March 27, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 36°F


Review: ‘Robot & Frank’ electrifies audiences as one of the year’s most moving duos

What could come between a man and his freedom? A robot caretaker! “Robot & Frank” is a quirky story about family, love and blossoming friendships.

The story surrounds a divorced, older man and former jewel thief Frank (Frank Langella), who lives alone in a secluded home. Frank has been struggling increasingly with episodes of disorientation and memory loss, which are affecting his life to the point where his two adult children, Hunter (James Marsden) and Madison (Liv Tyler), feel he can no longer live on his own.

When Frank protests against his son’s request for him to move to a nursing home, Hunter forces him to accept the help of a robot butler, voiced by Peter Sarsgaard, who has been programmed to assist Frank and help him live a healthier life. Frank is reluctant to accept the robot’s help because he is content with his sloppy lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits. He is also content with his frequent trips to the library, where he flirts with the librarian, Jennifer (Susan Sarandon).

His relationship with the unnamed robot changes when he finds he can connect with it by teaching it his old burglarizing skills, which quickly turns into a chance relive his youthful heist days.

The movie owes much of its success to Academy Award-nominee Langella, who leaves the audience falling in love with the film’s title character. Additionally, Academy Award-winner Sarandon gives a heartfelt performance that complements Langella beautifully.

Director Jake Schreier creates a film that not only serves as a vehicle for emotion-packed performances, but also tells an original story.

“Robot & Frank” takes a script filled with humor and heart, as well as breathtaking performances by the entire cast, and creates a film that will leave audiences stunned by this genuine, sincere story.
Overall rating: 3 1/2 stars

A man is forced to live with a robot assistant after suffering bouts of disorientation and memory loss.