Family Plot - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Family Plot Reviews

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May 7, 2017
Apart from a few scenes I thought the movie was pretty boring and dull. I got bored of it because it was so slow paced and as it couldn't hold my attention well it was easy to get confused on what was going on. I wouldn't recommend this movie because I think it could of been much more thrilling and not as dull.
½ April 22, 2017
Hitchcock. Enough said.
April 3, 2017
Not Hitch's best work
March 12, 2017
7.5 out of 10:

Despite a slow pace and a confused storyline, Family Plot offers decent performances, pretty funny humor, and a change of style for master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock (even if this was his last film he directed).
½ January 10, 2017
Alfred Hitchcock's last movie isn't all it is cracked up to be. I found it overcomplicated and unengaging. Disappointing from start to finish. (First and only viewing - 1/9/2017)
January 1, 2017
Hitch's final film and not one of his best efforts either
½ December 31, 2016
hitchcock's most underrated film. i love this movie- every aspect is excellent. this is a rare case of the critics being right in their rankings and the audience ratings wrong....usually it's the other way around.
July 7, 2016
By far one of Hitchcock's best.
February 20, 2016
One of Hitchcock's most balanced comedies; neither too frenetic nor too sluggish. The clever intertwining plots are allowed to develop at a natural pace and the laughs too, while only lightly sprinkled throughout, are mercifully unforced, a problem that plagued the director's other straight-up comedies. The thing that makes Family Plot stand-out as worthy as Hitch's last film is the running commentary on his style, which adds more value to fans of the master of suspense than the casual viewer; the mention of a 'perfect murder' in someone's past made me realise it could be seen as a pseudo-sequel to many of Hitchcock's thrillers, a commentary on what would happen next to many of his protagonists. As such it is a perfect swan song from the great director.
November 14, 2015
I didn't have high expectations as I had read some reviews that complained that this was a poor Hitchcock swansong.
I disagree, I thought this film was great fun. My only complaint was at times Barbara Harris was way over the top and highly irritating but everyone else in the film made up for that especially Bruce Dern, he was a delight. Great Premise and the right amount of drama and humour. loved it!
October 24, 2015
First time watching this Hitchcock film, and I quite enjoyed it. The cast is excellent, and I really liked Bruce Dern in this. The story is good, and there's humour as well. A solid film from Hitckcock's late career. Check it out!
August 23, 2015
a solid, methodical thriller that intricately builds to its inevitable conclusion
½ August 15, 2015
And now for something completely...different? Although he probably didn't think this would be his last film, Hitchcock certainly picked an interesting project to go out on. FAMILY PLOT is about two criminal couples who paths happen to cross in a surprising way. Perhaps more than any film in his corpus (that I've seen so far), FAMILY PLOT has a lighthearted tone while maintaining that edge that Hitchcock was so well-known for. The plot is a bit convoluted, as is to be expected, but the way in which it all comes together at the end was something to behold. I may have criticized his earlier films for their endings, but he seems to have come up with the perfect one here. Not to mention, the final sequence was as suspenseful as anything he did in his prime. Here, he collaborated again with writer Ernest Lehman, who he worked with on NORTH BY NORTHWEST. Perhaps that's why the films feel so similar, at least tonally. There's also a hilarious car chase sequence which fares much better than Cary Grant's in NXNW, although the process shots/rear projection was just as noticeable. However, he worked with a new composer this time: a pre-Star Wars/Superman John Williams. While I wouldn't count this as one of his best, or most memorable, scores, it certainly fit the quirky tone of the film. If I had to describe it, the score (and the film) is somewhere between Monty Python and Matlock, if that makes any sense. As with his last couple pictures, this one doesn't really have any star power behind it, although I did recognize Bruce Dern from his small role in MARNIE. They all give decent if unspectacular performances, and their characters were reasonably developed. Of course, I loved all of the Hitchcockian touches in the camera-work and editing. Despite being advanced in age, he still could put together a great set-piece. Overall, this isn't top-tier Hitchcock, but it certainly made for an entertaining and satisfying swansong to an incredible career.
May 9, 2015
The Ending Is Absolute Classic Hitchcock. Makes Up The Rest, Which Staggers Along In An Unusually Disjointed Fashion..Seemed Not Completely Cut Together Properly.
½ April 4, 2015
La última película de Hitch no será la mejor en su filmografía, pero tiene una trama pasable, uno que otro momento entretenido, y un par de buenas actuaciones por parte de Bruce Dern y Barbara Harris.
February 24, 2015
Mediocre black comedy about fake psychics & diamond thief's clashing over a misunderstanding. This may be a decently made film, but that doesn't stop this being a bad movie, Hitchcock's final film Is a terrible attempt at combining a suspense thriller with a black comedy. Although the film has a few redeeming qualities that saves it from being a complete disaster
½ January 20, 2015
Creo que es la quinta vez que la veo, muchos la consideran una obra menor a esta la ùltima pelicula de Hitch, pero es mucho mas que eso una mezcla de comedia, suspenso y humor negro que no decae en ningun momento y un estilo que sirve de referencia actualmente. John Williams estupendo en la banda sonora.
November 6, 2014
Being the last film ever created by legendary filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock, Family Plot was simply not a film I could miss.

