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Generally favorable reviews- based on 59 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 59
  2. Negative: 5 out of 59

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  1. Nov 13, 2014
    "Stand Up Guys" 10 Scale Rating: 4.0 (Bad) ...

    The Good: As expected getting Pacino, Walken, and Arkin together makes for solid acting performances and great banter. The fish out of water angle in regard to gangsters trying to cope with the fact that time has passed them by works. Chuckle-worthy at times.

    The Bad: Sort of pointless and a little hollow, which doesn't help a buddy
    movie like this one. The ending leaves something to be desired and felt more than a little rushed. A mostly forgettable and below average film. Expand
  2. Apr 22, 2014
    Stand Up Guys is a slightly predictable farce, yet it keeps you watching because of these seasoned actors' great performances, as well as a sentimentality about family and friends that you can't shake off.
  3. Oct 8, 2013
    It was interesting, but at times I found myself thinking about other things witch is never a good sign.Don`t go into this movie thinking about action, cause it has very little of it. It`s more about a couple friends coming together after 28 years of Al Pacino's character being released from prison.
  4. Sep 11, 2013
    It's not hard to imagine a film with Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin being bad due to their recent string of bad decisions but surprisingly it isn't, its a fresh look at old age and the effects it has on all of us. The film follows what happens when Val (Pacino) is released from prison. He is met at the gates by Doc (Walken), his best friend, a man who has orders to kill Val by 10AM the next day. As the minutes count down these two remember their past and enjoy their final day together. Director Fisher Stevens although having directed 2002's Just a Kiss is still finding his directing legs and Stand up Guys does suffer from some weak direction, especially during the film's quieter moments. The films many action scenes are well done and even prove to be exhilarating. Pacino ground the film as Val, a genuinely nice guy who happens to have gotten himself into a lose lose situation, one Doc seems more than willing to extricate himself from. Unlike most of his recent efforts Pacino is fantastic here, elevating a good script into a great one. Walken, coming off a heartbreaking turn in Seven Psychopaths brings out the best in Doc, something Doc refuses to notice even if Val has no problem pointing it out for viewers and Doc. They are joined by their old getaway driver Hirsch (Alan Arkin for a spell, the films best collection of sequences follow as these friends proceed to do things some might say they are to old to. The joy of the film is how these old pros fall back into old habits as soon as Val arrives. This shouldn't be seen as a bad thing because even if they do bad things, they are still ultimately Stand Up Guys. Expand
  5. Aug 3, 2013
    Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, and Alan Arkin are such fantastic actors, that they can turn subpar material into a half-way decent movie. These guys could probably make a Michael Bay flick interesting.
  6. Jul 27, 2013
    Borderline embarrassing. This is the latest in the "we old-timers can still hack it" genre, but squarely in the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull pile of evidence to the contrary.

    This is the kind of movie you get when a nobody director (Fisher Stevens, the bad guy from Hackers) gets legendary talent that's passed its prime. The actors call the shots and then go back to their trailers, and
    no one who wants to keep working in film says anything negative. Most of the supporting cast just walks around with that "I got to be in a film with Al Pacino" goofy grin.

    I can honestly say I'd probably prefer to watch Hackers again.
  7. Jul 27, 2013
    This movie has been treated too harshly so far. It has great actors doing a really good job, some very funny moments and lines as well as a pretty good story. This movie made me feel comfortable and happy, maybe in part because of the nature of the characters that are not simple mobs, but men of wit, whom above all know what life is about. Pacino, Walken and Arkin create a great atmosphere with performances that are certainly rare for them in the recent years. It's not only an inner comeback of the characters they play, but their own proof that their "pipes are still working". So, if you're in search of an easy, funny and well-acted gangster movie, I think this is what you're looking for.
    Hope you'll share my point!
  8. Jul 14, 2013
    There is a definite feeling of talent being wrung out while watching Stand Up Guys, a lingering sense that the cast is the only thing provided for appeal. The story itself is fine, while certainly generic by way of repetition (how many gangster movies are we given on a yearly basis, after all?). The angle of senior, retired gangsters isn't original, but it is almost refreshing regardless. No, where this film falls flat is in matching the talent with scenes and dialog that match their abilities. The plot doesn't thicken, it grows increasingly thin as the minutes tick by. By the end, it is a sad state of affairs that one simply doesn't care what is going to happen...only that it happens sometime soon. No doubt, Christopher Walken and Al Pacino work well together. Mr. Walken's ability to gel with seemingly any actor or actress is almost supernatural, so it's no surprise that even despite the bland one-liners and compulsory (perhaps even unscripted) banter between his character and that of Pacino works despite the writing staff's best efforts to the contrary. Minor parts are also well casted, and well acted, but nowhere does the screenplay manage to come to life regardless of who is on camera. The rare action sequences are well done, no doubt, but almost feel forced under the weight of every other uninteresting moment.

