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The Family That Preys (2008)



Average Rating: 5.8/10
Reviews Counted: 41
Fresh: 21 | Rotten: 20

Tyler Perry's The Family that Preys treads the filmmaker's established terrain of family loyalty and moral uprightness, though the occasionally predictable plot slides forward, aided by an excess of soapy melodrama.


Average Rating: 5.8/10
Critic Reviews: 14
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 6

Tyler Perry's The Family that Preys treads the filmmaker's established terrain of family loyalty and moral uprightness, though the occasionally predictable plot slides forward, aided by an excess of soapy melodrama.



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Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 50,155

My Rating

Movie Info

Alfre Woodard and Kathy Bates star in writer/director Tyler Perry's family drama about an upper-crust family and their working-class counterparts, who discover that scandal knows no social boundaries. Charlotte Cartwright (Bates) and Alice Pratt (Woodard) may be from different sides of the tracks, yet over the years they've managed to nurture a strong and healthy friendship. That friendship is put to the ultimate test, however, when their adult children begin to act out in ways that neither


Drama, Comedy

Tyler Perry

Jan 13, 2008


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All Critics (41) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (21) | Rotten (20) | DVD (2)

This snail-paced film might as well take place in the 1950s, since it seems to have been inspired by one those Hollywood melodramas in which one company employs the entire town, and the only places free of corruption are the church and the local diner.

September 18, 2008 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

While it's wonderful to see actresses as shamefully underemployed as Woodard and Bates on the big screen, even they can't make sense of [these] incoherent characters.

September 15, 2008 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Family that Preys shows grand advances in the filmmaking education of playwright-turned-filmmaker Tyler Perry. It's also his soapiest film yet, an overwrought melodrama of sibling rivalry, infidelity, family business power plays and terminal illness.

September 15, 2008 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel | Comment (1)
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

By far the best thing about the enterprise is Woodard. If she's not in this thing, I think it goes kaput.

September 15, 2008 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film takes off when Woodard's and Bates' characters go on a Thelma & Louise-style road trip.

September 15, 2008 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie plays almost exactly like four daily soap episodes stitched together.

September 15, 2008 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Whatever its other sins, the movie cannot be accused of wanting for ambition or scope.

February 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

Exactly the kind of preachy, pandering, tone-shifting, gospel-laced soap opera that [Perry has] served up time and time again to his dedicated audience.

December 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinematical

I appreciate what Perry is trying to do with his films, and it's nice to see an urban film that isn't a "Gangsta Picture", but he needs to tone down the soap opera qualities and let his stories unfold naturally.

October 8, 2008 Full Review Source: Sin Magazine
Sin Magazine

(Tyler) Perry, a cinematic one-man band who wrote the script, produces, directs and plays the role of a decent husband and construction worker, is still growing as a filmmaker.

September 29, 2008

To call The Family That Preys a transitional effort would be accurate and fair

September 25, 2008 Full Review Source:

It has Tyler Perry's trademark trio: sincerity, spirituality, and story. And if he passes on that other "s" -- subtlety -- that's all right.

September 19, 2008 Full Review Source: Beliefnet

A simple tale of good versus evil that also delivers solid acting and an enjoyable script

September 18, 2008 Full Review Source:

The closest Perry has come to making something that looks like it belongs on a movie screen and not on a TV set or on the wall of a church basement.

September 17, 2008 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Well, GOod for Ty,ler Perry. He has invented his own genre of movie.

September 16, 2008 Full Review
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

Perry may not be dealing with race issues, but he still writes everything in black-and-white.

September 15, 2008 Full Review Source:

When he's not distracted trying to accessorize dresses, Tyler Perry can write a decent enough soap opera.

September 15, 2008 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

If all Tyler Perry did with The Family That Preys was give Alfre Woodard a good part, that would be enough to make the movie worth seeing. But he does more.

September 15, 2008 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

To say that the plot is laboriously constructed is an understatement. The first hour is interminable, filled with dead air that suggests Perry the director was asleep at the switch.

September 15, 2008 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Audience Reviews for The Family That Preys

Cast: Kathy Bates, Alfre Woodard, Sanaa Lathan, Taraji P. Henson, Cole Hauser, Rockmond Dunbar, Kadee Strickland, Tyler Perry, Robin Givens, Kaira Whitehead, Damien Leake

Director: Tyler Perry

Summary: Tyler Perry writes, directs and co-stars in this poignant dramedy centered on a pair of friends -- wealthy socialite Charlotte (Kathy Bates) and working-class Alice (Alfre Woodard) -- whose families stand to be ripped apart by greed and scandal. To prevent the collapse and save their families, the two mothers take a road trip in a vintage turquoise convertible that carries them both beyond their wildest expectations.

My Thoughts: "I really liked this one. It's much better then the last film of his I saw. Kathy Bates and Alfre Woodard were just so great together. You believed these two had been besties for forever. That tender moment in the motel room between Alice and Charlotte was heart breaking. I definitely shedded some tear's in that scene and in a couple of other's. I might be the only one, but I highly doubt it, but I wanted to jump through the screen and smack Andrea. The way she presented herself and how she talked to other's was just so distasteful. I completely understand why Pam is the way she is with her. I couldn't stand by and let one of my sister's disrespect my mother like that either. Any how, great little movie, great acting by all , and a bit of a spiritual one too. This one is different from his other films, perhaps that is the reason I liked it so much. So if you like his films you should enjoy this one, even if it's not similar to the other's he's made."
May 8, 2011

Super Reviewer

Put Kathy Bates and Alfre Woodard in a movie together and how can you go wrong?? Can't in my opinion. This is a really good drama. Tyler Perry really seems to have a gift in creating entertaining and memorable movies. This is one of them.
October 14, 2010

Super Reviewer

Too much Family Drama.
December 17, 2009
Wahida K

Super Reviewer

I wasn't a big fan of this one although it played out really well so it gets 3 stars for the great acting, directing, and script even if I didn't enjoy the storyline. The story is filled with themes of friendship, family, extramarital affairs, secrets, lies, manipulation, marriage, and the worship of money. In the end, the ones who are loyal and loving prosper and those who screwed up their loved one's lives get what they deserve. I love happy endings!
December 31, 2009

Super Reviewer

    1. Alice Pratt: It's not that I don't trust you: it is your inner thoughts that give me pause.
    – Submitted by Sheree L (2 years ago)
    1. Charlotte Cartwright: My family has been known to prey on the weak.
    – Submitted by Alyssa G (3 years ago)
    1. Pam: I am tired of her looking down her nose at us... like we didn't live in the same house or the same neighborhood!
    2. Andrea: I didn't like it then, and I don't like it now.
    3. Alice Pratt: This is your sister! When are you two going to act like it?
    – Submitted by Alyssa G (3 years ago)
    1. Alice Pratt: I've never seen you drive! Where is Morgan Freeman?
    – Submitted by Alyssa G (3 years ago)
    1. Andrea: You better watch your step.
    2. Abby: It is sisters like you that give us all a bad name.
    – Submitted by Alyssa G (3 years ago)
    1. Charlotte Cartwright: She's seen me through two divorces.
    2. Alice Pratt: Three.
    3. Charlotte Cartwright: Three?
    4. Alice Pratt: Three.
    5. Charlotte Cartwright: Oh right, I try to forget that one.
    – Submitted by Alyssa G (3 years ago)
View all quotes (7)

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