Next of Kin

1989

Next of Kin

Critics Consensus

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56%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 9

44%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 9,630
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Movie Info

When his brother is murdered, a policeman is caught between his devotion to the law and his family's desire for revenge in this action drama. Patrick Swayze plays Truman Gates, who left his backwoods Appalachian home for life as a Chicago police officer. When his brother is killed by a gangster, Truman is determined to seek legal retribution. His older brother Briar (Liam Neeson) has different ideas, however, and travels to the city to seek old-fashioned vigilante justice. Truman must now choose between his family's belief in mountain justice and the duties of his job. Though the film is not particularly action-packed, director John Irvin does provide the expected gunplay and macho confrontations. However, despite a surprisingly distinguished cast (also including Helen Hunt and Michael J. Pollard), little distinguishes the film from numerous other revenge stories with a similar outline.

Cast

Patrick Swayze
as Truman Gates
Liam Neeson
as Briar Gates
Adam Baldwin
as Joey Rossellini
Helen Hunt
as Jessie Gates
Andreas Katsulas
as John Isabella
Bill Paxton
as Gerald Gates
Ben Stiller
as Lawrence Isabella
Del Close
as Frank
Paul Herman
as Antonelli
Don Herion
as Zimmer
Don James
as David
Tina Engel
as Rosalie
Brett Hadley
as De Witt
Kelly Blair
as Tolbert
Andrena Belcher
as Patsy-Ruth
Michael Wise
as Snakeman
Anndrena Belcher
as Patsy-Ruth
Jean Ritchie
as Charlene
Nancy Jeffrey
as Aunt Peg
Tina Engle
as Rosalie
Kim Cole
as Hollis' Wife
Starla Fugate
as Gerald's Girl Friend
Fred Crowther
as Old Hillbilly
Billy Branch
as Preacher
Celene Evans
as Lady Bartender
Tim Quill
as TV Reporter
Jack Kandel
as Hillbilly Bartender
Mark Roberts
as Furniture Mover
Patrick Balch
as Young Boy, Kentucky
Relioues Webb
as Young Boy, Chicago
Arlene Lencioni
as Mrs. Isabella
Elizabeth Ruf
as Woman in Bar
Al Neal
as Man in Bar
Pamela Prater
as Selkirk's Wife
Mary Ann Berkhart
as De Witt's Wife
Roland Dubillard
as Phillippe Guerin
Anouk Ferjac
as Patricia Guerin
Jean Marais
as Victor Blaise
Lew Way Chin
as Violin Student
Morgan Biscomb Melto
as Violin Student
Joelle Pasquale
as Daughter #1
Lisa Niemi
as Violinist (uncredited)
Mia Ferro
as Daughter #2
Keela Gootee
as Daughter #3
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Critic Reviews for Next of Kin

All Critics (9) | Fresh (5) | Rotten (4)

Audience Reviews for Next of Kin

  • Oct 17, 2009
    This is a vey predictable yet moderately entertaining story of a hillbilly family in a feud against a mob family. It really is as silly and ridiculous as it sounds, but the 80's camp and cheesiness factors and the fact that Liam Neeson is at his scenery chewing best as one of the hillbillies make this an ok movie to watch when nothing else is on.
    Chris W Super Reviewer
  • Jul 23, 2009
    This action movie isn't too bad, but it is not particularly action-packed, director John Irvin does provide the expected gunplay and macho confrontations. However, despite a surprisingly distinguished cast (also including Helen Hunt and Michael J. Pollard), little distinguishes the film from numerous other revenge stories with a similar outline. This action film is full of action and has some great fight scenes. Daniel Baldwin is great as the villian and look for a young Ben Stiller before he hit his prime.
    Dean M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 18, 2009
    You'd think that with a cast this good, the film might be on the same level, but unfortunately, it follows the path of The Spirit (a terrible film w/ a spectacular cast). This film is absolutely terrible, mostly because of Patrick Swayze's bad acting. Next of Kin is basically an even worse version of Roadhouse, which says it all right there.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • Feb 08, 2009
    Director John Irvin must have a real passion for mob movies. He tries his best in both Schwarzenegger's Raw Deal and a few years later with Patrick Swayze's Next of Kin to create a violent, good action film but make it passionate and dramatic and all about crime family vs crime family. However with Next of Kin he must have fine tuned some of the mistakes from the rather slow moving Raw Deal. Next of Kin is a much better film and perhaps a big part of that is the strong cast of future stars Next of Kin carries. Liam Neeson, Helen Hunt, Ben Stiller, Bill Paxton, and even Patrick Swayze who was really at the height of his career in this film...between Dirty Dancing and Ghost. Next of Kin takes a rather liberal view at a group of people not normally dealt with in films...mountain people...or hillbillies if you will. Swayze plays a former country boy who moved to the big city, became a cop, married his love, and is now urbanized himself. His little brother who aims to follow up in his footsteps ends up getting himself murdered by the crime family, Isabella. The rest of his "kin" want Swayze to avenge the death but Swayze is determined to let justice take it's course. Again, much like Raw Deal, Next of Kin is about vengeance and anger and it all bottles up until one big explosion of revenge in the end. The big difference is that Next of Kin stays interesting through the whole movie right up to and including the end and still has some really great action scenes to boot. The cast as previously mentioned is very well done fortunately for Mr. Irvin. Swayze plays a convincing cop and mountain boy and him and Helen Hunt have decent chemistry for their brief on screen moments. Adam Baldwin as the blood thirsty villain does a good job (not as good his later performance in Joss Whedon's Serenity (aka Firefly) as Jayne but he is convincing as the bad guy. Ben Stiller's brief role is also quite good as the smarter villain but he doesn't last long. Overall Next of Kin is a decent entry in the eighties action genre. It has it's moments and is worth checking out for those full of nostalgia.
    David L Super Reviewer

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