ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Movie Review: “Going in Style”

Updated on May 29, 2020
Movie Beasts profile image

There are many movies that are worth seeing, but there are a lot of stinkers as well. My goal here is to weed out the good from the bad.

Going in Style

Theatrical Release: 4/7/2017
Theatrical Release: 4/7/2017 | Source


Joe (Michael Caine) is frustrated with his bank because they have significantly increased his mortgage payments and he cannot make those payments because his employer is witholding his pension. With having increased payments, and nothing to pay with, the bank threatens to take Joe's home. When he goes to the bank to try to sort this out, he finds himself in the middle of an armed robbery. Joe is not harmed, but is shocked when he discovers that the robbers made off with over a million dollars and that the police have no leads.

He tells this story to his two best friends and coworkers: Willie (Morgan Freeman) and Albert (Alan Arkin). The group has recently learned that their company is moving overseas and that their pensions will no longer be coming. They are too old to start a new career, and their company's recent decisions will result in the three men most likely working until they die. Not willing to take this sitting down, Joe suggests to the others that they rob the bank that has stolen their money. Angry, and with nothing to lose, Willie and Albert agree. Thus, their million dollar heist begins.

Official Trailer

The Pros & Cons

The Pros
The Cons
The Trio (+8pts)
The Plan (-6pts)
Alan Arkin (+3pts)
Blanks (-2pts)
Motivation (+4pts)
Dumb Cops (-4pts)

All movies start with an average score of 75pts, points are then added or subtracted based on each Pro and Con. Each Pro or Con is designated points, ranging from 0-10, to convey how significant these Pros or Cons are.


Pro: The Trio (+8pts)

Most of the fun from this movie came from watching these three actors (Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin) interacting with one another. They were coworkers, they were neighbors, and they were best friends who were all dealing with a troubling financial situation that they all shared. They were all dealing with their own old age, and were all dealing with having to face the last chapter of their lives with no money. The three actors had great chemistry and it was fun to watch their conflicting views throughout their adventure. I also thought the drama and comedy were balanced well between the three of them. When one or two characters had dramatic moments, the others stayed comedic, and all three actors were just as effective in comedic moments as they were in dramatic ones. This allowed each character to shine in different moments and in different ways which is something I think worked well for this movie, as the varying dynamic between these characters made it so that the movie never felt dull or redundant.


Con: The Plan (-6pts)

A lot of this film's impact depended on how well the plan was setup, as well as how well it was executed by the characters (leaving some room for comedic error). Sure it was a comedy, but the entire plot of this movie was based around this heist, so in order to be invested in it, the plan needed to be at least somewhat believable, and the audience needed to feel like the protagonists had a chance of succeeding. Unfortunately, I thought the plan was weak and full of holes. Now I have not robbed too many banks in my day, so I am not exactly an expert on the matter, but the alibi they used seemed flimsy at best and the security at the bank seemed very light—especially seeing as how it had just been robbed days prior. The getaway also seemed too uncertain. These issues mixed together and made for a bad plan, which would have been fine if Joe, Willie, and Albert did not seem overly confident, acting like they had outsmarted the cops with their elaborate plan. I know this was a comedy so it should not be taken too seriously, but I think this movie would have worked a lot better if the audience thought the protagonists’ plan could actually work.


Pro: Alan Arkin (+3pts)

Alan Arkin was easily the most effective comedic relief of this movie. While Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman carried the plot for the majority of the story, Alan Arkin hit the audience with some great comedic moments. His comments about hating life, himself, and old age hit me in just the right way. He was the angry one and he was the depressed one, but both were presented in a comedic way. I always like seeing Alan Arkin pop up in movies and this one was no different. He was the blunt comedic relief in a movie filled with silliness, and I thought this movie was definitely better for having him in it.


Con: Blanks (-2pts)

To be honest, this was a pretty minor issue, but I thought it was worth noting. The characters in this movie used blank bullets in their guns. They did so to be intimidating, while also ensuring that no one got hurt. This decision made sense for the characters, so I was okay with it.

My problem was with the manner in which the blanks were shot. There was one moment in the film in which the blanks were blatantly shot at a person for comedic effect. It was an amusing moment, but my problem was with what happened afterward: nothing. Everyone saw that the bullets they were using were fake, but no on acted on this information (including a security guard). Anyone could have stopped them now that they knew the guns they had were harmless, but no one did, which made the blanks a pretty glaring plot hole in the remainder of the movie.


Pro: Motivation (+4pts)

Like any movie, this movie would be received better if the audience was invested in the story. For this film, a lot of that depended on how believable the main character's motivations were for robbing the bank. I thought the filmmakers of Going in Style did a good job of giving each character the development to explain why they were each going through with this. Each character had their own reasoning and I totally understood where each character was coming from. Each played off the fact that they had nothing to lose, but each had different ideas of what they had to gain. One of my concerns before watching this movie was that the filmmakers would not explain how three good people would be tempted to do something like this so late in their lives, but I thought the filmmakers did a really good job at setting this up effectively.


Con: Dumb Cops (-4pts)

I know that this was a silly comedy about three old men who robbed a bank, but I had trouble getting past how dumb the cops were. It seemed like "dumb cops" were the answer whenever the writers had trouble getting out of a corner they had written themselves into. This made the movie less effective than it could have been, because I think this movie would have been a lot funnier if these three men pulled off this crazy heist with an effective police force on their tail. Instead this movie made the whole thing seem way too easy for them, and our main characters still ran into trouble anyway. This made the main characters look weak, and made the antagonists look dumb, which I think was the wrong way to go with this story, as it took a lot of the steam out of this movie's premise.

Grading Scale


Grade: C+ (78pts)

All in all, this was not a bad movie, but it had its issues. For the most part, I found it to be an amusing story filled with a talented cast who had a fun dynamic to watch. There were plenty of chuckles, but there were no real laugh-out-loud moments. I thought Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin had great chemistry that worked very well for this movie. I also think that the characters' motivations for doing this were completely understandable and justified. However, this movie fell apart with the poorly written "plan" and the conveniently dumb police force. Going in Style unfortunately had just about as much working against it as it did working for it, which resulted in a fairly average movie.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)