What Critics Are Saying About 80 for Brady

Opinions vary from 'irresistible' to 'without much finesse'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 3, 2023 11:05 AM CST

Oscar winners Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Rita Moreno, and Sally Field are transformed into Tom Brady superfans in 80 for Brady, Kyle Marvin's comedy about four older women who descend on the 2017 Super Bowl to support their beloved New England Patriots. Audiences are loving the film, loosely based on a true story, giving it a 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, while critics (65%) are less enthused. Here's what they're saying:

  • It's no masterpiece, but it's "brassy, ridiculous, and shameless” and "also irresistible, maybe because watching older ladies having fun is almost embarrassingly seductive," writes Stephanie Zacharek at Time. With "a kind of vitality that supersedes most accepted notions of what a 'good' movie should be," it "speak[s] of the possibility of renewal at any age, and reaffirm[s] the value of good friendships, both new and enduring."

  • Less amused is Mark Kennedy at the AP, who gives the film just half a star out of four. "Don't tell us you're empowering older people by making them dance The Twist to get past security into the Super Bowl," he writes, arguing "a quartet of our finest actors … are sacrificed for cheap laughs and unearned poignancy. And Brady, an executive producer, sullies one of his greatest triumphs"—that "astonishing come-from-behind win" in 2017.
  • Brian Truitt gives the film 2.5 stars out of four, due in part to its "fun energy." There are "nursing-home breakouts, accidental drug use, hot wing contests and so much awkward dancing," which is all a bit "far-fetched." But he wishes the film went even further. As he writes at USA Today, "Leaning into something bonkers like The Hangover … would have been better than simply veering into familiar sports-movie territory." At least Brady "does a solid job playing himself." He can even "make you cry."

  • "Good company is the name of the game … but for all its congenial upbeatitude, this salute to blue-hair camaraderie has been molded into the shape of a movie without much finesse," writes Charles Bramesco at the Guardian. "Writers Sarah Haskins and Emily Halpert do a fair job balancing the softball humor of oldsters behaving in ways unbecoming of their years with a respectful empathy for a neglected demographic," but the film has "odd ends weakening it as cinema" as well as "aggressive product placement."
(More movie review stories.)

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