Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 59 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: A pair of aging con men try to get the old gang back together for one last hurrah before one of the guys takes his last assignment -- to kill his comrade.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 32
  2. Negative: 16 out of 32
  1. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Jan 31, 2013
    The thing most people will take away from Stand Up Guys is that it contains Al Pacino's best performance in years. So if you don't think Al Pacino still has it in him, this is a welcome chance to be proved wrong. But here's something interesting. Stand Up Guys also contains Christopher Walken's best performance in years. In addition, the film is extraordinarily well cast, and the acting, even in the smaller roles, is more than noteworthy.
  2. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Jan 30, 2013
    Stand Up Guys reminds you that these three are still way too good to collapse into shticky self-parody, even when they're in a movie that's practically begging them to.
  3. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Feb 1, 2013
    Stand Up Guys becomes something not only enjoyable but memorable and emotionally layered at the same time.
  4. Reviewed by: Scott Bowles
    Jan 31, 2013
    It's been a long time since a movie wasted as much talent as Stand Up Guys, a film that aims to be a geezer "Goodfellas" but whose execution is a misfire.
  5. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Jan 31, 2013
    It's long on Viagra jokes and whorehouse scenes, and comes up short on plausibility.
  6. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Jan 31, 2013
    It's often said that actors with distinctive vocal styles could compellingly read the phone book -- in this case, it would absolutely be a more entertaining hour-and-a-half.
  7. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Dec 11, 2012
    This moronically unfunny gangster comedy fluctuates wildly between the lowest-of-low humor and pity-the-aged-man pathos, and offers further evidence that the best days are behind its iconic cast members.

See all 32 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 18
  2. Negative: 1 out of 18
  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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. 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. Expand
  6. 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.
  7. 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!

See all 18 User Reviews