Robert De Niro Stars In A Comedy Flop That’s Now One Of Streaming’s Biggest Hits

Robert De Niro's The War With Grandpa is one of the most streamed titles on Hulu right now.

By Charlene Badasie | Updated

The War with Grandpa, starring Robert De Niro, is currently in the top 10 streaming charts on Hulu. The figures were released by FlixPatrol, a platform that tracks viewership numbers across streaming sites such as Netflix, Disney+, and HBO Max. The movie is based on the 1984 Robert Kimmel Smith children’s book of the same name.

The story begins with the recently widowed Ed Marino (Robert De Niro), who is accused of stealing from a grocery store after having trouble with its self-checkout system. Following the incident, his daughter Sally moves him in with her family. The decision doesn’t bode well with Peter, who is forced to give up his bedroom and sleep in the attic.

Unhappy with the new arrangement, Peter declares war on his grandpa. Ed (Robert De Niro) agrees to the battle, but only after setting a few ground rules. They cannot damage other people’s property, and the war has to remain a secret. The pranks start with the sixth grader replacing his grandpa’s shaving cream with foam.

robert de niro shaving

But as his pranks escalate, Ed realizes that Peter wants to get rid of him and decides to fight back. His tricks include removing the screws from the kid’s furniture and rewriting his homework. Although the “war” does result in a stronger relationship, their pranks start to have unintended consequences, with Ed ending up in the hospital.

Directed by Tim Hill from a script by Tom J. Astle and Matt Ember, The War with Grandpa features a star-studded cast. Starring alongside Robert De Niro as Ed Marino and Oakes Fegley as Peter Decker is Uma Thurman as Sally Marino-Decker. Rob Riggle appears as Arthur Decker, with Laura Marano as Mia Decker and Poppy Gagnon as Jenny Decker.

Christopher Walken guest stars ad Ed’s friend Jerry, with Jane Seymour as Diane. Cheech Marin appears as Danny, Julio Cesar Chavez as Billy, Isaac Kragten as Steve, T.J. McGibbon as Emma, and Lydia Styslinger as Lisa. The supporting cast includes Colin Ford, Joe Gelchion, Faizon Love, Rutanya Alda, Kendrick Cross, and Drew Scheid.

The War with Grandpa was released in October 2020 and earned $43 million at the global box office. While audiences loved the movie, critics were less kind. The Robert De Niro film currently holds a 29 percent critics score on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.  The site’s general consensus describes the movie as “fitfully funny but mostly misguided,” adding that it will “leave audiences with a handful of chuckles.”

Interestingly, the movie holds an 85 percent audience score, indicating that it does have a solid fan base. Much of the high ranking on streaming may be due to the actor’s history in comedies. Robert De Niro is well known for mobster-type roles, but audiences adored the actor in the Meet the Parents franchise, even if he was still portraying, at times, a more serious character.

Released in 2000, Meet the Parents is directed by Jay Roach from a script by Jim Herzfeld and John Hamburg. The story follows Greg Focker, a well-meaning nurse who creates unintentional chaos when meeting his girlfriend’s parents. The film put Ben Stiller’s Greg Focker at odds with Robert De Niro’s Jack Byrnes, who used his CIA training to trip up his would-be son-in-law. The movie was a massive hit leading to two sequels, Meet the Fockers, and Little Fockers.

It also allowed viewers to see a different side of Robert De Niro away from The God Father II and other mob-related movies. He later went on to appear in light hearted movies such as The Intern and Dirty Grandpa.

Robert De Niro has several other projects in the works. The legendary actor will star in Killers of Flower Moon and About My Father, which is currently in post-production.

Robert De Niro will also star in Inappropriate Behavior. Billed as a comedy-drama, the movie is directed by Tony Goldwyn from a script by Tony Spiridakis. The story follows Max Brandel (Bobby Cannavale), who ditches a successful career and marriage to become a mediocre stand-up comedian. The cast also includes Rose Byrne, William Fitzgerald, Vera Farmiga, Rainn Wilson, and Whoopi Goldberg.

robert de niro

Robert De Niro will also lead the cast of Wise Guys. Billed as a gangster film, the project is helmed by Barry Levinson from a script by Nicholas Pileggi. The cast also includes Debra Messing, Kathrine Narducci, Cosmo Jarvis, and Steve Molla. Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, the movie is set for release on February 2, 2024.

Set in the 1950s, Wise Guys follows competing Italian-American mob bosses Vito Genovese and Frank Costello – who are both portrayed by Robert De Niro. When Genovese orders a hit on Costello, he somehow survives the attack. But instead of retaliating, he decides to retire from the Mafia, which shocks his counterpart.

Robert De Niro will also star in the upcoming Netflix limited series Zero Day. The six-episode conspiracy is written and executive produced by Eric Newman as part of his overall deal with the streamer. According to Deadline, the story poses a poignant question – “how do we find truth in a world in crisis, one seemingly being torn apart by forces outside our control?” The series has no release date yet.