Robot and Frank (movie review)
Don’t watch the trailer – it gives away too much!

This is one of those times I’m asking you not to watch the trailer.  You’re just going to have to trust me when I say that the tone of Robot and Frank can be summed up in one fantastic quote:  “Back off you little astronaut bastard.” 

To whoever made this:  You're mean, but this is still really funny.

To whoever made this: You’re mean, but this is still really funny.

This movie is all about the screenplay and the performances.  Frank Langella could have easily gone way over the top in so many scenes, but he stays rooted and grounded in a way that gives the movie both a firm grip on reality for the viewer but also gravitas in the sense that you believe everything happening in the flick because of his performance.

Liv Tyler, Susan Sarandon and James Marsden support Langella by following his example.  Marsden and Tyler have similar opportunities where they could have flown off the handle, but I tend to think that Langella’s performance (as the lead actor) tells everyone, “This is where we are – you can’t deviate too far from this line.”  Maybe this credit should go to director Christopher D. Ford, but if you’ve seen a lot of Langella’s movies, you know what I’m talking about.

Peter Sarsgaard provides the voice of the robot while the on set robot was performed by dancer Rachael Ma – except for two days, when Dana Morgan filled in simply because Ma needed break due to the intense discomfort of the robot suit.  Three people, one character and it all came together perfectly.  It was a gamble, but they pulled it off and made it look easy on the screen, but I’m sure Ma and Morgan are around to swear otherwise.

It should also be noted that Robot and Frank has great direction and cinematography; it’s the kind of approach that’s so good, you don’t even notice it.

Look, I don’t want to spoil too much for you.  This movie is great and if you’re a fan of comedy and drama or movies at all, you should check out Robot and Frank.  I didn’t want it to end and when it’s over, I wanted to watch it again.  I certainly haven’t seen everything that came out in 2012, but this is easily one of the best movies of that year.

About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of, and editor in chief of

Posted on December 31, 2014, in movie review and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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