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Boasting a stellar performance from Lily Tomlin and some powerfully empathetic work from writer-director Paul Weitz, Grandma is a dramedy that shouldn't have to ask you to visit. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

A misanthropic poet (Lily Tomlin) takes her granddaughter (Julia Garner) across Los Angeles in search of the money she needs to terminate her unwanted pregnancy.

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Critic Reviews for Grandma

All Critics (174) | Top Critics (56) | Fresh (159) | Rotten (15)

  • It's a character study and morality play and bildungsroman, subtly executed and lovingly performed.

    July 22, 2016 | Full Review…
  • The best thing about Grandma, other than Tomlin's furious and funny performance, is that Elle never gets too cuddly.

    June 12, 2016 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • It is one of those performances, like Bruce Dern in 'Nebraska' or Julie Christie in 'Away from Her,' that seems a culmination of everything that's great about a beloved actor, and a celebration of them.

    May 28, 2016 | Full Review…
  • In director and writer Paul Weitz's mix of drama and comedy, there are stand-out performance from Lily Tomlin and Sam Elliott.

    May 10, 2016 | Full Review…
  • Paul Weitz, the co-creator of American Pie, wrote the clever, consistently funny, surprisingly affecting script especially for Tomlin, who hearts back with one of the best performances of the year.

    February 23, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • With not a wasted frame in its taut 80 minutes, this is deserving of your attention as one of the year's best movies even if it's being released in the middle of August.

    December 15, 2015 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Grandma

  • May 04, 2018
    I really liked this one. Both the grandma and the grand daughter were perfect. I loved how down to earth they both were and this didn’t slide into cloying as it so easily could have.
    Nicki M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 05, 2016
    This is a fine piece, carefully written, acted and directed. It gives the appearance of being relatively budget and not overly rehearsed or edited down to too much sharpness; this naturalness, the smooth pace, the plainness of the visuals and the lack of a musical soundtrack suit the theme of moral choices, mainly concerning abortion, though there are themes also about relationships. It is a respectful treatment of the young woman's situation, and those issues are very well played, with balance and sensitivity. Lily Tomlin gives a lively physical performance and delivers the wonderful depth and insight that you expect from her, including plenty of biting, comic remarks, and even some fight action; plus she drives a great, big, super classic car, all black and chrome. This is a film that you can attend with your mother, or your son or daughter; be prepared that it is completely unlike your average movie in that there no over the top drama, suspense and sensationalism; just more like real life. It is concerned with big issues, and is still amusing, touching and witty.
    . . Super Reviewer
  • Feb 16, 2016
    Although the subject may be distasteful to some viewers (the film centers around a young woman and her grandmother as they scrounge around for money to get an abortion!), "Grandma" is well worth watching. The complex and nuanced issues with which this dysfunctional family grapples on their journey are often just as distasteful and imposing as the unplanned pregnancy. "Grandma" effectively depicts family, support, disappointment and love among unabashedly flawed people with their own regrets. The film conveys a human message without preachiness or idealized characters. It resonates authentically and inspires reflection, which is the real value of the movie. "Grandma" has great direction and a memorable (although not entirely unique) performance from Tomlin. As long as you're not expecting a feel-good film, "Grandma" will be worth your while.
    Christian C Super Reviewer
  • Feb 04, 2016
    3 generations of one family come together in a time of crisis. Tomlin channels Irene Ryan's Granny from The Beverly Hillbillies TV show and is properly ornery. A film that consciously tackles "women's troubles", but perhaps too consciously. Not bad. Not terrible. Could've used more Marcia Gay Harden.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer

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