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Stand Up Guys Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Grumpy Old Gangsters Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 30

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    It's long on Viagra jokes and whorehouse scenes, and comes up short on plausibility.

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  • 38

    out of 100

    USA Today Scott Bowles

    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.

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  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    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.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    Stand Up Guys never wobbles into maudlin or cheap-n-easy sentimentality. It is an entertaining yet sobering portrayal of not-so-wise guys who do not go gently into a no-good night.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

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.

  • 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?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: Much of the movie relies on iffy behavior with few consequences, but one character must decide between committing murder to protect his own safety and protecting his best friend instead; he chooses loyalty and friendship. The movie also deals with the idea of "consequences" for some bullies who've mistreated a woman, though it translates into simple revenge.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Most of the characters are criminals or lowlifes of some kind; the "good guys" are simply less awful than others. But one secondary character, a waitress in an all-night diner, demonstrates kindness and patience, and the movie shows the rewards that this can have and how far acts of kindness can go.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: The violence doesn't really pick up until about halfway through the movie, after that there's plenty of it, including punching and fighting, shooting, and blood. A man is smashed in the crotch, and the movie climaxes with a bullet-ridden shootout. A main character dies. There are also heavy threats and suggestions of violence in the dialogue. A doctor plunges a hypodermic needle into a character's penis (off screen) after that character takes too much Viagra.

  • sex false3

    Sex: The main characters visit a brothel. One takes extra amounts of Viagra (only referred to as "boner pills") and sleeps with a prostitute off screen. A second character sleeps with two women at once, a prostitute and the woman at the front desk, both off screen (and without Viagra). A naked woman is found in a car trunk, but she's filmed curled up so that nothing is shown. Also very strong innuendo throughout, such as when a main character tries to pick up three women in a bar.

  • language false4

    Language: Very strong language includes many uses of "f--k," plus "s--t," "whore," "ass," "a--hole," "d--k," "boner," "damn," "goddamn," "oh my God," and "pecker."

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Viagra plays a big role in the movie, though it's not mentioned by name specifically.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Characters stay up all night and drink a lot of alcohol. They also break into a pharmacy and steal several bottles of prescription pills (mostly for things like cataracts and hypertension). One character breaks open some of these pills and snorts them. A main character is seen smoking cigarettes on more than one occasion.