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Movie Review

Stand Up Guys

MPAA Rating: R for language, sexual content, violence and brief drug use.

Reviewed by: Steve Warburton
CONTRIBUTOR

Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Action Crime Comedy Drama
Length:
1 hr. 33 min.
Year of Release:
2013
USA Release:
February 1, 2013 (limited)
DVD: May 21, 2013
Copyright, Roadside Attractions, Lionsgate Films click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Roadside Attractions, Lionsgate Films Copyright, Roadside Attractions, Lionsgate Films Copyright, Roadside Attractions, Lionsgate Films Copyright, Roadside Attractions, Lionsgate Films Copyright, Roadside Attractions, Lionsgate Films Copyright, Roadside Attractions, Lionsgate Films Copyright, Roadside Attractions, Lionsgate Films Copyright, Roadside Attractions, Lionsgate Films Copyright, Roadside Attractions, Lionsgate Films
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Roadside Attractions, Lionsgate Films

con men / professional criminals / criminal lifestyle

murder

trust and loyalty between thieves

continual use of crude vulgarity and profane language

brothels and prostitutes

lust and fornication

How can I deal with temptations? Answer

What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer

a person makes the comment, “You die twice. First, when you breathe your last breath. Second, when the last person who will ever utter your name dies.”

Sex, Love and Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Christian answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more. Valuable resources for Christian couples, singles and pastors.
Featuring: Al PacinoVal
Christopher WalkenDoc
Alan ArkinHirsch
Julianna Margulies … Nina Hirsch—“The Good Wife” (TV series), “ER” (TV series)
Mark Margolis … Claphands
Lucy Punch … Wendy
Addison Timlin … Alex
Vanessa Ferlito … Sylvia
Katheryn Winnick … Oxana
more »
Director: Fisher Stevens—“Just a Kiss”
Producer: Lakeshore Entertainment
Sidney Kimmel Entertainment
more »
Distributor: Roadside Attractions, Lionsgate Films

“It’s never too late to set things right.”

Copyrighted, Roadside Attractions, Lionsgate Films

Everything you’ve read about “Stand-Up Guys” is true. It stars three veterans of American cinema—Christopher Walken, Alan Arkin and Al Pacino—and the dialog is so good that it’s almost electric. Pacino’s character, Valentine, has spent 28 years in prison for being a “stand-up guy.” When he is released into the company of his old chum, everything he says has a sense of quiet urgency.

That continues to the end of the movie, when Valentine walks by a church and asks his friend if the church is still open. The reply: “Church is always open.” Valentine goes to confession, where he confesses to the myriad of sins he’s committed since being released from prison. Those sins include grand theft auto, assault, breaking and entering, and visiting a brothel. The priest isn’t going to let him off with a rote prayer.

Objectionable content: A naked woman is discovered in a car, and, yes, you’ll get an eyeful and an earful (she mentions “Jesus,” but not in reverence.) There’s a fair degree of violence, particularly between the Stand-Up Guys and the gangster at the end (though whether or not this is redemptive violence can be left to the viewer.)

But there are several sweet scenes, too. My favorite is Al Pacino’s dance with a younger lady in a bar. He asks her to dance, and I got the impression that it is not lust that drives him. It’s the desire to be close to a woman, to create art with her, to just be with her and move to the music and hold her. Yep, I couldn’t help but wonder if that is a nod to the tango Pacino did in his Oscar®-winning performance in “Scent of a Woman.”

To me, the most interesting part of the movie is the aforementioned church scene. It would have been nice if Pacino et al had a change of heart while contemplating the Scriptures (at one point, he quotes Corinthians). Of course, that ending wouldn’t have worked in the worldview of this movie, but, I have to say, I was happy to see the church represented as an alternate worldview to the nihilism that seems to be embraced by the “Stand-Up Guys.”

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Extreme—“For Chr*st’s sakes” (3), “Jesus” (3), “Jesus Christ” (1), “G*d-d*mn” (2), OMG (2), “damn” (1), “hell” (2), f-words (55+), s-words (11), numerous slang words for male genitilia / Sex/Nudity: Heavy—one character’s overdose of Viagra plays a major part in the story / much vulgar talk and language

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


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