Robert’s Reviews: Smokey and the Bandit

Hello Clever People! Welcome to my review of the Burt Reynolds 1977 classic Smokey and the Bandit. Reaching its 40th anniversary this year, this film follows the story of two men trying to get 400 crates of beer from one side of Texas to another in a limited amount of time, all while a police chases them down and a girl starts falling for one of them. Click on the link to watch the review!

Robert Burke
Robert Burke is a 15-year-old film critic currently attending Shasta High School. His love for film started when he was very young, and grows as he learns more and more about it. Robert expresses his love for film through reviews, which can be found on this website every Saturday. Film is not his only passion, as he also loves to act in local productions with Cascade Theater, Shasta College and Riverfront Playhouse. He currently lives in Redding, CA, and hopes to one day be a film director. To view all of Robert’s reviews go to
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12 Responses

  1. gmonteri says:

    Robert, I enjoy you’re reviews.  They’re often right on the money.  This is a pretty good example.  Smokey and the Bandit is a guilty pleasure at best, but it is “fun.”  Like many Burt Reynolds films, each sequel got worse and worse, but it’s unfair to expect much from Burt during this period.  He hadn’t done a good movie since Deliverance and this flick was mostly a goof for fun and the money.  Maybe that should have been the name of the movie.

    A question for you: Do you spend much (or any) time reading reviews on other sites?  Like IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes or or whatever?  Or do you purposely avoid other critiques?

    One last thing: I hope you will give up the off-putting hand jive you do to open and close your reviews.  The rest of it is fine, OK?  Keep up the good work.

    • gmonteri, I don’t find Robert’s “hand jive” off-putting, and hope that if he likes it, he’ll keep it.

      • Beverly Stafford says:

        gmonteri’s criticism of Robert’s “hand jive” reminds me of the person who wrote that he was really annoyed by envelopes that stated Place Stamp Here in the upper right corner.  Methinks that that person and gmonteri need to find a hobby.

  2. Steve Steve says:

    Hey, Robert …  another good review.  I never saw Smokey and the Bandit.  I remember when it came out.  Hate to think I just dated myself.  However, the problems you outlined I think were probably what I picked up on in all the advertisements I’ve seen through the years.  But you do have me believing now that it would probably be a fun flick to watch.  I like all the actors.  So the next time it’s available to me, I will watch it.  You’re a good salesman.  I would almost believe anything you told me.  I’m looking forward to your reviews of “The Godfather” and “Some Like it Hot”.  They’re two of my favorites.

    By the way, I like your hand movements at opening and close of your reviews.  I understand the statement above, however, you’re 14 years old.  And your hand movements remind me that I’m listening to a real movie critic with a lot of knowledge that is ONLY 14 years old.  Keep up the good work and evolve in your own evolution.

    P.S.  Did you say “Pre-Star Wars popcorn flicks?”  Interesting.


  3. dodie says:

    I want more of your reviews on current movies!

  4. gmonteri says:

    While I don’t object to Robert’s reviews of older, sometimes classic movies, I also prefer his efforts on current flicks.  I realize there are some restrictions on his access to certain movies, but he seems find a way to view them eventually.  Though he is quite precocious in his talent and viewpoint, I’m aware he is just 14 years old.  However, I don’t think it helps Robert to “evolve his evolution” to condescend.

  5. Ron says:

    Whats his website?

  6. cheyenne says:

    I much prefer Robert’s enthusiastic reviews to critics who sit in a chair, or anonymously just post a name,  and dead pan movies with reviews that I totally disagree with.  Of the movies Robert has reviewed that I have seen I agree with his reviews and believe he has seen the movies.  Unlike other reviewers that I don’t believe have watched the movie they have reviewed.  I remember a critic who panned the Star Trek movies and had only watched the first one and a complaint from a young viewer about a critic who had panned the Harry Potter movies without not only not watching the movies but hadn’t read the books.

    Keep up the good work Robert.  Your style is very good and I expect you will someday be hosting a classic movie channel.

  7. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    Great review, Robert.  Smokey and the Bandit is an example of the empty-calorie road movies of my youth.  There were other road movies that were more substantive, like Easy Rider and my favorite, Vanishing Point. And as I recall, Steven Spielberg’s first to films were road movies:  The made-for-TV “Duel” and the theatrical release “Sugarland Express.”  I remember watching “Duel” and thinking that there had never been a made-for-TV movie of that quality—it was amazingly well-crafted.  It only occurs to me now that Spielberg somehow maintained the unrelenting tension of that movie through numerous commercial breaks—a seemingly impossible task.

    Minor quibbles with details:  Back in the day, Coors wasn’t distributed east of the Mississippi, and bootleg runs were an actual thing—the destination in the movie is Atlanta.  And it wasn’t Coors Light—it was their “banquet beer.”  Coors Light didn’t come out in 1978.  Smokey and the Bandit was released a year earlier.

  8. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    I’m reminded by this review of some other pieces of Burt Reynolds trivia:

    1.  Reynolds once said that he made his movies set in the South for Southerners, and that every dollar they made north of the Mason-Dixon was gravy.  He also said that he made them to put his friends (e.g., Ned Beatty) in roles that they otherwise couldn’t get.

    2.  The Reynolds vehicle “White Lightening” opens with the murder of a pair of civil rights activists by a corrupt sheriff, played by Beatty.  Reynolds then exacts his revenge (one of the activists was his little brother), working on behalf off the FBI.  Not exactly a plot line that would resonate in today’s Deep South, I would guess.

  9. Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

    Robert, good review. I vote for you continuing with the hand gestures. In fact, they prompt me to fondly remember my brother-in-law, who departed this earth two decades ago. While he was telling a story, my sister would sometimes get a evil glint in her eye, then grab his wrists and hold them. His talking speed would slow down by at least half. I’m glad that my sister never tortured him for too long, because he told great stories.

    I worked for the same helicopter company for 34 years, before retiring to commence losing money making music. My employer, PHI, was contracted to fly a Bell 222 helicopter for the making of Smokey and the Bandit. Scott Wead and Doug Jasper were the pilots, but I never got the chance to talk to them about their experiences. I did get the chance to talk to one of the maintenance staff, and he reported that the proceedings were pretty much one long, continuous party. Apparently, those cases of Coors weren’t just static display. No wonder so many lines were dubbed!

    By the way, I like your mix of old and new movie reviews, and I think you should stay that course.

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