Parents' Guide to

Robot & Frank

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

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

Movie PG-13 2012 89 minutes
Robot & Frank Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 1 parent review

age 12+

Refreshingly down-to-earth!!

Super cute movie! Terrific acting and great cast. It says to be a comedy but it's more of a sweet drama with a kick of humor, it's heartfelt and charming. We meet a grumpy 'ole elderly man named Frank (Frank Langella) who is an ex-jewel thief living in New York and is also slowly losing his mind to Alzheimer's. He lives alone and spends his days going to the library where he likes to flirt with the easy-going librarian Jennifer (Susan Sarandon) and shoplift soaps and antiques from a shop just beside that. He frequently video-chats with his grown son Hunter (James Marsden) and daughter Madison (Liv Tyler) until Hunter drops by to introduce his dad to a robot butler that is designed to take care of Frank and can also wash dishes, vacuum, make meals...etc just like a real-life caregiver. At first, Frank declines and thinks the whole thing is ridiculous, but Hunter won't take no for an answer. Soon, Frank realizes how convenient it would be to use the no-name robot as his partner in crime, which he does, and soon the two are planning burglaries which Frank claims to help keep him occupied, he seems to also highly enjoy it, but it can only last so long. Such a sweet story that I think teens will not be interested in, it seems to be directed at more of an older audience. The language has an f-word toward the beginning of the film, some uses of sh*t, bullsh*t, b*tch, [email protected], [email protected], @sshole. Violence includes an elderly man being chased down by cops, a man is a thief and is shown stealing certain valuables and often talking about his next plan, a man makes a woman cry when he intentionally has a "kitchen fit" throwing everything out of the shelves and cereal in her face, references to a bomb going off. Sexual content is very mild with some cute flirting and an innocent kiss, one super-quick scene of a couple heavily kissing through a window. There's some adult drinking during social gatherings. Perfectly fine for 12 and up but better suited to adult viewers I think.

This title has:

Great messages
Too much swearing

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (3):

The idea is ridiculously simple for a sci-fi movie: It's the future, but there are no alien threats, human-looking robots, or prescient oracles. The idea that robots would be programmed to help the elderly isn't even that far-fetched, so it's genius that Robot & Frank would revolve around a grumpy old man learning not only to tolerate his robot but to befriend him, confide in him, and use him as his catburglar sidekick.

Sarsgaard's voice deserves a place in the annals of movie robots; it's perfectly crisp and direct, even when it's asking Frank to erase his memory lest it be used in a criminal investigation. And at 75, Langella continues to be one of the greatest, most expressive actors of his generation; he can depict cantankerous and confused with such emotion and humor. The relationship between Frank and his kids (Liv Tyler plays his humanitarian daughter who isn't fond of artificial intelligence) might be strained, but the camaraderie between him and his mechanical pal is genuine and touching.

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