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Stand Up Guys

In theaters February 1, 2013

Val (Al Pacino) is getting out of prison, today, after serving a stand-up-guy (he’s not a snitch), 28-year sentence. His long-time buddy, Doc (Christopher Walken), is there to pick him up, he’s also prepared to kill him. Doc’s game for one last hurrah with Val and their other friend, Hirsch (Alan Arkin). Killing Val proves to be a tougher task than Doc had anticipated.

Nostalgia wears out rapidly, failing to fulfill your expectations of these storied acting careers. Remember how you felt after Phantom Menace? That feeling of “did that just happen?”

I guess the real problem lies in mediocre writing and directing.

Every played out senior citizen joke is included in Noah Haidle’s story, from Viagra abuse to breaking out of prison, wait, I mean nursing home. This script is flippant and cliché at every turn.

Direction doesn’t fare any better. Fisher Stevens is proof a fully loaded gun (of acting chops) won’t trump a painful lack of suspense, drama, and failed payoffs.

While the sophomore production duo deserve their lickings; Pacino, Walken and Arkin aren’t off the proverbial hook. Pacino overplays, Walken underplays, and Arkin, well I can’t figure out when Alan Arkin died.

It’s not so terrible as to write-off from a Redbox rental, just not good enough to waste your retirement income at the box office.

Stand Up Guys is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: Chris Giroux
Chris Giroux is founder and editor-in-charge at Movie Reelist, an entertainment news and review blog serving the most fanatic moviegoers. Chris started his publication in Detroit in 2010 and has since reviewed hundreds of films and interviewed numerous talent across the country. He is an avid film festival attendee and red carpet photographer, having shot the likes of Steven Spielberg, Bill Murray, Mark Hamill, and more. Chris grew up in New Mexico, where he studied mass media writing while working in post-production and multimedia authoring. It is also where he discovered Big Trouble in Little China and Escape from New York, resulting in an unhealthy Kurt Russell obsession.


  1. I agree this movie wasn’t great by any means. I did enjoy some of the humor. Definitely wait on the DVD.

  2. I felt the same way! Not a huge fan of this. I did get a few laughs out of it but overall I wouldn’t rate it any higher than a 5.5

  3. thank you so much for confirming that its not worth spending the money or time to see it in a theater. I will wait for it to be on cable.

  4. I totally agree. When you have such a great cast and do nothing with it. Shame on the writers & directors. I can understand Pacino, Walken and Arkin..they need to get as much $$ in the retirement fund.

  5. “Stand Up Guys” didn’t stand out as a film that I thought should have been a lot better with the talent and potential it had going for it in the beginning. The movie dragged in parts, except for the black car. Maybe I will view this film again, when it comes out as a rental, if it comes with an alternate or better ending. My rating is 5, because I like the actors 🙂

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