A group of senior citizens performing rock-and-roll numbers in a theatrical documentary are receiving much critical praise from film critics as the film opens in limited release today (Wednesday). The senior citizens are not the Rolling Stones, who are appearing in their own concert documentary directed by Martin Scorsese. These are the 24 persons in a 24-member group from Northampton, MA, whose average age is 80 and who perform cover songs from groups like the Talking Heads, The Clash, the Ramones, and Coldplay. They call themselves Young@Heart, which also is the name of the movie about them. Comments Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles Times: "It's as much of a heady tonic for these folks to take on these unlikely lyrics as it is for us to watch it all go down." Stephen Holden in the New York Times suggests that the film might have been a cloying portrayal of old folks at play if it had been a fictional movie. Instead, he writes, it "offers an encouraging vision of old age in which the depression commonly associated with decrepitude is held at bay by music making, camaraderie and a sense of humor." Claudia Puig in USA Today awards the film 3 1/2 stars and concludes, "Not only is it enjoyable, Young@Heart is a heartening and poignant affirmation of the transformative power of music."