Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: Now

Grumpy Old Men Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The movie is too pat and practiced to really be convincing, and the progress of Ariel's relationships with the two grumps seems dictated mostly by the needs of the screenplay. But Matthau and Lemmon are fun to see together, if for no other reason than just for the essence of their beings.

    Read Full Review

  • 60

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Julie Salamon

    Despite the numerous predictable jokes about geriatric sex, the movie is very appealing for numerous surprising reasons. Many of them have to do with ice fishing in Minnesota. [9 Dec 1993, p.A14]

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Susan Wloszczyna

    The film barely skims the grimmer realities of growing old - sickness, money problems, loneliness and death. Still, you couldn't think of two better Grinches to spend the holiday with than Lemmon and Matthau. [23 Dec 1993, p.5D]

  • 63

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune

    Two old people doing old people things, talking about old people stuff, and eating old people food. Sound interesting? Grumpy Old Men is a film that manages to be one of the scariest things I have ever seen. [28 Jan 1994, p.L]

  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Ty Burr

    Relaxed, valedictory, exquisitely titled, Grumpy Old Men feels like an odd couple's last hurrah.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    Grumpy Old Men works more often than not. It's an example of a frothy, good-natured holiday picture that adults can relax and enjoy. As a comedy, the movie contains enough fresh humor to keep the laughs coming.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Grumpy Old Men reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 14+

So-so comedy with insults, sexual humor. No kid appeal.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Grumpy Old Men is a comedy with adult themes (jealousy, lifelong rivalries, and seniors' interest in sex) -- all treated lightheartedly. The intended humor comes from constant name-calling (i.e., "idiot," "moron," "ass-wipe," "putz") and jokes about sexual aptitude. A few falls in snow and a short tussle between the two "grumpy" men provide the only action -- nothing is serious. The movie delivers comfortable messages about the older people finding happiness, repairing damaged friendships, and positive relationships between seniors and their adult children. (Spoiler Alert -- a supporting character dies off camera, and a leading character suffers a heart attack and ends up on life support for a short time). Characters drink adult beverages in several scenes; one very old man smokes and is portrayed as a lecherous alcoholic. There is quite a bit of salty language: "p---y," "d--khead," "bulls--t."

  • Families can talk about the fact that the name-calling in this movie is meant to be funny. When does silly name-calling become bullying? How do you know the difference?
  • Do the characters in Grumpy Old Mean seem real to you? How are they the same or different from the older people you know?
  • What are some of the things you can learn from grandparents and other senior adults in your life?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: In order to experience the richness of life, it's important to take risks and be willing to fail. Even long-time enemies can find common ground and show compassion for one another.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Most of the comedy is based on jokes about aging, a professed reduction in sexual prowess, and old friends treating each other disrespectfully. A very elderly man is portrayed as a sex-addled alcoholic. On the plus side, the adult children treat their fathers with respect and love, and the one African-American character is an important part of the community.

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence: A mild scuffle erupts between two "frenemies;" pushing, shoving, some hitting. Spoiler Alert: There is some suspense when a leading character suffers a heart attack and falls to the ground. He is later seen on life support, but recovers.

  • sex false2

    Sex: A key story element relates to older men having sexual interest and being able to "perform." Male seniors ogle, yearn for, and attempt to bed a flirtatious, middle-aged woman. She characterizes sensuality, as well as a lusty interest in living life to the fullest. While there is no overt sexual activity other than a few kisses, subject matter and dialogue consistently refer to sex and body parts (i.e. "I haven't had sex for fifteen years," "Are you gay or straight... Hetero or homo?")

  • language false2

    Language: Top-to-bottom insult humor. Two characters consistently engage in name-calling; a small sampling includes: "d--khead," "moron," "idiot," "schmuck," "putz," "t-ty-friggin' Swede," "asswipe," "smart-ass," "p---y." Lots of mild swearing, as well: "Jesus Christ," "bulls--t," "hell" "damn," "bastard." And then there are the sexual insults and observations: "You couldn't get it up!," "Did you mount her?," "Big thighs?"

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: Visible products include: Coca-Cola, Dodge cars, United Van Lines, Zenith, Oberto snacks, Red Wing Shoes, Camel cigarettes, Budweiser, and Schmidt's beer

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Alcohol is occasionally consumed in social settings: in a bar, while fishing, at dinner. One very old man drinks from a flask and is inebriated in several scenes. Some smoking.