Movie review: Robert Redford lays it on too thick in crowded “The Company You Keep”

By Columbus Alive
From the April 25, 2013 edition

The release of “The Company You Keep” isn’t helped much by the timing of national events. It also isn’t helped by the fact that it isn’t very good.

Robert Redford plays a small-town attorney whose past as a former member of the violent ’60s radical group The Weather Underground is coming back to haunt him.

Shia LaBeouf plays a small-town newspaper investigative reporter who is uncovering the Redford character’s past more quickly than an FBI agent assigned to the case.

So, yes, this maybe isn’t the best time for a movie about a man with domestic terror ties to be on the run from an intrepid member of the press with a dogged thirst to make sure he gets the facts of the story right.

But “Company” — also directed by Redford — gets more wrong than just bad luck. Based on a novel, it also spins an overloaded web of characters and some ridiculously implausible developments. And it wastes a killer cast that includes Susan Sarandon, Chris Cooper, Nick Nolte and more.

The whole affair is preachy, pompous and generally exhausting. Like three days on an inflatable mattress, this “Company” overstays its welcome.