Masterminds (2016) - Rotten Tomatoes

Masterminds (2016)



Critic 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.

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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

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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
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News & Interviews for Masterminds

Critic Reviews for Masterminds

All Critics (80) | Top Critics (24)

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

October 5, 2016 | Rating: 0/5 | Full Review…
San Diego Reader
Top Critic

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.

September 30, 2016 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

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.

September 30, 2016 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

Masterminds finds plenty of targets for its satirical jabs and lets them all off the hook.

September 30, 2016 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
Top Critic

What Masterminds lacks in sharp one-liners it more than makes up for in ridiculous slapstick.

September 30, 2016 | Rating: B | Full Review…
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

The subtext is all about class dispossession, but a movie in which a character is stupid enough to propose a big-time bank robbery so that his gang can make it into the news ("the big show") is pushing it.

September 30, 2016 | Full Review…
Village Voice
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Masterminds


I really like the story and the ideas of the scenes. But I'm really disappointed. I expected something more exciting that keeps you steady excited. The scenes had to be more detailed. I honestly like even love the trailer so so so more than the whole movie because of the movement and excitment. It really is nice movie but for that kind of genre of the movie and the idea , it had to be more confident with more details.

Valeri Ivanov
Valeri Ivanov

Super Reviewer


The gist of this in a nutshell is liberal, college bred, big city types laughing down their noses at the amusing antics of conservative, might not have graduated high school, small town types. It's not enough to carry a whole film, even delivered by SNL luminaries.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

The best thing one can say about Masterminds is that it seemingly accomplishes what it sets out to do and be. Of course, that's a pretty solid compliment if you're going for a certain type of quirky/oddball comedy that not everyone will understand or even care to understand. It has always felt as if director Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite, Nacho Libre) has marched to the beat of a slightly different drum than any other comedy director and that continues to show in his feature films as he documents characters that are interesting or strange because of the inherent state of their personality rather than documenting the actions of fairly average individuals who are put into extraordinary circumstances. That isn't to say the ensemble cast of Masterminds don't find themselves in the middle of some pretty spectacular circumstances because they do, but this is due to the fact they voluntarily sign up for crazy expeditions rather than them being thrust upon them. Now, this isn't original to Hess' films of course; plenty of comedies find humor in the eccentric and the zany, but Hess notches it up a few levels-making his films feel as if they are operating not in the real world, but from the perspective of these bizarre minds that allow us to see the world how they see it: in unconventional and bizarre ways. This is especially glaring in Masterminds as it reminds us time and time again that what is happening is based on a true story that occurred in 1997 and at the time, was the second-largest all-cash robbery in U.S. history. As with most "based on a true story" movies the film version of these events takes the real life events and paints them in broad strokes though it at least seems that writers Chris Bowman, Hubbel Palmer, and Emily Spivey have kept the general facts of the case intact enough while interpreting those actions to inform character decisions that give way to the more outlandish tone the film sports. Of course, how are we to know that what we're treated to in Masterminds isn't exactly how the real David Ghantt perceived things to be during these time in his life? The point is-it doesn't matter. Whether they were or not I can appreciate that Hess takes on a certain singular style and approach and applies it to every scene making what was already a fascinating story that much more enjoyable...if you enjoy Hess' particular brand of nonsense, that is. read the whole review at

Philip Price
Philip Price

Super Reviewer

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