Sneakers (1992) – A Retrospective

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Watching Sneakers in 2018 reminds you of how much has changed and how much has stayed the same.

Directed by Field of Dreams director Phil Alden Robinson, Sneakers brings together an eclectic team of ‘specialists’, led by Robert Redford, to execute a heist in support of national security. The computers are boxy, out-dated monstrosities and the shoulder pads need their own zip codes. However, the witty dialogue, playful team camaraderie, and overall data security themes feel completely current. High praise for a 26-year-old movie.

Sir Ben Kingsley‘s Cosmo professes: “There’s a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it’s not about who’s got the most bullets. It’s about who controls the information. What we see and hear, how we work, what we think… it’s all about the information.”

In today’s news cycle dominated by Russian interference in elections and the latest server hack, Cosmo could easily have been talking about 2018 and not 1992.

The one criticism could be the bloated second half. At a running time of just over two hours, the reveal after reveal after reveal could use some judicious paring. That said, the star-studded cast, which includes Sidney Poitier, Dan Aykroyd and the late River Phoenix, delivers a playful ride that doesn’t get bogged down in the minutiae of technology, going for the laughs and not missing a beat.

Director: Phil Alden Robinson
Stars: Robert Redford, Sidney Poitier, Ben Kingsley, Dan Aykroyd, River Phoenix
Country: USA
Runtime: 126 mins

Film Rating: ★★★★☆

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