Help pack a million meals for struggling seniors on Sept. 11. Volunteer today




Movies for Grownups


Caucasian couple looking at a laptop computer together


Virgo - AARP Horoscope

Look at what your future holds if your birthday is between August 23 & September 22

Contests & Sweeps

Enter the $50K Picture Your Retirement Sweepstakes. Ends 8/31/15. No purchase necessary. Enter for Official Rules.


The tablet with free 24/7 customer support. Learn More

Most Popular


Movie Review: 'Robot and Frank'

Caregiving robot and Alzheimer's patient give this buddy picture starring Frank Langella a twist

Director: Jake Schreier
Rating PG-13. Running Time: ‎90 min
Stars: Frank Langella, James Marsden, Liv Tyler, Peter Sarsgaard

Robot and Frank is the year's best buddy picture: a funny, sad and ultimately inspiring story of two pals who are from not just two different worlds, but two different classes of sentient being. The story of a man with Alzheimer's whose children present him with a caregiving robot to help around the house sounds like the setup for a cheesy cable flick. But Frank Langella, one of the screen's finest actors, infuses Robot and Frank with such authentic humanity we buy into the whole premise without reservation.

Frank Langella in 'Robot and Frank'

Frank Langella in 'Robot and Frank' — Photo courtesy Samuel Goldwyn Films

When we meet Frank, he is pretty hopeless, muddling through life in the home he once shared with his wife, his aimless, undisciplined existence aggravating the early symptoms of Alzheimer's.

The story is set in the near future, where diminutive walking, talking robots help people with simple daily routines. (Some nursing homes in the United States currently use lifelike fuzzy robot pets to calm dementia patients, so the future isn't as distant as the film might imply.) When Frank's grown son (James Marsden) unloads his dad's new robot from the trunk of his car, Frank's disdain is clear.

"It'll kill me in my sleep!" he barks, to no avail. The robot is there to stay.

Before long Frank becomes grudgingly tolerant of the robot, but as he observes the machine's skill sets, he sees a brilliant opportunity. Frank, you see, is a retired jewel thief, one of the world's best. He's served his time and long since retired, but that doesn't deter him from setting up a test for his new little friend: How good is he at picking locks?

Pretty darned good, it turns out. So Robot and Frank suddenly becomes a nifty little caper picture, with a bit of romance thrown in as Frank gets to make time with the lovely local librarian, played by Susan Sarandon. A monkey wrench gets thrown into the works when Frank's globe-trotting political activist daughter (Liv Tyler) drops in and insists that the robot be turned off. In the near future, it appears, the enslavement of robots as helpmates will raise cultural controversy in some circles.

Through it all, Frank's underlying disability is never far from the surface, a fact that gives the proceedings unexpected levels of taut suspense and lingering melancholy. Christopher D. Ford's script deftly explores all the film's relationships with knowing good humor, and the action moves along swiftly enough so we never stop to say, "Hey, wait a minute …"

You may also like: Frank Langella in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Your Scoop on Cinema

Movies for Grownups is focused on films with distinct relevance to a 50-plus audience. In reviews, previews and interviews, we look for actors and themes that speak to the experiences of older moviegoers. Find more about us on:


100 Must-See Movies for Grownups

100 Must-See Movies for Grownups

By Bill Newcott
January 2015

A treasure trove of delightfully offbeat recommendations for discerning moviegoers, from the beginnings of film right up the present.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Live Nation

Members save 25% or more when buying tickets in groups of four from Ticketmaster.

Cirque Du Soleil

Members save 15-30% on tickets to live Cirque du Soleil shows.

Member Benefit AARP Regal 2

Members pay $8 for Regal ePremiere tickets purchased online. Conditions apply.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points