The Family

Critics Consensus

Luc Besson's The Family suffers from an overly familiar setup and a number of jarring tonal shifts.



Total Count: 136


Audience Score

User Ratings: 51,193
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Movie Info

In the off-beat action comedy "The Family," a mafia boss and his family are relocated to a sleepy town in France under the witness protection program after snitching on the mob. Despite the best efforts of Agent Stansfield (Tommy Lee Jones) to keep them in line, Fred Manzoni (Robert DeNiro), his wife Maggie (Michelle Pfeiffer) and their children Belle (Dianna Agron) and Warren (John D'Leo) can't help but revert to old habits and blow their cover by handling their problems the "family" way, enabling their former mafia cronies to track them down. Chaos ensues as old scores are settled in the unlikeliest of settings in this darkly funny film by Luc Besson (Taken, Transporter). (c) Relativity Media

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Robert De Niro
as Fred Blake / Giovanni Manzoni
Michelle Pfeiffer
as Maggie Blake
Tommy Lee Jones
as Robert Stansfield
Dianna Agron
as Belle Blake
John D'Leo
as Warren Blake

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Critic Reviews for The Family

All Critics (136) | Top Critics (30) | Fresh (39) | Rotten (97)

Audience Reviews for The Family

  • Oct 06, 2014
    The Family is nowhere near brilliant, but it isn't meant to please or to leave an impact. It is made to simply entertain, and on that note, it fared satisfactorily.
    Maymay A Super Reviewer
  • May 28, 2014
    The family is the sort of film so wrapped up in its own perceived cleverness, that it never stops to realize its own short-comings. It's familiar, largely unfunny, and predictable. Centered on an American Mafia family forced to relocate to Europe after entering the witness protection program, the film tries desperately to be an off-beat comedy, yet only achieves very sporadic instances of humor. It simply never feels believable, even to itself. The script is the most glaring problem for the family. It immediately sets out to surprise us with these often unlikable characters, but does it through situational gags, not any sort of characterization. They never feel like real characters, even among themselves. How their family dynamics came to be is never explained, the leading up to their relocation is never really explored, and the motivations of those after them is never fully fleshed out. It is, to be sure, a comedy, with dramatic nuance certainly taking a backseat. But even a comedy requires some sort of authenticity among its characters, some sort of real underpinning, to be really effective. With The Family, it telegraphs where it's gong with no originality, and relies on often cheap gags/gimmicks to propel itself forward, leaving the viewer wholly unimpressed. This is not to say that the film doesn't do anything right. There are moments of humor, and DeNiro was characteristically reliable. Yet the difference between this film and other mafia comedies that work, Analyze This, is that we're never able to identify with the characters, nor their predicaments. A misfire. 2/5 Stars
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 24, 2014
    Getting into the Witness Protection Program was the easy part, staying there is what's hard, in the latest Luc Besson comedy, The Family. With huge star power and a well known Director, this film had all the makings of a classic, unfortunately it has some major plot holes and lacks direction. One moment it seems like you're watching a comedy, that is about to break out, but then in the blink of an eye it's a drama, addressing difficult issues. The big tagline is that the Manzoni family is in hiding, and can't seem to behave themselves, but it's a lot more than that. The FBI has decided to place this Italian, Brooklyn mob family in the south of France. Even if their behavior wasn't outlandish, how is a Brooklyn family supposed to fit into a small village in France? They would naturally stand out like a sore thumb. Besides the obvious plot holes, other things are left out of the equation, the most glaring being the back story behind the families joining the program. While the story is all over the place, the film does feature a truly all-star cast and trust me, they help. If this wasn't De Niro, Jones, and Pheiffer, the film would have completely fallen apart and failed to hold my interest. The fact is that these are some the best actors in the world and they all do a tremendous job of keeping the audiences attention. There isn't much of a story here and it's nowhere near as funny as it was advertised to be, but big names and great performances fill seats in the theaters and that should have been this films hook. I'm not sure if the Family was a drama or some kind of dark comedy that I just didn't get, but aside from the terrific performances from an all-star cast, I was highly disappointed by this film.
    Todd S Super Reviewer
  • Apr 21, 2014
    This the third time I try to write this review, so I'm pissed off now. Flixster really needs a new 'save draft' feature, so if you need to do something else or if the application dies on you, you can already continue with the review. Granted, this isn't likely to be one of my interminable reviews, but it'd make everything a little easier. This is about a hit and miss movie as you can get. I don't think the film was ever bad, but jumping around all over the place between genres definitely did nobody any favors. And that's the main problem, there's no real consistent tone in the film. Sometimes it's a gangster film, sometimes it's a deliciously dark comedy, where the film really succeeds, family drama, and action film. Granted, the latter part of the film comes in at the very end. I found the film to be at its best, and most inspired, when the film went to a darker, and more violent, place. They do it with a hint of comedy, so it's not all so serious. If the film had been more like that, instead of trying to juggle multiple things, you'd end up having a much better film. The cast is more than solid and they seemed to be having fun, but I just wish that there was more scenes with De Niro and Tommy Lee Jones. I found their scenes together to be the other highlight of the film. I don't mind admitting that I had fun watching this movie. Do I think it's good? No, but I still had fun. It's a film with many flaws but laziness isn't one of those reasons. There's some truly inspired moments, but not nearly enough of them to make the movie good.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer

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