Set sometime in the future, Robot and Frank is a delightful dramatic comedy, a buddy picture, and, for good measure, a heist film. Curmudgeonly old Frank lives by himself. His routine involves daily visits to his local library, where he has a twinkle in his eye for the librarian. His grown children are concerned about their father’s well-being and buy him a caretaker robot. Initially resistant to the idea, Frank soon appreciates the benefits of robotic support—like nutritious meals and a clean house—and eventually begins to treat his robot like a true companion. With his robot’s assistance, Frank’s passion for his old, unlawful profession is reignited, for better or worse.
Frank Langella makes acting—and acting with a robot, no less—look effortless, and his relationship with the machine is filled with poignant exchanges and amusing adventures. First-time director Jake Schreier creates a lush world with futuristic flourishes and tells a beautiful story about family and the implications of humankind’s ever-changing relationship with technology. –Sundance Film Festival
Things like dementia, bank heists, and robots don't seem like they are compatible. They aren't at first, but they meld together quite nicely by the ending. I felt like there was wasted potential with Frank not wanting to wipe the robot's memory. They made it sound like it was because he was empathetic, but a man with dementia might have other reasons. Maybe they touched on it, but it was too subtle for me to catch.
A cute trifle, though underwritten and somewhat formulaic. An impressive cast had the merest of material work with, though Langella was, not unsurprisingly, quite charming and carried the proceedings with ease.