Next of Kin - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Next of Kin Reviews

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January 18, 2016
One of the more under-rated 80's action flicks with a great concept that was a little short of perfect but classic fun none the less. One of Swayze's better action flicks and to see Liam Neeson do a redneck role is worth it alone. Plus you get a young Ben Stiller and Helen Hunt it's worth it to give it a try.
½ November 5, 2015
Truman Gates (Patrick Swayze), raised in Appalachia, has migrated to Chicago to become a police officer. Married to Jessie (Helen Hunt), who has a baby on the way, he seems to have made the transition from hillbilly to respectable law man. When the local coal mine closes, Truman persuades his younger brother Gerald (Bill Paxton) to look for work in Chicago. But things take a turn for the worse when soon after landing a job as a truck driver, Gerald's vehicle is hijacked by mobsters and Gerald is killed by Joey Rosellini (Adam Baldwin), the nephew of mob boss Poppa John Isabella (Andreas Katsulas). Truman returns to Kentucky for the funeral. When his surviving brother, Briar Gates (Liam Neeson), insists on a traditional mountain blood feud, Truman urges his family to let the police deal with Gerald's murder. Briar finds Truman's reluctance to be disgraceful. Determined to deal with the murderers in his own way, Briar travels to Chicago in search of his youngest brother's killer...

Despite the fact that you have a pretty good ensemble in "Next of Kin" (Patrick Swayze, Helen Hunt, Liam Neeson, Ben Stiller and Bill Paxton) this is nothing more than an average 80īs action/crime-drama with a shameless exploitation of the "hillbilly" stereotype in the centre. The storyline is quite classic with a revenge theme and the acting is forced and pretty unbalanced in my opinion. Patrick Swayze is hardly at his best here, but at the same time his character is so much "Patrick Swayze" in a way. And the ending is very predictable and hardly that exciting.
July 5, 2015
Worse than Cliffhanger.
½ April 18, 2015
Slow moving and melodramatic thriller but Swayze and Neeson make this a time watch.
November 9, 2014
Next of Kin was a typical 80's movie, with bad acting, terrible script, with today's big name actors as Helen Hunt, Liam Neeson, Ben Stiller, Adam Baldwin and the late Patrick Swayze. If you ever want to see a fight between hillbillies and Chicago Mafia this is the movie for you. It was laughable at best, definitely not worth watching, but it was great to see such a great cast at the beginning of their careers.
½ October 13, 2014
Any action film led by Patrick Swayze is worth a viewing in my opinion, so Next of Kin was right up there.

It doesn't take all that long before it becomes clear that Next of Kin is lacking in any kind of story. Unlike the other Patrick Swayze action venture released the same year titled Road House, there is no glamour or energy in Next of Kin which causes it to suffer in both in comparison and in general. By comparison, Next of Kin is far inferior because it follows the same basic premise of Patrick Swayze serving as a one man sheriff getting into a lot of fights at bars all over town. But there is no fun in it. There is no style, there is no originality, and there are neerly no cheap gimmicks to keep audiences going. It's surprising how many big names are lined up for the cast of Next of Kin, particularly considering how many of the actors would go on to have very high profile careers such as Helen Hunt who would win an Academy Award and Liam Neeson who is one of today's most recognised celebrities, as well as Ben Stiller, Adam Baldwin and Bill Paxton. The fact that they all got together for the one film is interesting, but it capitalises on none of their talents and simply wastes their time as well as it wastes ours.
Next of Kin just feels lifeless, and its premise ensures that the only way it can succeed is as a guilty pleasure. But the issue is that even then it takes itself too seriously. Next of Kin is too focused on telling its lacklustre story to put the appropriate amount of action in which is a shame because it ensures that there is no action up until 63 minutes in the film. By then, viewers will already have been so bored by the film that their opinions would have been made up. That was the case with me, because especially that fact that the entire first hour of Next of Kin came up way too short was more than enough to keep me from being entertained by it. The general premise in it is a dull and basic revenge tale where the act demanding vengeance occurs shortly into the film but the vengeance itself requires audiences to wait around for way to long to witness. Audiences have to wait 63 minutes for the film to get the slightest bit interesting at which time it turns into a bar brawl between Liam Neeson and Patrick Swayze which is far superior in terms of surface value than the actual execution. It's really simple to explain just how flawed Next of Kin is: it squanders its talented cast on a story which is not engaging at all and a director who is unable to elevate it beyond the cheap limitations of its weak script. It is nothing more than a forgettable film which tries to be a crime drama but lacks a decent story and has not enough action to be the guilty pleasure it could have.
The visual style of the film is even far too conventional which really works to point out just how cheap the production is. It's incredible that Next of Kin had almost the same budget as Road House and yet looks a lot cheaper. The difference between the two would have to boil down to the difference in director. Rowdy Herrington gave a certain spirit to Road House which made it a top notch B-movie and a great guilty pleasure, while John Irvin simply used the money for its most basic purposes. He seems to have no creative vision for the film, and so it all ends up looking like an episode of a cheap crime drama stretched to feature length, and thanks to the lacklustre story it genuinely feels like one too.
Frankly, everything in Next of Kin is just too boring. I had hoped for the film to feature Patrick Swayze either kicking some ass on a consistent basis or shooting up some bad guys, but the quantity of action came up way too short in quantity and the quality was not that great. Even his screen time was surprisingly low. It is a lot more of a story oriented film, but the fact is that the story is sh*t and there is no screenplay or visual style to protect from that. Next of Kin is an example of a film built on nothing but weak elements which is a senseless and slow moving bore marketed as a Patrick Swayze action vehicle despite failing to bring any of his good aspects into the part.
The presence of Liam Neeson is a welcome one. While the material does not come close to living up to his extent of skill, his casting is a welcome one simply because of the fact that it's Liam Neeson in the role and because to a certain extent he is able to use grit to engage in the role. He made a fairly compelling case in his role. He surely stands out from the cast by being intense and involved in the material, more involved than anyone could expect considering the nature of the film, so it is at least good to see him helping the film out slightly.