    Still, my strictly average score comes from the simple fact that, as actors, Pacino and Walken are two of my favorites. They also share a common thread throughout their respective careers of choosing seemingly unfitting or unpolished roles to take up, relative to their abilities. When each shines, they do so in a way that makes one great film justify a handful of those such as Stand Up Guys.
  9. Jun 7, 2013
    This was a classy movie with wonderful acting. It was touching and wickedly funny, but not for very young children, prudes, or people who expect action movies to contain only car chases, explosions and shooting. (Spoiler: It contains dialogue and sardonic humor.) If you liked Seven Psychopaths or In Bruges, you will absolutely love Stand Up Guys!
  10. Jun 4, 2013
    A surprisingly entertaining movie led by to legends giving strong performances. I was happy to see Pacino and Walken at the top of their game and I recommend this film because of it.
  11. May 7, 2013
    Not even Pacino and/or Walken could save the slow witted, uninspired writing of this movie. And that is saying enough. But i need to write a few more letters to submit this.
  12. Apr 13, 2013
    I found this a very bittersweet tale with an ending that may not have played well to many audiences (I liked the ending by the way). It’s quite melancholic although there are some very amusing moments to ease the way. All of the main parts were excellent with Pacino, Walken and Arkin all living up to their billing. A nice soundtrack sets the scene with many old tracks of yesteryear plus a new song at the end from Jon Bon Jovi. Over all, I think I probably enjoyed this a tad more than the critics and would happily watch it again sometime. Some may find it a little too downbeat, but I enjoyed it; particularly the ending.

    SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED

    My score: 7.3/10
  13. Feb 4, 2013
    The film starts as Al Pacino gets out of prison after 28 years. He's met by his best friend, Christopher Walken, and they spend one wild night before it's Walken's job to kill Pacino. Sure, the characters have names, but it doesn't matter. This is an indulgent acting workout for the two leads (plus Alan Arkin in a funny smaller role). The dialogue is forgettable, the situations strain credibility and there's too much chatter. If you enjoy watching these actors indulge themselves, you'll be in heaven. Otherwise, sit it out. Expand
  14. Feb 2, 2013
    I really, really loved this movie, all the more so because many of the critics had me expecting a piece of crap. Wow, talk about losing faith in these "experts" on film. Really puzzled as to why it was so panned. Can't help but believe some ageism is at work: wrinkly old guys are not supposed to be going to bed with young hookers or beating up young studs. Oh yeah, an Asian store clerk gets punched by Pacino's character so I guess this got the PC brigade riled up). Its a movie for Christ's sake. One critic even said it lacked "plausibility." Earth to critic: this wasn't a documentary. Go see it; you'll love it, especially if you grew up with these guys on the screen like I have. Expand
  15. Feb 1, 2013
    Al Pacino won an Oscar in 1992, Christopher Walken in 1978 while Alan Arkin received his in 2006. All 3 have been well financially rewarded, and prize awarded, for their many years of fine performances but it has been awhile since any of them have had a major hit. Being a fan of Pacino’s since 1969 when I saw him on stage, in “Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie”, and in film, in “The Panic In Needle Park” in 1971, I have gone to every current movie of his hoping that it would be the one to put him back on top.

    “Stand Up Guys” is more of an actors class exercise than a film with each actor playing characters they have played before but as if given a signal to ‘go for it’. As the movie starts Pacino is being released from prison after serving 28 years taking the fall for his gang where a mob boss’s son was killed. Walken picks him up and it isn’t long before both know that he is suppose to kill Pacino. One of the first stops is a brothel where Pacino isn’t able to perform so they leave, break into a pharmacy and steal some drugs along with Viagra which he takes a handful of and after a raunchy scene or two they have to go to the hospital. At the hospital they meet a nurse, played by Julianna Margulies, who just happens to be the daughter of the third member of their gang, Arkin, who they find is in a nursing home. Yes they break him out and go on a wild race but first stopping back at thebrothel for an item on his bucket list.

