Going in Style (1979) - Rotten Tomatoes

Going in Style (1979)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Joe (George Burns), Al (Art Carney), and Willie (Lee Strasberg) are three senior citizens who share a small apartment in New York City. They live off social security checks and spend their days sitting on a park bench, reading newspapers, feeding pigeons, and fending off obnoxious children. It's a dull life, and finally Joe is driven to suggest something radical to break the monotony; why not go on a stick up? None of them have a criminal history (though Joe claims he "did some stealing during the war"), but just planning the bank robbery puts a new spring in their step. Al surreptitiously borrows some pistols from the collection of his nephew, Pete (Charles Hallahan), and the trio, disguised with novelty Groucho Marx-style glasses, pulls off their heist to the tune of 35,000 dollars. Unfortunately, the excitement is too much for Willie, who suffers a fatal heart attack the same day. At his funeral, Joe and Al decide to give the bulk of the dough to Pete and his family, and attempt to blow the rest of it on a whirlwind excursion to Las Vegas. Meanwhile, the eccentric robbery has become a colorful news story for the media and the police are closing in on the amateur criminals. ~ Fred Beldin, Rovi
Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
Warner Bros. Pictures

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Lee Strasberg
as Willie
Siobhan Keegan
as Colleen
Mary Testa
as Teller
Jean Shevlin
as Mrs. Fein
James Manis
as Hot Dog Vendor
Margot Stevenson
as Store Cashier
Tito Goya
as Gypsy Cab Driver
William Pabst
as Bank Guard
Christopher Wynkoop
as Bank Manager
Bob Maroff
as Cab Driver
Vivian Edwards
as Bellhop
Betty Bunch
as Cashier
Anthony Call
as FBI Agent
Mark Margolis
as Prison Guard
Reathel Bean
as FBI Agent
Paul L. Smith
as Radio Announcer
Alan Brooks
as FBI Agent
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Critic Reviews for Going in Style

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (3)

A trio of contrasting personalities, the veterans bring both a mischievous wit and a sense of subdued anger to a familiar comic plotline, and the film achieves a rare balance of laughter and compassion.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Though the cast is headed by three fine actors, two of whom, Mr. Burns and Mr. Carney, are also extremely funny men, it never elicits any emotional response more profound than curiosity.

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

There are laughs, but the prevalent tone is one of discreet compassion, without condescension or sanctimony.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Touching and amusing comedy.

Full Review… | June 17, 2015
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Director Brest does a great job with a sensitive subject, drawing fine performances from everyone.

Full Review… | October 8, 2013
TV Guide

Two things about the film are frankly remarkable, however: the richness of its imagery and George Burns' understated performance.

Full Review… | March 9, 2010
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for Going in Style

The movie is funny because you see older people doing things you would not expect to see old people do like rob a bank or do things just unexpectedly. The movie has a good ending because they gave the money to people who needed it and the last robber after all his friends had died he spent the rest of his life in jail with people rather living alone.


An underrated movie (in terms of having never seen it mentioned anywhere), anchored by George Burns' lead performance. Not a funny "ha-ha" movie, but an affable and entertaining movie.

Matt Heiser
Matt Heiser

A funny and deeply moving film, the three stars are a joy to watch. Strasberg says so little, and yet he is often the center of the scene. Carney straddles comedy and drama as brilliantly as he did in Harry and Tonto. Burns is the real surprise here, holding his own, hysterically funny, coldly calculating, heartaching in his poignency.

James A
James A

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