I didn't go into Family Plot with the highest expectations as its legacy fails to live up to the standard of Alfred Hitchcock's masterpieces and the latest films in his career were proving to be of little quality. Plus, I was aware that the film was a bit more of a black comedy than a straight up thriller like many of his other pieces. That actually ended up being interesting to experience. The light nature of Family Plot made it a film which was possible to take seriously, but not one which was packed full of plot dynamics and different story angles. It still has its faults, but they are easy to keep up with in Family Plot because intense focus is not as much of a requirement this time around.
One of the issues is that there are quite a few characters to keep up with. While the central premise is fairly straightforward, the film is largely about two parallel narratives that run which reveal the two main perspectives of the event occurring, much like the structure put into Alfred Hitchcock's preceding film Frenzy. At the same time, the film flashes back to character Julia Rainbird's relevance to the tale among others. This settles down as bit as the story gets on and the focus ends up a lot more on better characters for longer periods of time without so many shifts, but it doesn't give the film a perfect startup. After a while however, things get settled and the film progresses nicely. The story unfolds at a sensible pace and things get intriguing. And although the story may not be the best that Alfred Hitchcock has told in his career and the pace of the film is slow as most films of the day were, it is still an entertaining piece of cinema.
Admittedly, Family Plot seems like a lesser piece from Alfred Hitchcock. It is an enjoyable piece, but it feels like a more conventional film without too much of a personal touch. He does line the film with atmosphere which is pivotal, but it lacks the same edge as many of his other works. But the effort of his directorial work is undeniable. It is interesting to see him taking on a different type of genre this time, with the mix between dark comedy and legitimate mystery thriller being an interesting hybrid. I found that Family Plot was one of Alfred Hitchcock's better pieces from the end of his career and his best since Marnie in 1964. He did give a great handling to the screenplay and was able to emphasize a lot of clever style in it by adding strong visual elements to it. Taking the low budget of Family Plot for a spin, Alfred Hitchcock gets a lot of nice scenery and production design to fuel Family Plot from the get go, and it works because the story is easily believable and contains some memorable imagery. Admittedly the German Expressionism moments in the film didn't add much due to the visual effects coming off as more cheap than artistic, but it is easy to overlook and even worth a bit of a laugh as an unintended comic virtue.
The musical score of the film is well composed. Crafted by legendary composer John Williams, Family Plot benefits from some strong music which maintains the spirit of many of his earlier works, more specifically the ones where he worked with Bernard Hermann. Yet at the same time it is also different. It is more subtle and lighter in nature which makes it tie into the general mood of the film really nicely while enhancing it .
And Family Plot is also a very well-acted piece.
Bruce Dern and Barbara Harris are terrific in Family Plot. In one of his earliest lead performances, Bruce Dern makes an easily likable protagonist, and Barbara Harris has a certain charming edge to her. The chemistry between the two actors is very relaxed and easy, and Bruce Dern is the more likable of the two partially because his character is a bit of an everyman. As the two of them are small time petty crooks, their transition into the underbelly of the real crime world is an interesting one because it depicts that they really fail to know anything about the life of a criminal, and the discoveries they make drive them further and further into a world they could not understand. The two of them are likable figures for the story, and both actors really work well together.
Karen Black is unpredictable in Family Plot. Despite being involved with criminal activities and siding with the enemy, Karen Black always has a certain edge of likable demeanour to her attributable to her natural charm, and the fact that there is always a sense of underlying reluctance in her. She also works really well alongside William Devane, so her performance in Family Plot pays a lot of credit to her as an actress.
William Devane is in fine form as well. He maintains a sophisticated dark edge in the role which has him walk an interesting line through the film. He has a Vincent Price-ish attire to him in the sense that he is dark and yet clever in a manipulative fashion. He has a sense of darkness and unpredictability to him, and yet he portrays the character in a really light manner. He encourages both the dark nature of the crime elements in the film and the light touch of comedy in the atmosphere which makes his performance on that matches the mood easily. William Devane is fine form as the central antagonist in Family Plot.

So although Family Plot is not one of Alfred Hitchcock's finest piece, it is a step up for him from three less than stellar preceding pieces due to his hard work in making it a quirky and atmospheric dark comedy / crime film which is fuelled by a strong film style and a strong cast.
½ September 3, 2014
Alfred Hitchcock's final film is the story of a phony psychic and her cab driver boyfriend as they attempt to unravel a mystery about a missing heir to a huge fortune (given away as a baby because he was illegitimate), and getting wrapped up in what that heir has become as an adult...a kidnapper who ransoms people for diamonds. It is a solid entertaining film from the Master of Suspense who gives his final film before illness stopped him from continuing on with his next project. The cast is good, and the film works for the most part. It isn't the best of his work, but he didn't go out embarrassingly, which is more than can be said with so many other longtime filmmakers like Hitch. He had a great career, and managed to keep it strong from the 1920s up through the 1970s.
½ August 24, 2014
Good finale to Hitchcock's career.

Family Plot was Alfred Hitchcock's last movie. He died four years after it was released. While not anywhere near the dizzying heights of Hitchcock's best movies (Rear Window, Psycho, among others) it is reasonably good.

Interesting main plot with some good twists along the way. Some inconsistencies though, especially in some of the sub-plots. Not everything entirely makes sense. Also, giving away the secret so soon in the movie removed a lot of the potential mystery in the movie.

As always with a Hitchcock movie, what sustains the movie is the suspense. Hitchcock keeps you hooked the whole way through.

Also has some good humorous moments.

Good performance by Bruce Dern as George. Barbara Harris was a touch unconvincing and irritating as Blanche. William Devane is okay, and suitably devious, as the criminal, though his 70s moustache was a bit too creepy.

RIP Alfred Hitchcock.
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