Bill Burr’s Netflix Movie ‘Old Dads’ Sharply Divides Critics, Audiences

So how’s that new Bill Burr movie on Netflix, Old Dads?

It apparently depends whether you ask a critic or an average viewer. The comedy currently has an abysmal 17 percent score among critics on Rotten Tomatoes, yet an impressive 90 percent positive rating for its audience score.

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Old Dads is about a trio of late-middle-age fathers Burr, Bobby Cannavale and Bokeem Woodbine, who “find themselves battling preschool principals, millennial CEOs and anything created after 1987.” Burr co-wrote the film (with Ben Tishler) and it marks his directorial debut. The film has debuted at No. 1 on Netflix’s weekly Top 10 movies list.

One fan gained headlines for declaring Old Dads the “best movie I’ve seen in 15 years” and another opined, “It was so hilarious that I literally fell off my chair while laughing … Bill Burr is like a younger version of Larry David.” Meanwhile, The Associated Press countered that Old Dads is “a meandering, unfunny assault on PC culture that would seem perfectly in place in the 1990s alongside Illiberal Education by Dinesh D’Souza and the rantings of Pat Buchanan.” One critic who gave the film a half-star (out of five) said it was “like listening to the unchained rants of a man convinced that everybody is on his side, when they’ve actually left him behind years ago.”

Critic and fan division is nothing new, of course, though this one is a pretty big gulf. It brings to mind fellow Netflix-based comedian Dave Chappelle, who also gets sharply divided RT scores.

In case you’re wondering, The Hollywood Reporter’s review was one of the positive ones, which summarized: “If you find Burr’s stand-up routines funny, you’ll enjoy Old Dads, which also benefits from Cannavale’s hilariously beleaguered reactions, Woodbine’s solid underplaying and some very funny turns by a variety of comedians in small roles.”

For more on Burr, last year the comedian sat down for a deep-dive THR interview on the set of Old Dads to discuss his stand-up, his past and his perspective on a variety of topics.

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