living a life on the run, Sloan changed his name to Jim Grant, became an attorney, got married and had a child.

His life changes when one of his former friends, who is also underground and wanted for murder, is captured by the FBI. Grant gets unwillingly drawn back to an era and a place in time he'd rather forget when a wily and hungry young reporter covering her case figures out that Grant is really Sloan.

Grant goes on the run and has to reconnect with his old colleagues to prove he wasn't involved in the murder.

The Company You Keep is a taut and complex thriller. And in spite of the large and very talented cast, it's tightly done. Redford's co-stars are Shia LaBeouf, Susan Sarandon, Julie Christie, Nick Nolte, Sam Elliott, Chris Cooper, Terrence Howard, Stanley Tucci, Richard Jenkins, Brendan Gleesen, Stephen Root, Anna Kendrick and Brit Marling.

Some have big parts, others smaller roles, but everyone is critical to Lem Dobb's (Haywire) excellent screenplay.

Redford is a patient storyteller. In his ninth trip behind the camera, Redford tells Grant/Sloan's connection to the crime and to the radical organization at a glacial pace. In some movies slow actually works. This is one of them, and because of his patience, Redford crafts one of the year's better films.

Director: Robert Redford

Stars: Robert Redford, Susan Sarandon, Shia LeBeouf, Julie Christie, Nick Nolte, Sam Elliott, Chris Cooper, Terrance Howard, Stanley Tucci, Richard Jenkins, Brendan Gleesen, Stephen Root, Anna Kendrick, Brit Marling

Mr. Movie rating: 4 1/2 stars

Rated R for mature themes. It is playing at the Carmike 12 and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen

4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.

3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.

2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.

0 stars: Speaks for itself.

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