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Netflix's new number-one movie is a huge, divisive comedy hit

Audiences seem to love it, critics hate it, but what do you think?

Netflix's new number-one movie is a huge, divisive comedy hit
Andrew Williams
25 October 2023

Comedian Bill Burr’s Old Dads came to Netflix on October 20 and has rocketed right to the top of the chart, but it hasn’t been quite so popular with critics.

Old Dads is the most popular movie on Netflix according to both Flixpatrol and Netflix’s Tudum site.

From October 16-22, so just three days on streaming, Old Dads was watched for over 23 million hours, equating to 13.3 million views.

That’s more than double the 11 million hours new horror doc The Devil on Trial racked up, which sits at no. 2 on the Netflix Tudum chart.

It’s not all good news for Old Dads, though.

Old Dads Reviews: Critics vs audiences

The film has mostly picked up negative reviews from critics, sitting at a 23% rating over on Rotten Tomatoes.'s Matt Zoller Seitz catchy line is Old Dads “has a great cast, but it's barely a movie,” saying it too often comes across a transparent vehicle for stand-up style gags.

Detroit News’s Adam Graham makes similar observations, saying “the characters aren't really characters so much as they're stand-ins and targets for Burr's ideas and jokes.”

In stark contrast, Old Dads’s Rotten Tomatoes audience score is currently 88%, and the reviews are full of appreciation for Burr’s generation-clash comedy material.

“I think the critics giving this a bad review are the exact type this movie is making fun of,” says Chad. No, we didn't make that name up.

“I enjoyed it. Found it funny. Found it relevant. I also think critics need to get there heads out there butts because all comedies like this are loved by the public but hated by politically correct movie reviewers.”

Most of the reviews don’t come across offended as such, more that they feel Burr’s stand-up schtick doesn’t quite translate in Old Dads.

“The movie functions as an extension of Burr’s act, which includes taking detours to conspicuously riff on things, while setting up most of the supporting players as cardboard caricatures for Burr’s character,” says CNN’s Brian Lowry.

Still, this is far from the first time a comedy movie has divided audience and critics. Give it a try, particularly if you are a Bill Burr fan.

And if you side more with the critics on this one, give Netflix’s F is for Family a whirl. It's a Family Guy-style animation set in the 1970s, written by Burr, one that largely united fans and critics.