The Company You Keep (2012)

the company you keep

The Company you Keep (2012)


The Company you keep is based off of the novel with the same name written by Neil Gordon.

The film follows a journalist (Shia LaBeouf) who discovers the true identity of a former member of The Weather Underground (Robert Redford) who is wanted in connection to a murder.

The Company you Keep LaBeouf Tucci

I was excited to see this movie because I often enjoy movies about investigative journalism, not to mention the cast is fully loaded with talent.  Redford directs and stars alongside LaBeouf, Julie Christie, Susan Surandon, Stanley Tucci, Terrence Howard, Nick Nolte, Chris Cooper, Richard Jenkins, Brendan Gleeson, Sam Elliot, Stephen Root, Anna Kendrick, Brit Marling, and Jackie Evancho.  Redford may be getting old, but he still has the star power to bring together a big A-list group of actors to make a movie.

The Weather Underground is an anti-war activist group that was around during the Vietnam War era.  I had heard about this group before, but I went into the film knowing absolutely nothing about them.  The movie explains what the group was all about, but given the fact that the story is based off of a novel, they sort of mix fact with fiction.

The Company you Keep LaBeouf Root

Like most films about investigative journalism, the story moves along at a slow to steady pace as the reporter tries to figure things out about the story that he is trying to tell.  There is plenty of time for character development and the dialogue is well-written.  Great actors tend to pop up out of the woodwork like weeds when these types of movies are made and The Company you Keep is no exception.

The Company you Keep Redford

It was refreshing to see Robert Redford acting again.  He hasn’t been in a movie since Lions for Lambs (2007).  Although he has always been a tremendous actor, he really has aged.  They tried to make him seem younger in the film by dying his hair and having him jogging in one scene.  But, when all is said and done, the movie icon was too old for the part he was playing.  This fact took a little bit away from the film.

The person that really stood out the most was Shia LaBeouf.  He has strong screen presence, and when he is not doing a Transformers movie, his charisma can really take over a movie.  The rest of the cast played their parts well but, LaBeouf was the glue that held the film together.

The Company you Keep Redford running

The Company you Keep was quality filmmaking with a few flaws.  The flaws weren’t very noticeable until a little over halfway through the film.  Redford did his best with the story that he had, but ultimately the movie was anticlimactic and it became predictable.  The dialogue was great, the acting was superb, but there were few surprises along the way to make the movie stand out.

The Company you Keep Surandon

The film was worth seeing, if only to watch masters of the acting craft at work.

I rate this movie a 7 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Rent.

If you liked The Company You Keep, then you will probably enjoy the following films:

All is Lost (2013)

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints (2006)

Brubaker (1980)


About Brock Winspear

Structure Therapist and Film Critic

Posted on May 7, 2013, in Drama Movie Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. I’m a fan of Shia LaBeouf’s potential and look forward to this film. Thanks for the write up! Nice.

  2. All the other stars popping up like weeds, love the imagery. 🙂
    I really enjoyed reading this now that I’m done seeing it and writing my own, nicely done, and I quite agree with you as you know!

    • I appreciate that! It’s funny because I also don’t like reading reviews of movies that I haven’t seen yet unless I am on the fence about seeing it in the first place. If it’s one that I am already excited about then I try to wait until after I have already seen the movie before I read anyone else’s opinion on it. Thank you for reading and commenting!

      • We’re on the same page for the same reasons, we don’t want to be too influenced or affected until after the fact. Nice! lol

      • : ) Very true! I hate when people spoil movies and I always do my best not to spoil a movie for someone else. I’m one of those people that doesn’t trust critics until I have agreed with them a few times after already seeing the movie.

      • Being so conscientious about spoilers makes me trust your blog more than many, I can’t stand them either! 🙂

      • Well thank you! I always try to make the plot summary quick and to the point. I try not to give away more than what you would see in the trailer and often times even less than that. (I also hate when trailers show way too much!) For example, I only posted the teaser trailer of Due Date because the full trailer had so many funny scenes packed into it that I thought it gave to much away. The first time that I saw that movie I had not seen a preview for it and knew absolutely nothing about it beforehand except for who was in it. I think it was sooo much funnier that way. Thanks for your trust. Hopefully you’ll keep coming back to read more. It’s nice chatting with you.

      • Likewise on all accounts, when I’m saying things that happen in the movie I always channel the preview so it’s no more than you must know anyway, but even then I think to myself “what if the person didn’t see the preview and I’m giving away more than they would have seen?” Ultimately I need to give SOME context of who people are and what’s going on, so I dance around things carefully and so far nobody’s complained I spoiled too much. Not sure if you read this one post in particular of mine, but it’s exactly about this topic:

  3. I also hate hate spoilers. I generally don’t watch previews unless its months before the movie comes out, so I can anticipate the movie, but not remember what was ruined by the trailer 🙂

    Whats fun is to watch the trailer AFTER watching the movie, then you understand the trailer in full context.

    I also try not to read reviews before I see a movie.

    In my blog, I try so hard to not write spoilers which is much harder to do since the majority of my movies reviewed are not new and most people know lots about them.

    Great site Brock!!

    • Thanks for the nice comments Rob! I do appreciate it! I agree with you about trailers. I actually like to go back and watch trailers from old classic movies that you know line for line. If it’s on the DVD or Blu-ray it’s usually fun to watch. Often times old previews have scenes that didn’t even end up in the movie. I have mostly reviewed newer movies, but there are thousands that I would like to review and that includes many older ones. Thanks for checking out my site. I will definitely give yours a look.

  4. The whole cast is good, but every story isn’t. Shia’s character and story was the only one I fully cared about, whereas everybody else was just there and did their thing. Nice review.

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