Awful Film Friday… Dirty Grandpa – 2016 De Niro & Efron Comedy

Awful Film Friday is a new feature inspired by the watching of the so called comedy Dirty Grandpa. Hopefully there won’t be too many films that will be included in this new feature as that will mean I will be watching some truly awful material. It’a truly great, I mean awful start for the first awful film Friday selection. I’m reviewing the Blu-ray version which is the extended version, lucky me!

  • Awful film Friday.. Dirty Grandpa Review
  • Genre: Comedy (No really)
  • Directed by Dan Mazer
  • Written by John M. Phillips (Shame on you)
  • Music by Michael Andrews
  • Cinematography by Eric Alan Edwards
  • UK Rating 15
  • Discs: 1
  • Released By Lionsgate
  • Starring Robert De Niro & Zac Efron

Let’s take a look just why Dirty Grandpa becomes the first film to feature on Awful Film Friday.


It has one? Well not really but I’ll try my best to convey the vague and loose plot. Richard aka Dirty Grandpa (Robert De Niro) has just lost his wife to cancer. He requests that his grandson Jason (Zac Efron) drive him down to Florida for spring break.

That’s the basic plot, along the way really funny laugh out loud antics will surely occur. You see Dirty Grandpa is now free and single, that means he really wants to have sex.

If you are expecting a well written comedy you should not purchase Dirty Grandpa, trust me save your money. Instead what we are given is a lewd, crude, rude and plenty of foul mouthed language. But at a least it’s funny right? Unfortunately it downright embarrassing, so much so if I ever see John M. Phillips listed as the writer of any other film I will simply skip viewing it.

Style / Direction

Dreadful from start to finish, admittedly when the plot is so badly constructed there is simply no way any director can save this film from being anything but a total turkey.

Dan Mazer is the director and a quick look on the internet reveals the only other film he has directed was I Give It a Year (2013) another comedy. I cannot comment on that one as I haven’t seen it but he does have writing credits on that one and on Ali G Indahouse, Borat, The Dictator, Bridget Jones’s Baby & Office Christmas Party. From the ones on the list I have seen I’m not inclined to watch any more of the films he writes.

In essence Dirty Grandpa is a film about a journey using the road trip as the symbol of the real journey, the emotional personal journey in which Zach Efron’s character finds what he really wants from life all thanks to his Dirty Grandpa.

Music / Audio Effects

Suits the tone of film, which should really be a compliment but I can’t bring myself to say anything positive here.

Acting / Characters

Let’s get one thing straight, Robert De Niro is without doubt one of my favourite actors. Mention his name and I’m thinking Travis Bickle from Taxi Driver, Jimmy from Goodfellas or maybe Jack Walsh from Midnight Run. In fact with so many great performances, Raging Bull for instance I can simply become lost in his cinema greatness.

And then we come to Dirty Grandpa, oh dear, what happened? There’s no doubt the quality of his film choices in recent years has been more miss than hit but Dirty Grandpa is a new low and one I really cannot understand.

Sure he wants to do something edgy but this isn’t edgy it’s just bad and unfunny. Alas his performance is indeed awful, if you have seen the trailer that really should give you an idea of the acting.  It’s cringeworthy watching a great actor reduced to this level of film.

Zac Efron inclusion seems solely so he can remove his clothing to reveal his toned body and prance around like an idiot. There is no depth to any of the characters and because of this you really don’t care what happens. Well that and the fact there is no real story or laughs.

In fact all the supporting characters are written to be incredibly thick and stupid. The policeman and women are in no way funny rather just annoying, so much so the scenes including them seem to drag on for way too long.

If you want a film that does this incredibly well and is genuinely funny go for either of the Dumb and Dumber films. They understand how to make an audience laugh, both films are well written, acted and directed.

Awful Film Friday Conclusion: Dirty Grandpa (2016)

Did De Niro really read the script prior to signing on to this film project? I find that hard to believe, he surely can’t need the money or the work this badly. Sure everyone can pick a bad film but not one of the magnitude as this. The film starts off at the funeral of Dirty Grandpa’s wife and the writers first thought seems to have been how many characters can use the F word. The over use of that word continues throughout the film so much so that you simply become unaware of it. If you are going to use swearing in a comedy make it worth the joke otherwise its impact is wasted.

I’ve criticised the writing and the De Niro’s decision to take the film but did any of the studio executives even read the script? Who would finance such a piece of rubbish that only has the word flop written all over it? No doubt those same executives are readying another remake of a classic film as I write this.

Had Bob De Niro not appeared in Dirty Grandpa I doubt anyone would have given it a second thought.

In the end his choice in participating kind of makes me really sad and longing for a return to the roles that defined him as an actor. I guess those days are finally over!

Trust me whether it’s on Blu-ray, Netflix or regular television do yourself a favour and don’t waste the 109 minutes of your life on this piece of garbage.

Awful Film Friday... Dirty Grandpa

Looking for a decent comedy take a look at these reviews:

Conclusion: Dirty Grandpa Blu-ray Review

The Blu-ray version claims proudly “Extended Edition, longer and dirtier!”

Please no more!


  • Daytona Heat
  • Gag Reel
  • Lessons in Seduction
  • The Filthy Truth: The Making of Dirty Grandpa
  • I Got Nothin To Hide
  • A Look at Daytona’s Most Vibrant Drug Dealer
  • Filthy Filmmakers Who Have No Shame
  • Audio Commentary featuring writer John Phillips, director Dan Mazer & producer Michael Simkin (That should be worth listening to!)

Dirty Grandpa (2016) Blu-ray is available now from Amazon.

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Awful Film Friday Dirty Grandpa (2016)

Popcorn Cinema Rating: Dirty Grandpa (2016)



Dirty Grandpa (2016) Film Trailer

For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster with film trailer…

Clip may not representative of the Blu-ray version

If you like my awful film Friday review of Dirty Grandpa, then keep an eye out for future reviews.

What Do You Think?
Summary: Dirty Grandpa (2016) Film Review
Awful Film Friday Dirty Grandpa (2016)

Movie title: Dirty Grandpa (2016)

Duration: 109 mins

Director(s): Dan Mazer

Actor(s): Robert de Niro, Zac Efron

Genre: Comedy

  • Movie Rating


An embarrassing, poorly written, directed and acted attempt at humour that makes for uncomfortable viewing.