But despite Liam Neeson's presence, Next of Kin is a boring and uninvolving crime drama with no originality, little potential for Patrick Swayze to work with and genuinely nothing to really be entertained by.
½ September 26, 2014
Imagine TV's "Justified" as a cheesy, late '80s drama and you'll get "Next of Kin." The cast is the most impressive part: Patrick Swayze, Liam Neeson, Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton, Adam Baldwin, Ben Stiller (as a mobster's son), and the one-armed man from "The Fugitive" (as the mobster).
½ June 14, 2014
Despite the unoriginal formula of this late '80's crime drama, Next Of Kin is fueled by a talented cast---including solid performances by Patrick Swayze and Liam Neeson.
May 29, 2014
Some of its good and alot of it is just blah.
April 28, 2014
What do a director from England (John Irvin), an Irshman (Liam Neeson), and Ben Stiller know about being a redneck???

Skip this piece of garbage and watch Blue Ruin [2013] if you want a good ole down-home revenge story.
April 13, 2014
Embarrassed to say I like this movie even though the stereo types of Mafia and Hill Billy's is so ridiculous...
January 4, 2014
Oh Patrick Swayze, as much as I love you, you did make some bad movie choices. I wonder whose idea the mullet tied into a ponytail was here? Not a good look but it was the 80's so much can be forgiven. Here Swayze plays a Chicago detective who sets out to find the (mobster) responsible for the death of his brother. His other brothers (all mountain Hillbillies) want to avenge his murder too and the relatives come to odds about the "kind" of justice to be used. Yup, it's hillbillies against the mob. Wow. And Liam Neeson plays your backwoods brother, (didn't see that coming) what an accent. However for such a terrible movie it is filled with a bunch of young, on the rise talent. Helen Hunt is your wife, Bill Paxton and Liam your brothers and a baby faced Ben Stiller. If you're in the right mood this is kind of a fun movie. 09.13

"A detective (Patrick Swayze) and his relatives are at odds over avenging his brothers murder."
½ December 25, 2013
This movie is bland, cliche, and boring as hell.
½ November 26, 2013
Next of Kin is a revenge film that is surprisingly dull and lacking in personality.
½ August 17, 2013
Watching this movie right now and KIn is so cheese via 1980's style. The Chicago mob gets into a feud with a backwoods family. Swayze has a screen presents which makes the movie. One sees Ben Stiller in a non comic role, and Liam Neeson before Nesson became famous. Neeson is a great actor, and did what he could do with the script. one and half stars.
½ August 4, 2013
one of the best swayze
July 3, 2013
A decent revenge flick which sees hillbilly Liam Nesson out to avenge his brothers dead at the hands of teh Chicago mob. His other brother Patrick Swayze is a cop who wants to bring them to justice through the courts. John Irivin as always provides some quality action sequences and the finale is quality.
June 6, 2013
For me it's just not there.
February 17, 2013
A decent revenge flick which sees hillbilly Liam Nesson out to avenge his brothers dead at the hands of teh Chicago mob. His other brother Patrick Swayze is a cop who wants to bring them to justice through the courts. John Irivin as always provides some quality action sequences and the finale is quality.
January 22, 2013
This movie has the most amazing cast I have ever seen assembled AND it takes place in Chicago. Super sold!
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