Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on October 2013
Robert Redford begins his tribute to ‘60s idealism with a quick primer on the decade’s anti-war counterculture, the Students for a Democratic Society and that earnest body’s radically violent Weather Underground wing. Redford casts himself as a former radical in hiding whose small-town-lawyer cover is blown when a fellow weatherperson (Susan Sarandon) turns herself in for a bank robbery 30 years previously in which a bank guard was killed. He goes to ground, seeking the only person from back in the day who can testify that he was not involved in the robbery (a terrific Julie Christie). Hardened and unsentimental, she’s also the only former comrade who remains unrepentant. His search brings him into contact with an astounding lineup of aging character actors, including Chris Cooper, Nick Nolte, Richard Jenkins, Brendan Gleeson and Sam Eliot. Meanwhile, the younger generation is represented by Shia LeBoeuf as a dogged young reporter sniffing out a great scoop. Also Terrence Howard, Anna Kendrick and Brit Marling. It’s sedately paced; okay, a little slow. But this gives the overqualified cast time to stretch out. Redford’s not making a thriller here, but a thought-provoking piece that values the intelligence of his audience.