Box art for The Company You Keep

The Company You Keep

drama, thrillers

Grant's (Robert Redford) world is turned upside down, when a brash young reporter Ben Shepard (Shia LaBeouf) exposes his true identity as a former 1970s antiwar radical fugitive wanted for murder.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 16
2 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
4 out of 5
Positive messages
1 out of 5
Positive role models
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

Stellar cast is best thing about Redford's political drama.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Company You Keep stars Robert Redford, who also directed, as a once-radical fugitive who's wanted for a 1960s bank robbery that left a guard dead -- but who long ago went underground, changed his name, and left everything behind. Once the long-cold case again becomes national news, everything changes. Expect a fair bit of strong language (mostly "f--k" and "s--t"), plus plenty of fiery talk about revolutionary ideals, as well as a few scenes that feature people drinking beer. And one aging hippie now gets by smuggling large quantities of marijuana. The all-star supporting cast includes Shia LaBeouf, Susan Sarandon, and Julie Christie.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about why they think some of the fugitives in the film are willing to give up their comfortable lives and turn themselves in. Why did Jim choose to go underground?
  • How well does this film explain the radical politics of the 1960s and 1970s? How could you find out more if you wanted to?
  • Do you think you could ever leave your entire life, change your name, and stay hidden for decades?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: Though it makes a few missteps, it's marked by top-notch performances by a terrific ensemble cast, headed by Redford.

- Claudia Puig, USA Today, Friday, April 5, 2013

Rotten: "The Company You Keep" is packaged as a political drama, but at heart it's a preachy nostalgia tour of Vietnam-era liberal doctrine.

- Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Thursday, April 18, 2013

Fresh: This film, with its prickly characters and complicated plot, rips along with continuous tension and power.

- David Denby, New Yorker, Monday, April 15, 2013

Audience Reviews

2 stars

** "The Company You Keep" is one of those complex thrillers with some twists and turns, that just doesn't work out quite like it could have. I dunno what it was about it, but I didn't think it was as good as it could have been. It stars Shia LeBeouf as a reporter who learns the true identities of fugitives who had committed a murder 30 years prior. It weaves back and forth between him trying to find the truth, and one of fugitives trying to clear his name to remain with his daughter. The fugitive in question is played by Robert Redford(who also directs) and man he is still great after all these years. He has that "movie star" quality that a lot of actors just don't have anymore. The cast is great, even LeBeouf does a good job. Susan Sarandon, Sam Elliot, Terrance Howard, Richard Jenkins, among others round out the stellar cast. But the pacing and subject matter just don't really sustain(at least for me). I think if it focused more on Redford, and less on LeBeouf, it would have been better. But then again, it would have been a completely different movie. I love a good political type thriller(for example, "Ides of March" was pretty good)but this was just "meh". Maybe it was when I watched it(kind of late at night) and just wasn't as interested as I could have been. Maybe on a second viewing I will like it more. I can see why people will like it, because it is a smart movie. But at the same time, I can see how it will be off putting for others. Worth a rental? Sure, judge for yourself. But I'd pick up a spare movie just in case;-)

- fb100000145236770, Friday, August 16, 2013

2 stars

Redford has assembled an amazing cast, excepting LeBeouf who can't keep up, to tell what should be a fascinating story but somehow misses the mark through slow pacing and a lack of sharp focus. Julie Christie is wonderful making more of her part than is on the page but Susan Sarandon isn't properly used as is true with all the talent involved. Not a terrible film it just could have been much more.

- jjnxn, Wednesday, August 14, 2013

3 stars

Not a great film, but a reasonably engaging thriller that wrestles with the legacy of radical movements such as the Weather Underground.

- dunmyer, Sunday, April 14, 2013