Critics Consensus

Masterminds' great cast and stranger-than-fiction true story are largely wasted on a scattershot comedy with a handful of funny moments and far too much wackiness.



Total Count: 94


Audience Score

User Ratings: 27,364
User image

Masterminds Videos

Watch it now

Masterminds Photos

Movie Info

In this action comedy based on true events, directed by Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite; Nacho Libre), David Ghantt (Zach Galifianakis) discovers the true meaning of adventure far beyond his wildest dreams. He is an uncomplicated man stuck in a monotonous life. Day in and day out he drives an armored vehicle, transporting millions of other people's money with no escape in sight. The only glimmer of excitement is his flirtatious work crush Kelly Campbell (Kristen Wiig) who soon lures him into the scheme of a lifetime. Along with a group of half-brained criminals led by Steve Chambers (Owen Wilson) and an absurdly faulted heist plan, David manages the impossible and makes off with $17 million in cash...only problem is he foolishly hands the money over to this wild group of double crossers and has been set up to take the fall. With the bandits blowing the millions on lavish and ridiculous luxuries, they leave behind a glaring trail of evidence. Now on the lam and in over his head, David must dodge the authorities, evade a hilarious hit man, Mike McKinney (Jason Sudeikis), and try to turn the tables on the ones he trusted most. (C) Relativity


Zach Galifianakis
as David Ghantt
Jason Sudeikis
as Mike McKinney
Jon Daly
as Detective
Leslie Jones
as Detective
Rhoda Griffis
as Real Estate Agent
Daniel Zacapa
as Quintero
Fred Galle
as Upscale Party Guest
Barry J. Ratcliffe
as Correctional officer
Tom Werme
as Anchorman
Nils Cruz
as Carlo's Uncle
Christian Gonzalez
as Banco Lujo Teller
Karsten Friske
as Cort Chambers
Dallas J. Edwards
as Ken Chambers
Shelton Grant
as Prisoner
Laura Palka
as Reporter
Joseph S. Wilson
as Airport Security Agent
Jee An
as Female Cashier at Airport
Nicole Sobchack
as Reporter #2
Eizzil Cintron Valenzuela
as Lingerie Street Market Woman
Anne Johnson
as Female Shopper
Kevin J. O'Connor
as Upscale Party Guest
Jay Amor
as Quintero man #2
Allegra Nova
as Bikini Babe
Marlo Scheitler
as Airport Traveler, Cancun
Chris Matheny
as Loomis-Fargo Shift Supervisor
Candace Blanchard
as Cathy Jeffcoat
Gabriel Manak
as Catering Assistant
Wynn Reichert
as Matthew - Photographer
Ross Kimball
as Eric Payne
Josue Gutierrez
as Banamex Teller
Ron Stafford
as Upscale Party Guest
Miller Carbon
as Party Guest
View All

News & Interviews for Masterminds

Critic Reviews for Masterminds

All Critics (94) | Top Critics (25) | Fresh (31) | Rotten (63)

  • It's just smart people acting like dumb people in a dumb movie.

    Oct 5, 2016 | Rating: 0/5 | Full Review…
  • A tooth extraction without painkillers would have been far more enjoyable.

    Oct 1, 2016 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
  • Hess dives deeply into the ass crack of suburban North Carolina, finding lowbrow caricature courtesy his two wonderfully shameless lead actors, Zach Galifianakis and Kristen Wiig.

    Sep 30, 2016 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • The movie has been on ice awaiting release for over a year, owing to the bankruptcy of its studio. But some of the jokes were moldy long before that happened. Masterminds owes us our two hours back.

    Sep 30, 2016 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Masterminds finds plenty of targets for its satirical jabs and lets them all off the hook.

    Sep 30, 2016 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • What Masterminds lacks in sharp one-liners it more than makes up for in ridiculous slapstick.

