The Family Stone - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Family Stone Reviews

Top Critic
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
January 5, 2006
I can't deny the incidental pleasures of watching these talented players giving it their all, even in such a misguided project.
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
December 17, 2005
It's worth two hours for those who appreciate this kind of workmanlike, low-risk drama.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
December 16, 2005
Some will find it touching, some will be too weary of the plot contrivances and the smug Stone family to care.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
December 16, 2005
A feel-bad holiday film about a repellent family, with a milquetoast dad and a smug, devious harpy of a mom.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Mike Clark
USA Today
December 16, 2005
This is one busy wannabe heart-tugger.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Susan Walker
Toronto Star
December 16, 2005
The Family Stone is a lot slyer than you might expect.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
December 16, 2005
There are cringe-worthy passages and an overly sentimental structure (everyone pairs up so very tidily), but the performances are delightful, and the picture comes together.
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
December 16, 2005
It's movie comfort food - - a few good laughs, a few winks of recognition, a few tears.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
December 16, 2005
The Family Stone is a satisfying, big-hearted celebration of diversity that will brighten holiday moviegoing - - at least in the blue states.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
December 16, 2005
Good acting only goes so far to salvage a bad script.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
December 16, 2005
A machine-tooled entertainment that's as fake and flimsy as a plastic Christmas tree.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
December 16, 2005
The Family Stone should have been a glittering holiday bauble along the lines of the irresistible Love Actually. Instead, Bezucha stuffs into our stockings what he thinks is good for us.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
December 16, 2005
It plays almost like Terms of Endearment crossed with the feel-good yule romance Love Actually.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
December 16, 2005
So check your disbelief at the door, bring along a mini-packet of Kleenex, and brace yourself for Two-Ply and the Family Stone.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
December 16, 2005
What was supposed to be a jewel turns out to be a simple Christmas trinket.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
December 16, 2005
When The Family Stone did touch me, I had such mixed feelings, I half-wished the movie had kept its hands to itself.
Read More | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Michael Booth
Denver Post
December 16, 2005
Suddenly we're wiping away tears, glancing around to make sure no one noticed we had fallen for this steaming cup of melodrama.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
December 16, 2005
The movie is a holiday romantic comedy that wants to put the holiday romantic comedy out of business.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
December 15, 2005
This is a family, and a movie, where everyone talks at once -- and more often than you'd think, its characters actually come up with something worth saying.
Top Critic
Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
December 15, 2005
The movie's warmth is contagious. Too bad its humor isn't.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
December 15, 2005
Hollywood is always making family comedies, but they are rarely about real families: relations who are as difficult as they are wonderful, people who both love and irritate the heck out of each other. Families like The Family Stone.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
December 15, 2005
A lump of coal brightened by four diamond-sharp performances.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
December 15, 2005
This is pleasing holiday fare that may stay with you through the first months of 2006.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
December 15, 2005
Could we please declare a moratorium on funny-sad movies about dysfunctional families, especially families that come together for the holidays?
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
December 15, 2005
There are many ways to define the shrieking awfulness of The Family Stone, from the general lack of wit to the cheap exploitation of cancer to its casual cruelty.
Top Critic
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
December 15, 2005
As a comedy, The Family Stone is more easy listening than rock-and-roll, but some of the performances (notably from McAdams and Nelson) are comfortable and affecting.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Sheri Linden
Hollywood Reporter
December 15, 2005
The Family Stone spends too much time on unconvincing romantic-comedy contrivances to be consistently engaging.
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
December 15, 2005
The Family Stone sorts out its characters admirably, depends on typecasting to help establish its characters more quickly, and finds a winding path between happy and sad secrets.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Allison Benedikt
Chicago Tribune
December 15, 2005
The Family Stone aims to please, and lands precisely on so-so.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Gene Seymour
Newsday
December 15, 2005
Almost everything about The Family Stone is so schematic and prefabricated that it should come with its own easy-to-follow blueprint.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
December 15, 2005
A potentially interesting tale flailing haplessly in the quicksand of holiday-movie formula, this domestic dramedy from writer-director Thomas Bezucha is most potently read in reverse of its intentions.
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
December 15, 2005
What's striking and, to my bloodshot eye, welcome about this year's edition, The Family Stone, is the rather chic urbanity with which writer-director Thomas Bezucha serves up the old genre standby.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
December 15, 2005
The plot is motored more by convenience than credible character behavior and for much of the time, the cockles of our hearts remain unwarmed.
Read More | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
December 14, 2005
Sarah Jessica Parker's nimble performance is reason alone to see this creaky fairy tale about a Manhattan executive marrying into an unhappy family.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
December 14, 2005
I love it dearly. I have seen it twice. I will see it again. If there is any hope for the longevity of movies, it will become an annual holiday classic.
Top Critic
Justin Chang
Variety
December 13, 2005
A smart, tart but mildly undercooked Christmas pudding.
Top Critic
Dennis Lim
Village Voice
December 13, 2005
It's hard to fathom why anyone would voluntarily endure a holiday family reunion movie (hereafter HFRM) -- a genre devised solely to demonstrate how grotesque and how heartwarming families can be.
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
December 5, 2005
A film that is staggeringly accurate, sometimes painfully accurate, in capturing the dynamic of a smart, funny, tightly knit family unit.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
November 30, 2005
Writer-director Thomas Bezucha lays it on thick, but he knows the mad-dog anarchy of family life and gives the laughs a sharp comic edge.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4