A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Strongly promotes living life to the fullest, no matter how old you are. Though protagonists resort to comic criminal activity, they find joy and a sense of purpose from actively engaging in a world in which they otherwise would have little impact.
Positive Role Models
Other than the fact that the three heroes rob a bank, they exhibit admirable behavior. They are fiercely loyal, generous, warm-hearted, determined, and creative. No primary roles for women; no ethnic diversity.
Violence & Scariness
A comical bank robbery in which the thieves carry guns; one gun shot.
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Occasional mild swearing: "hell," "piss pot," "s--t," "Jesus Christ." Characters talk about peeing ("take a leak"), and one man wets his pants.
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Products & Purchases
References to or visuals for: Coca-Cola, Alka Seltzer, TWA, Whittlesea Cabs (Las Vegas), Sabrett.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A man orders two beers.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Going in Style is a 1979 movie (remade in 2017) starring three veteran actors: treasured comedian George Burns, beloved TV star Art Carney, and Lee Strasberg, a legendary New York actor and teacher. A simple concept -- three bored senior citizens try to add some excitement and purpose to their lives by robbing a bank -- leads to a tale rich in character, funny situations, and (spoiler alert) several poignant life-and-death events. Death here is portrayed as a natural outcome of a long life; the grief that accompanies losing a good friend is gentle and respectful. Though the bank robbery includes some gun threats and one gunshot, it's played as comedy, with no real threat or suspense. And, though the men know that their actions are criminal, they intend no harm, justifying their behavior with an outlandish rationale. Characters occasionally swear ("Jesus Christ," "hell," "damn"). There are several references to peeing ("take a leak," "piss pot") and one man accidentally wets his pants. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Of course, it's funny -- with George Burns and Art Carney, two premier comedians at its center, it has to be funny -- but surprisingly, the film has heart, compassion, and stellar performances, too. George Burns, who was in his eighties when he made Going in Style, hits every right note. Foregoing his cigar chomping and usual comic rhythms, Burns, as Joe, is clever and resourceful, but he's also wise, real, and deserving of respect. Art Carney, in his usual lovable bear-of-an everyman, is wonderful. Lee Strasberg, in a far less showy role, delivers as well. But it's the combination of laughs, poignancy, and humanity that sets the movie apart from other caper comedies and sitcom-like characterizations of older folks. The film's sad moments, and there are some, are handled skillfully. Martin Brest (Scent of a Woman, Midnight Run) was a very young man when he wrote and directed this movie. It was an auspicious beginning. Recommended for tweens and up.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.