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Robot & Frank Review Critics


Dave White Profile

This is not the droid you're looking for. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 40

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    The concept is schematic and predictable, and watching first-rate actors - the cast includes Susan Sarandon as a local librarian - doing third-rate material is a dubious pleasure.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    This is a framework that could have benefitted from more irony and complexity, especially with the resources of Langella, but at the end, I felt the movie was too easily satisfied.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter John DeFore

    Robot & Frank reminds quirk-hardened veterans that an odd premise and big heart don't have to add up to too-precious awards bait.

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  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Robot & Frank is sentimental high-concept fluff that works.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 13+

Offbeat sci-fi buddy movie isn't likely to attract teens.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Robot & Frank is an indie dramedy with a sci-fi twist. Although the film's mature subject matter (an aging ex-con father has health and relationship issues) isn't too likely to appeal to tweens or teens, there's not a ton of age-inappropriate content. Language is the biggest concern, with one "f--k" and several "s--t"s, and there are a couple of passionate kisses and some adult alcohol consumption. If your teen does want to see Robot & Frank, the movie's futuristic setting and its messages about family make for interesting discussion topics.

  • Families can talk about futuristic movies. How is Robot & Frank different than other future-set movies?
  • Frank is preoccupied with the book Don Quixote. Talk to kids about the significance of this text and how Frank is like the central character, with Robot serving as his sidekick.
  • Do you think the future portrayed in Robot & Frank is possible, particularly when it comes to elder care?
  • What are some other futuristic movies that feature a central robot? How is "Robot" the opposite of the robot in A.I.: Artificial Intelligence? Which kind of robot (those that look like machines or those that look like people) do you think is more likely to be popular in the future?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: This is a bittersweet film with some potentially sad themes about aging and family relationships, but there's also a positive message about the lengths that adult children can and should go to make sure their parents are cared for in retirement and poor health. The importance of unconditional friendship is also stressed.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Frank's kids are doing their best to take care of him, even though he was a neglectful father at times. They both show up regularly and try to watch after him. The robot, despite not being human, tries to give Frank advice that will protect him and help his health. Jennifer the librarian is kind and generous toward Frank.

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence: Frank is chased by armed police officers, but no one is hurt. A suspicious man accuses Frank of stealing his valuables and attempts to get in his face, but there's no actual violence. Frank, a cat burglar, engages in shoplifting, breaking and entering, and other criminal (but not violent) behavior.

  • sex false2

    Sex: A married couple is shown through a window kissing passionately in what's clearly a prelude to more. A woman wears a cleavage-baring dress. An older couple kisses once after flirting for most of the movie.

  • language false3

    Language: One "f--k" and a few uses of "s--t," "a--hole," "bitch," "bastards," and "damn," plus a few scatological terms, like "piece of crap," "dump," etc.

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Frank's son drives an Audi, but because the film is set in the relatively distant future, there aren't too many labels or product placements.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Adults drink at cocktail parties and meals. A woman jokes that fundraisers are easier to deal with after a few drinks.