Box art for Stand Up Guys

Stand Up Guys

action & adventure, comedy

STAND UP GUYS stars Academy Award® winners Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin in a tough but touching action comedy as retired gangsters who reunite for one epic last night.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 16
4 out of 5
1 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
4 out of 5
Positive messages
1 out of 5
Positive role models
1 out of 5
3 out of 5

Amusing but vulgar, violent "old school" crime comedy.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that Stand Up Guys is a crime comedy starring Christopher Walken, Al Pacino, Alan Arkin as three septuagenarian criminals who are reunited over one long night. Questions of loyalty and consequences come up from time to time, though the movie doesn't explore these themes very deeply. Violence is an issue, with a fair amount of fighting, punching, shooting, and blood. There's also sexual content: Characters take Viagra and have sex with prostitutes (off screen), one character sleeps with two women at once (also off screen), and a woman is found naked in a trunk, though no sensitive body parts are shown. Language is strong, with multiple uses of "s--t," "f--k," and more. Characters drink plenty of alcohol and smoke cigarettes over the course of their long night, and they have a supply of prescription pills. (One character breaks open the capsules and experiments with snorting them.) Teens may not be interested in this story of older guys, but those who are need to be mature enough to handle the content.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about Stand Up Guys' violence. How frequently is it shown? How does it build up over the course of the story? How much of it is necessary to the story?
  • How does the movie depict drinking and smoking? Are there any consequences? How else do the characters indulge themselves? What do they do that's good for them?
  • In one scene, the characters discuss "consequences" for bullies' actions. What do these consequences consist of? Is this a good way to deal with bullies?
  • The movie has several jokes and lines about "old school" tactics over "new" things. Are there certain old ways that are better than new ways? What about the other way around?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 20
    see all Stand Up Guys reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: The degree to which "Stand Up Guys" succeeds at all is completely dependent on Walken, who elevates everything around him by seemingly doing nothing at all.

- Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, Friday, February 1, 2013

Fresh: In the end Stevens, probably wisely, just gets out of the way and lets the old guys have a ball.

- Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic, Thursday, January 31, 2013

Fresh: I can't argue that performers the stature of Pacino, Walken and Arkin don't deserve better material, yet it's so nice to have them onscreen together I'm in no mood to quibble.

- Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Thursday, January 31, 2013

Audience Reviews

0 star

In the first film of 2013 worse than "Movie 43", "Stand Up Guys", which contains a rather intriguing premise, is absolutely ruined by a perfect storm of tonally clunky direction, a script filled with some of the stupidest dialogue (I swear, some of the lines here are out-and-out plagiarized) and a wealth of surprisingly terrible acting from Al Pacino, Alan Arkin and Christopher Walken; not to mention, Lucy Punch (Bad Teacher) doing one of her worst accents yet. The Plot: In yet another elderly "let's get the band back together" storyline, Pacino and Walken (who each play annoying versions of themselves) are a couple of aging hit-man types that go by the names Val and Doc; who also happen to be best friends. The movie begins on the afternoon that they reunite, after Val is released from a long stint in prison. But when Doc's promise to Val of a night out he won't soon forget, coincides with Val learning that a hit has been put on him, he quickly realizes that Doc's motives may not be all that they seem. The entire tone of "Stand Up Guys" is in fact its own worst enemy. Beneath this dark storyline, there lies a slew of underdeveloped and rather generic slapstick sequences, mostly between Pacino and Walken, which seems more suitable to a "comedy" such as "Old Dogs" or "Wild Hogs". But far worse than having to hear a barrage of "I don't know how to work this new fangled computer" or countless prescription drug jokes, is having to sit through the multitude of humorless and disturbing erectile dysfunction bits, which seem to be the ONLY driving force of the first two meandering acts of this movie. OK, so if you don't see the problem with this, then let me spell it out for you. If you're going to make "Grumpy Old Men", make "Grumpy Old Men". And if you're going to make a crime drama concerning a hit-man that is ordered to kill his best friend, then make that movie. But by attempting to haphazardly mash these two types of very distinctive films together, all the filmmakers have done is created a movie where essentially the poor comedic humor cancels out all dramatic effect, and vice versa. In short, the tone is the reason (above all others) that we don't care about any of these characters. Suffice to say, Pacino's erection sadly motivates the first half of the story, but after about 45 minutes there stems a very compelling initial diner sequence, which fooled even me into thinking that this movie was officially going to start getting good. Well that was short lived because soon afterwards Arkin's character makes his first appearance and "Stand Up Guys" ventures into non-sense land, crashing and burning in a wreckage of cringe inducing one-liners, unfathomably impractical situations and asinine revelations, resulting in something that is simply downright pathetic. The Acting: So when I made mention that "Stand Up Guys" contains terrible performances, this in fact may be the understatement of the decade. Yes, it doesn't help that Pacino can hardly move anymore or that Arkin and Walken continue to play caricatures of themselves, or even how each one of these actors very particular voice cadences gets in the way of any sentimentality "Stand Up Guys" should have had, but at the end of the day, no real excuse can be made for performances which come across as though each actor is reading this script for the first time. Plus, it has come to my attention (through this film and "Seven Psychopaths") that anytime Christopher Walken isn't reciting his lines for ironic laughs, he is literally unbearable to watch or listen to. Final Thought: And if all of that weren't bad enough, "Stand Up Guys" contains the worst ending of any film this year (so far). But on the other hand, maybe this movie was meant to be a satirical piece of filmmaking, promoting, through subtle yet methodical means, director Fisher Stevens' backhanded theory on how Pacino, Arkin and Walken should be ushered out of the business by any means necessary (short of shooting them all in the heads). If that's the case, then "Stand Up Guys" is still a bad movie. Written by Markus Robinson, Edited by Nicole I. Ashland Follow me on Twitter @moviesmarkus

- ghostdog86, Wednesday, February 6, 2013

3 stars

Decent movie, if nothing really special. Expected mor from Pacino, but seemed to just be cruising through the film and looks well past his sell by date. Walken however seem to be getting better with age. His odd style works so much better now as an old man, this and the excellent Seven Psychopaths are some of his best work for a long time. More Walken, less Pacino seems to be the way forward.

- stuartb1234, Monday, January 21, 2013

2 stars

Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, and Alan Arkin are all 3 Oscar winners, and three of the best actors ever. You would think that mob dramady with them would be good, but instead you just get a boring movie with a couple good moments. Val(Pacino) is released from prison after 28 years and reunites with his best friend Doc(Walken) and later Hirsch(Arkin). They were best friends and criminals and now one of them has been assigned a job by a mob boss that they don't want to do. They have til sunrise and then things come to a head. The story could have been better and other than Arkin, all the actors look like they don't care or want to be there. It's not very funny, and the dramatic moments don't care any weight because you just don't really have any reason to care for the characters. Fans of the three actors should give it a watch, but just know it's no where near their best, but not quite their worst.

- fb100000145236770, Sunday, January 20, 2013