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‘The Company You Keep’

by Giovanni Fazio

Robert Redford’s career as a director continues its “good liberal” phase, and he’s three for three now in films that feature a great cast, political relevance and a distinct inability to take off and soar. After Afghan War intrigue in “Lions for Lambs” and Lincoln assassination courtroom drama in “The Conspirator,” he turns to revisit the 1960s and its aftermath in “The Company You Keep,” a thriller with similarly middling results.

The Company You Keep (Runaway)
Rating

When peaceful protest failed to stop the slaughter in Vietnam in the ’60s, a small group of Students for a Democratic Society splintered off to form the Weather Underground, a radical faction that used bank robberies and bombings in a failed attempt to bring down the establishment. After some deaths and arrests, most of its members went into hiding, living entirely different lives under assumed names for decades. Redford’s film follows what happens when the FBI captures one former Weatherman (Susan Sarandon) while another (Redford) is outed by an aggressive reporter (Shia LaBeouf). The ethics of political or journalistic purity at the expense of ruined lives are explored in some interesting ways, but despite casting LaBeouf as the Generation Y foil, “The Company You Keep” remains a mostly Boomer-oriented flashback.