Box art for Robot and Frank

Robot and Frank

comedy, drama, sci-fi & fantasy


ROBOT & FRANK is a hilarious and heartwarming story about finding friends and family in the most unexpected places.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    86%
  • Audience Score
    75%

common sense

ON for kids age 13
Consumerism
1 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
1 out of 5
Language
3 out of 5
Violence
1 out of 5
Positive messages
3 out of 5
Positive role models
2 out of 5
Sex
2 out of 5

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.

what families can talk about

  • 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?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    86%
    reviews counted: 20
    see all Robot and Frank reviews
  • Audience

    75%

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: Langella ... is tremendous.

- Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic, Thursday, August 30, 2012

Fresh: FRANK & ROBOT is a poignant tale of man and machine

- Chase Whale, Film.com, Friday, November 8, 2013

Fresh: There's a warm and poignant interplay between the co-stars.

- Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Thursday, August 30, 2012

Audience Reviews

4 stars

"Robot and Frank" is a very sweet tempered sci-fi, independent film that somehow remains affectionate and veers from morality, even though it's in a very particular genre of film. The film says very little about the state of the world, or even the future it's set in, and instead focuses on story. The film centers on retired cat burglar Frank (Langella) who has stopped lifting jewels from homes after several stints in jail. He has two children, one a father with small children, the other a globetrotting naturalist. He doesn't see them often, the same as he did during their childhood, and he is slowly lapsing into dementia. His son buys him a domesticated robot to take care of him and the two bond, eventually starting to plot heists on a rich man who is reimagining the nearby library to be paperless. The film rarely challenges the audience with the effects of technology, except when it comes to the library, because it's transformation spurs him to start back up stealing. The film also touches upon the subject of respecting a past generation and the wisdom they possess, which is easily thrown away, either by getting rid of books, or by showing the fragility of the human mind in old age. Frank and his robotic companion find friendship because the former is reaching his mental decline and needs help recovering what little he has left. There doesn't seem to be any subtext on robots in our future, and no message that they should be accepted for their technological benefits. Though there may not be any moral stance taken, this film is actively pacing itself the entire way through. It lets a moment land, takes its time in building its momentum scene by scene. Langella gives a very strong performance, even though we learn very little about the character, except that he has certain regrets about the way he lived his life. For what it is, and what it tries to be, it succeeds at being sweet and essentially, interesting.

- FrizzDrop, Tuesday, December 3, 2013

4 stars

"Robot & Frank" will be one of the most simplistic films you will ever see, set in the near future, but it does a lot with the premise given and you feel fulfilled at the end. I do wish the films running time was a tad longer to explain some things a little more in detail, but those are very minor issues inside a pretty flawless picture. Frank Lengela is fantastic in this role, making you truly believe that he has become best friends with a robot, and his son and daughter played by Liv Tyler and James Marsden are also great. Set in the near future, a robot is brought to an old man who is showing early signs of alzheimers and he uses him to rob neighbours homes and discover dirty secrets about new people in his neighbourhood. This is a very low-budget film that uses costumes for the robot, and I loved every bit of that. This is one of the best films to come from 2012. "Robot and Frank" has a few issues here and there, but it is otherwise terrific!

- fb733768972, Sunday, August 17, 2014

4 stars

A great performance from Langella elevates this from merely enjoyable to something more essential and far more rewarding. Full review later.

- TomBowler, Wednesday, January 1, 2014