Weird: The Al Yankovic Story Reviews Are Here, See What Critics Are Saying About The Comedy Biopic Starring Daniel Radcliffe

When Daniel Radcliffe was announced as the choice to portray the wacky, accordion-playing parody musician "Weird" Al Yankovic in the upcoming comedic biopic Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, it’s hard to say whose fans were more surprised. However, the movie’s premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival seemed to have the audience buying in as much as the actors in their fully unhinged performances, and isn’t “weird” what we’re signing up for anyway? With the movie set to premiere on the Roku Channel on November 4, let’s take a look at what the critics are saying.

Alongside the Harry Potter alum, Evan Rachel Wood stars as Madonna — giving a spot-on impression in the trailer — and Rainn Wilson as Dr. Demento, with apparently a number of cameos that are likely more fun if I don’t list them here. The film intentionally exaggerates the events of the titular artist’s life for the sake of comedy, so let’s see what critics think about the final product, starting with CinemaBlend’s review of Weird: The Al Yankovic Story. Mike Reyes rates the movie 4 stars out of 5, saying "Weird" Al fans finally have a worthy successor to UHF: 

Whether it was intended or not, Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is the next midnight movie craze waiting to happen at a repertory theater near you. An audience crowd pleaser that ups the ante and never slows down, it really does exemplify the best of everything that Al himself stands for.

CinemaBlend managing editor Sean O’Connell and Mike Reyes broke down the movie after its TIFF premiere, where they discussed Daniel Radcliffe and Evan Rachel Wood’s performances, teased some cameos, and described the whole atmosphere (which included a flash mob). Check out their breakdown: 

Alan Ng of Film Threat echoes CinemaBlend’s sentiments that the less you know about the movie going in, the better. This critic rates Weird 8.5 out of 10, calling it the funniest film he’s seen this year “by far,” promising loads of gut-busting moments: 

[O]ne of the most insane movies I’ve seen in a long time. Fans of Weird Al will feel at home with this parody of rock biopics and parody of Al’s life — think Walk Hard, but PG-13. The jokes are silly, ala UHF, and a lot of them are way ‘inside baseball.’ This lifelong fan of Al got every single one.

Tessa Smith of Mama’s Geeky rates the movie 3.5 out of 5, saying that the best part of the movie is seeing Daniel Radcliffe having the time of his life, even if the humor does start to get repetitive toward the end. The critic says: 

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is parody at its finest. If you are looking for a film that will make you laugh your butt off, while simultaneously having you second guess everything you think you know about Weird Al, you have come to the right place. Hilariously and ridiculously entertaining, Daniel Radcliffe and Evan Rachel Wood give us two of the best performances of the year. Hopefully they will be remembered come award season because they are phenomenal in this.

Vikram Murthi of IndieWire grades the Roku Original a B-, and like many other critics, noted the tonal similarities to Judd Apatow’s 2007 comedy Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. This review states: 

Despite Weird inevitably biting off more than it can chew, the actual performances of Yankovic’s hit songs have a comfortable nostalgia factor and the various inside jokes to his career will certainly delight the ‘Weird Al’ fanatic.

Leah Greenblatt of EW gives Weird the grade of a B, saying its star is fully committed to the role and carries the movie, despite the “celebrity whack-a-mole” of cameos. She says: 

The script, by Appel and the actual Yankovic, who also appears briefly as a skeptical record executive, treats time as a flat circle, folding ‘Amish Paradise’ into the events of 1985 — Coolio's original was actually released a full decade later — and putting Madonna's backup dancers in anachronistic cone bras years before they debuted in the real world. But that's all part of Weird's fast and loose comedy, an alternative-facts fever dream so bent on the certifiably ridiculous that it circles back around somehow to sweetness. You don't need any of it, really, but as far as celebrity hagiographies go, you kind of can't beat it.

This movie may have started out as a Funny or Die sketch, but, 12 years later, that fake trailer is about to hit our screens. You can check out Weird: The Al Yankovic Story on the Roku Channel on Friday, November 4, and if you’re ready for another trip to the theater, be sure to check out our 2022 Movie Release Schedule to see what’s coming soon.

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Heidi Venable is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend, a mom of two and a hard-core '90s kid. She started freelancing for CinemaBlend in 2020 and officially came on board in 2021. Her job entails writing news stories and TV reactions from some of her favorite prime-time shows like Grey's Anatomy and The Bachelor. She graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a degree in Journalism and worked in the newspaper industry for almost two decades in multiple roles including Sports Editor, Page Designer and Online Editor. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.