    Walken is suppose to kill Pacino before 10 AM in the morning but first they help a woman who has been raped get revenge, Pacino eats a surf and turf dinner with a root beer float, comes back to the same restaurant in the early morning to have 2 steaks, waffles and a shake. Oh, by the way, there is a reason they keep on coming to this restaurant.

    There really doesn’t seem to be much sense in the screenplay by Noah Haidle or the direction of Fisher Stevens. It is hard to place when, or where, this all takes place as there isn’t a cellphone or computer in sight no plus when was the last time you saw a pay phone in a restaurant? At the same time they steal a car that doesn’t need a ignition key to start.

    Actors of this caliber are always a joy just to watch even if it looks like an Actors Studio class but it seems Hollywood and Independent films are having a problem with the old actors and getting stories worth their talents.

    By the way it is time for Pacino to clean up and doing something with his face and head hair!
  16. Jan 28, 2013
    Storyline: Val (Al Pacino) has been in prison for 28 years and took the fall for everyone else but a grudge has been held by Claphands (Mark Margolis) all this time and orders Val's best buddy, Doc (Chistopher Walken) to kill him. Doc is reluctant to carry it out and while trying to delay it they end up teaming up with Hirsch (Alan Arkin) and show they still have what it takes. I know it sounds like a run of the mill buddy movie, and it kind of is, but Pacino, Walken and Arkin make this film. I think the script is smart because while it has what you expect from a buddy movie with old time gangsters in it the dialogue, jokes and one liners are subtle enough to satisfy the more intelligent viewer.

    Acting: I knew when I first heard about this movie and saw the cast list that I needed to see it for the acting if nothing else and it excels at this. Pacino, Walken and Arkin looked like they really enjoyed making this and the chemistry is obvious. The real surprise for me is the support. They are all very, very good in the smaller roles.

    Direction: I had no idea until seeing this film that Fisher Stevens directed never mind won an Oscar. I've seen him in countless films but was never impressed, but now, I'll be watching for his work. It looks like he allowed a bit of ad-libbing as some of the scenes had an authentic feel about the dialogue.

    Production: I have no idea how much this cost but it's a very well produced movie but does appear to have a low budget. This is a character driven movie and with these three doing the driving it can't and doesn't fail. I'd like to think that if it had no big names as the leads it would still be good but this just simply isn't the case. Without them it would have been very humdrum but it does have them and it's far from humdrum.

    Conclusion: It's not their best work but this is a well cast, well acted and well written film that I enjoyed greatly and found funny, especially Alan Arkin. A very good movie. Recommended.

    Score: 7.5/10
  17. 007
    Jan 26, 2013
    Stand Up Guys is even better than I thought it would be going in. It was phenomenal! I am a huge fan for the more slower paced type of films, and I'm just 18. Movies these days feel rushed: both on screen and the production of them. This will go into my short list of favorites for the best films released in 2012. I stayed away from it early on only because of the rating. But I guess, what drew my attention was the poster for it. Now I wasn't "judging the book by its cover"; it simply reminded me of a scene in A Clockwork Orange. So naturally, I was hooked! Expand
  18. Dec 19, 2012
    The critics who panned this film were far too harsh. The individual acting performances are uniformly excellent (Pacino, Walken, Arkin, Punch in particualr) It's just a "small" film. Not a ton happens, and it revels in the importance of long-standing friendships, and the value people placed on loyalty above all else. I saw this film with very modest expectations and came out pleasantly surprised. Expand

Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 32
  2. Negative: 16 out of 32
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Jun 29, 2013
    Some nice touches, though it needs to be indulged.
  2. Reviewed by: Curtis Woloschuk
    Jun 15, 2013
    Most ‘one crazy night’ movies (from After Hours to Superbad) thrive on a sense of escalation, but Stand Up Guys only seems to lower the stakes as it stumbles tediously on.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Feb 1, 2013
    Some actors don't need top-shelf material. Just the pleasure of their company is enough. And so Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin turn the insubstantial Stand Up Guys into solid entertainment.