The Film Stage
Bette Midler is a delight as Bella Abzug, while Janelle Monáe briefly shines (as always) playing Dorothy Pitman Hughes. It is Lorraine Toussaint, however, who nearly runs away with the whole movie.
Bette Midler plays Bella Abzug (of course!), and does it with full Abzugian yenta-from-hell life force.
The Curvy Film Critic
It goes without saying that remarkable performances turned in by Julianne Moore (Gloria Steinem)and Alicia Vikander (Young Gloria Steinem) steer an engaging cast with strong supporting turns from Janelle Monáe (Dorothy Pittman Hughes), Bette Midler (Bella Abzug) and Lorraine Toussaint (Flo Kennedy).
Consequences Of Sound
It doesn’t help, too, that the overstuffed nature of the film leaves characters little room to be people, existing mostly to be mouthpieces for their politics or cardboard cut-out villains. There are exceptions, of course: Lorraine Toussaint’s grippingly charismatic turn as activist lawyer Flo Kennedy, for instance, or Bette Midler’s sparkling verve as New York Congresswoman Bella Abzug. Most everyone else just feels like a mouthpiece, even one or two of the Glorias themselves.