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.
—Mike LaSalle San Francisco Chronicle
Sometimes it's all about the casting. The notice of a screening came around, I read the names Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin, and it didn't matter in a way what the movie was about - although it didn't hurt that it was a crime movie.
—Roger Ebert Chicago Sun Times
Veering between buddy movie and action-thriller, Stand Up Guys is a mildly raunchy, modestly entertaining geriatric comedy.
—Allisa Simon Variety
Some actors don't need top-shelf material. Just the pleasure of their company is enough. And so Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin turn the insubstantial Stand Up Guys into solid entertainment.
—Peter Travers Rolling Stone
Elegiac and corny and not really convincing on any level (especially when it comes to its treatment of women - be they hookers, or waitresses, or girls on the town), Stand Up Guys nonetheless holds some fascination just for the off-the-charts affectedness of Pacino's performance.
—Steven Rea Philadelphia Inquirer
The script is undernourished, the supporting characters - including a horribly miscast Lucy Punch - ill-conceived, and Val increasingly hard to take. But when the movie ended, I wanted to watch Walken all over again.
—Elizabeth Weitzman New York Daily News
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.
—Scott Bowles USA Today
A buddy movie that limps along, pausing for breath and pulse checks like a geriatric dutifully fulfilling doctor's orders to get some exercise.
—Mary Pols Time