It’s hard to find a movie that’s more thoughtful, better acted or more unique than Robot and Frank. Simply put, it’s one of the best movies of the year, and one of the best science fiction films of all time.
In the realm of speculative fiction, we almost always see spaceships, dystopias and intergalactic war. However, we almost never get films that portray the more immediate reality of the collaboration of technology and humanity—that golden spot before the Singularity where we will co-exist with intelligent, interactive robots.
Robot and Frank is concerned with this, but only so far as it sets up a fabulous relationship—aging burglar Frank (played exquisitely by Frank Langella) has contracted, apparently, Alzheimer’s, and requires near-weekly visits by his distant son Hunter (a surprising turn from James Marsden).
In order to change these weekly visits into no visits, Hunter drops off a very expensive robotic medical assistant (voiced by Peter Sarsgard). The two initially have a combative relationship, but Frank soon realizes that the robot, who is not necessarily programmed to follow the law, would make an excellent companion on a series of escalating heists. What follows is a tender, funny, and quite well-scripted look at a new friendship in the age of machines.
UA DeVargas, PG-13, 90 min.