The Retirement Plan Review: Nicolas Cage Is Back To His Old Antics

Tim Brown‘s The Retirement Plan presents an intriguing premise that promises a blend of family drama and crime thriller. The film follows Ashley and her young daughter Sarah as they embark on a perilous journey to seek help from Ashley’s estranged father, Matt, who is living as a retired beach bum in the serene Cayman Islands. However, their reunion takes a dangerous turn as they become entangled in a criminal enterprise orchestrated by the menacing crime boss, Donnie, and his ruthless lieutenant, Bobo. As Ashley spends more time with her estranged father, she uncovers shocking secrets from his past that she never could have imagined.

The Good:

The Retirement Plan (2023).

The film’s premise is undeniably captivating and offers a unique twist on the conventional crime thriller genre by interweaving complex family dynamics. Nicolas Cage, in the role of Matt, brings his signature eccentricity to the character. His portrayal adds layers of mystery and intrigue to the story, keeping the audience guessing about his true intentions and past.

Ashley Greene as Ashley delivers a solid performance, showcasing the vulnerability and strength of a mother determined to protect her daughter at any cost. Her emotional journey from a desperate woman seeking her father’s help to a fierce protector is convincingly portrayed, drawing the audience into her character’s plight.

Ron Perlman as Bobo and Jackie Earle Haley as Donnie, the antagonists of the film, bring a menacing presence to the screen. Their performances as cold-blooded criminals are convincing, and their interactions with the protagonists create a palpable sense of danger and suspense.

Joel David Moore as Fitzsimmons, a supporting character with a mysterious role in the plot, delivers a commendable performance, adding another layer of intrigue to the narrative. His character’s actions and motives are shrouded in mystery until the film’s climax, keeping the audience engaged.

The cinematography of The Retirement Plan deserves praise for capturing the beauty of the Cayman Islands, juxtaposed with the dark and dangerous world of crime. The film’s scenic shots of pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters provide a striking contrast to the tension-filled moments that unfold within this picturesque backdrop.

One of the film’s strengths lies in its ability to build and sustain suspense throughout the narrative. As the plot unfolds, viewers are kept on the edge of their seats, eagerly anticipating the next twist or revelation. The film’s pacing is well-crafted, with each scene serving a purpose in advancing the story and uncovering the secrets of the characters.

The screenplay of The Retirement Plan is laden with intriguing subplots and character arcs, adding depth to the overall narrative. Ashley’s journey of self-discovery and the gradual revelation of her father’s past are compelling elements that contribute to the film’s overall appeal.

The Bad:

The Retirement Plan (2023).

However, despite its many strengths, The Retirement Plan falls short in several aspects. One notable issue is the lack of character development for some supporting roles. While the main characters receive adequate attention, some of the secondary characters feel underdeveloped, leaving the audience with unanswered questions about their motivations and backgrounds.

Additionally, the film’s climax, while action-packed and suspenseful, may leave some viewers wanting more resolution. Some loose ends are tied up, but others are left dangling, which may leave certain plot points feeling unresolved and unsatisfying.

Furthermore, the film’s reliance on familiar crime thriller tropes, such as the elusive criminal boss and his henchmen, may make it feel somewhat formulaic to seasoned viewers of the genre. While the family dynamics add depth to the story, the central crime plotline follows a somewhat predictable trajectory.

In terms of direction, Tim Brown demonstrates a strong command of suspense and tension, but the film occasionally struggles to maintain a consistent tone. The transition between the serene island setting and the gritty criminal underworld could have been smoother, as the shifts in tone sometimes feel abrupt.


The Retirement Plan offers a captivating premise, strong performances from its lead actors, and a palpable sense of suspense. The film’s exploration of family dynamics within the framework of a crime thriller is commendable. However, it falls short in character development for some supporting roles and leaves certain plot points unresolved.

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The Retirement Plan Review: Nicolas Cage Is Back To His Old Antics
  • Acting - 7/10
  • Cinematography/Visual Effects - 6.5/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 6/10
  • Setting/Theme - 6/10
  • Watchability - 6/10
  • Rewatchability - 4/10
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About Caillou Pettis

Caillou Pettis is a professional film critic and journalist as well as the author of While You Sleep, The Inspiring World of Horror: The Movies That Influenced Generations, and co-author of Out of Time: True Paranormal Encounters. He has been writing in the entertainment industry for over seven and a half years professionally. Throughout the years, he has written articles for publications including Gold Derby, Exclaim!, CBR, Awards Radar, Awards Watch, Flickering Myth, BRWC, Starburst Magazine, Punch Drunk Critics, Mediaversity Reviews, Vinyl Chapters, Northern Transmissions, and Beats Per Minute.