    Sep 30, 2016 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Masterminds

  • Aug 21, 2017
    There are wacky comedies like 'We're the Millers' or 'MacGruber' that balance between zaniness and competence, and then there are insanely wacky comedies like 'Masterminds' which overshoot both categories completely. Masterminds doesn't just teeter on the edge of being believable with a spot of zaniness or vice full on seesaws from one spectrum to the other making for an unfulfilled and spotty viewing with a cast built for stronger results. Zach Galifianakas takes on the role of David Ghantt, a small town, backwoods security money truck driver who falls in love with Kristen Wiig's Kelly. She knows Owen Wilson's Steve, the bad apple of the crew, who helps persuade Galifianakis' character to help them break away with $17 million. It's amazing to think back in 1997, the Loomis Bank Robbery was the second-largest at the time. This was something that actually happened! Even with this nugget of knowledge given to us at the beginning of the film combined with the voice over work to help make this feel like it was something that actually happened, it all felt fake and conspired by director Jared Hess. None of it seemed plausible because of the cartoonish portrayal of every character. I get this takes place in the backwoods of some redneck town in North Carolina, but it was all far too silly and over acted to seem truthful. There are few laugh-out-loud moments, and most of the giggles come from some solid physical comedy between Galifianakis and Wiig, but none of the supporting characters really flex their muscles and at just 90 minutes, you're in and out before the bank robbery even feels large enough to support the plot.
    Lane Z Super Reviewer
  • Jun 02, 2017
    I've been on a pretty good run of movies lately, out of the last 13 movies I've reviewed (this one included), seven of them have been rated 3.5 stars or higher. This is really an irrelevant anecdote, but it's one that I felt like pointing out since I can't remember the last time I went on a run of such high quality movies. Of course the other six films have all been below average, with the exception of one (Dig Two Graves which I enjoyed, but wouldn't call a very good movie). But I digress, moving on to this film, which falls into the average/below average pile. Here's the thing about Jared and Jerusha Hess, they've got a very specific style of indie quirk. Their biggest success is, obviously, the indie classic (depending on who you ask), Napoleon Dynamite. I don't think I've kept up enough with this husband/wife duo, but it seems to me that they've never replicated the success of their first feature film. And that's both creatively and financially, though Nacho Libre made close to three times its budget. Their next two films (Gentlemen Broncos and Don Verdean) were both major box office flops. I never finished Don Verdean, but I wasn't enthralled by what I did watch. I was never interested in Gentlemen Broncos or Napoleon Dynamite, so I can't speak on those. I did like Nacho Libre, sue me. This leaves us with Masterminds. And, quite frankly, this movie didn't do much for me. I think it's certainly a broader film than what Jared (since he only directed this and had no hand in writing the script nor did his wife) has made in the past. I gave this film a shot simply because I was actually legitimately interested in it. No other reason than that, not to mention the fact that I love all of the actors in this film. Kate McKinnon is a national treasure and she is just a tremendous comedic actress by any standard. Even though her role is minuscule in this movie, her scenes are, by far, some of the best moments of the entire film. On top of the cast, I was actually somewhat intrigued by the story and how it would play out, considering the characterization of David Ghantt as a well-meaning, but dim-witted man, who's in way over his head in executing this robbery of Loomis Fargo for a grand total of $17 million. I wondered how the film was gonna use all these different characters in order to tell this story. And, if I'm being honest, the movie just really misses the mark. I don't think it's a bad movie, I'd say it's average at best, but I just find that there's a lot of down time here. In between the scenes that move the narrative forward, there's really a whole lot of nothing going on. And, quite frankly, the story is never as interesting as it should be. I don't know what it is, but there's just something missing. I think the script focuses more on the big moments and not so much on the little ones, you know the ones where you actually develop the characters. Because David Scott Ghantt never amounts to much other than just a dimwitted, but well-meaning man who wears his heart on his sleeve. There's not much to the actual character other than that. There's not much to any character other than the initial impression they make upon you. And that's not to say that this film had to have super complex characters, but at least give us something just a little more interesting to invest ourselves in these people. To care about these people just a little more. The film depends a lot, like about 85% of it, on the cast. And they do their damnedest to elevate the script from dullness, but it's not like they're fucking miracle workers. The scenes that made me laugh 100% due to the actors and not because the writing was so clever. I think the best comedies offer a combination of both, witty dialogue and great comedic actors doing what they do best. This movie only has one of those and it falls flat on its face on the other one. This is a relatively short, I think it's 84 minutes without credits and gag reel, so it's not like it ever overstays its welcome. But, in a sense, I guess they kind of do. The scattershot nature of the comedy makes me wish that this had just been a 42-minute episode of an anthology series or something. There's no reason this should have gone double than length. It's so inconsistent that I can't really even recall any memorable scenes that didn't involve Kate McKinnon's character. It has its moments, for sure, I just can't remember many of them and that's just a shame, when this story had all the ingredients to make for an entertaining, albeit very silly, flick. It's still decent enough, but decent just won't cut it. This has to be another disappointment for fans of Jared (and Jerusha) Hess.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Feb 28, 2017
    The film has the moments but it's very scattered and lacking a lot clarity. The talent is vast and the direction is inventive but the story doesn't allow too much weirdness. Didn't deserve the bashing but also deserved a stronger focus, they seemed more focus on throwing money at it.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Feb 11, 2017
    Honestly, once you get past the stupidity, this is s reasonably watchable comedy. I didn't think I would get through it as I can't stand Zach, but I was watching with others and didn't have the option of switching it off, which was what I would have done if I was alone. There's some slight amusement from the bad 90's outfits, particularly the photo shoot and the wedding dress, and the supporting cast are decent. But really, apart from a slight quirkiness, it's a pretty standard and disposable comedy, loosely based on a true story of a robbery. I didn't hate it or feel like I totally wasted my time, but it's not a must see either.
    Nicki M Super Reviewer

Masterminds Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features