The Family - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Family Reviews

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½ June 23, 2016
160622: Upon second viewing, this film is pretty damn harsh. I didn't quite remember the intensity of the final scenes (they are worth watching alone). Generally light-hearted and almost comedic, this film cranks itself up significantly in the final thirty minutes becoming a serious mafia film. For myself, I found it a somewhat uncomfortable mix of genres. You come to realize this almost loveable, mixed-up, yet loyal family, are actually a bunch of hardcore psychopaths; much like the crew pursuing them. De Niro leads a great cast including an endearing Pfeiffer and Jones. I even liked the FBI guys. I can see myself coming back to enjoy this film every few years. Unlike many of the reviews I have read, in reflection, I really enjoyed this film. At least 3.5 stars.
June 22, 2016
Like father like daughter, and mother like son this family is FUCKED! When you lived with so much crime and evil, and try to live normal lives, everything seems to be either for you or against you, that threats that normality. Having known how handle yourself and people, organized crime and punishment that follows those whom cross you, this family is Fucked! When that is all the family knows, is proud of and is brought up to do, that you can't escape. When playing cat and mouse grows tiresome and once you finally get to know your captors, it's a less lonely compared to others whom dont really know who you are. When you are out on the run, it's hard to settle and the only company you keep is family +1 (the law). When you have history of problems, even with the law on your back you seem to carry on the history of crime and pass it on to your kids to follow. It's an never ending memoir of the family that keeps on going.
½ May 23, 2016
As a Hollywood comedy with established names it is passable, as a comedy on its own it is not.
April 5, 2016
Funny and violent film about a mob snitch in witness protection in Normandy. Great cast! Would make an even better tv show.
March 10, 2016
So disappointing with such a stellar cast. Don't bother, REALLY bad script.
February 12, 2016
At times funny, but come on! If you need to put an american mafioso in witness protectipn with his family, this might not be the most subtle way of doing it: on french country side? And mafia hitmen with big hats? Unlikely.....
½ February 9, 2016
Al Capone always said, asking polite with a gun in your hand is always better than just asking polite.
½ February 8, 2016
This was poor. A mess. Wasn't sure if i was watching a Meet the Parents style movie and somebody changing the channel to a high school teen flick while i went for a piss. Stopped watching after 45 mins. Don't think i missed out
January 31, 2016
I guess the trouble with success is that everything one does after that success is measured against it. Having done so many perfect performances in so many classic films, DeNiro is cursed to live up to those high water marks forever. The Family was panned by so many critics that I hesitated to even waste $1 on a Redbox rental fee. I watched it today and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Was it "The Godfather" ...no! Was it "Goodfellas"? ....no. but on it's own it was a well done,exciting film that I am glad I saw. Violent...oh yeah! But the violence fit the story and the script very well indeed. The supporting cast including Michelle Pfiefer were all strong as well. Another instance where critics can not be trusted. You be the judge and see this entertaining movie. Ken K.
January 6, 2016
Avoid this film if you have any taste. It glorifies violence and selfishness. It has no likeable characters and is unable to tell the difference between the simple unpleasant and the funny. People with great ability made this film, which makes the resulting distasteful mess even more of a disappointment.
½ October 13, 2015
F+
There is a suspenseful climax and some funny moments. But it's like 'The Family' tries to satisfy both the international and American audience members. But it doesn't do its job.
October 9, 2015
It's Luc Besson, so it's slick and stylish and lacks substance, but it's also a fair bit of fun. Robert de Nero is having a blast and there are tons of hidden Easter eggs if you know anything about his film career. We're not to talking high art here, but it's not completely schlocky fluff either.
½ September 25, 2015
Any movie with De Niro, Supreme Cougar Pfeiffer, and Tommy Lee Jones is worth a watch in my book. This movie wasn't spectacular, but there are some spirited scenes of violence to be found especially with the ending. The daughter is decently hot and although the movie never truly veers anywhere towards comedy, it's still not a bad way to spend 2 hours. It's kind of cool that they have De Niro watching "Goodfellas" in one scene.
September 16, 2015
French director Luc Besson is best at creating portraits of the criminal underground. You can see this in his best work like "La Femme Nikita" and "The Professional." You can even see a bit of this in "The Fifth Element." He knows how to take us into the scummy underworld and introduce us to characters that we come to like. So, what happened with his latest film, "The Family?" The pieces are all in place. The casting is brilliant. The premise seems irresistible, and yet none of it really comes together.

"The Family" is a mob comedy that would seem to have a premise that could write itself. We meet The Manzoni's, a small family from Brooklyn headed by Giovanni (Robert De Nero) one of New York's most feared mob bosses. He has a beautiful wife Maggie, who has an explosive temper. There are two kids, daughter Bella ("Glee's" Dianna Argon) who has the chops to be a mob assassin. And there's son Warren (John D'Leo) a whip-smart hustler who can size anyone up at a glance. As the film opens they are being relocated to Normandy France after having been in the Witness Protection Program for the past six years under the sir name Blake. Giovanni is forced into a less flashy moniker: Fred.The "Blake" family tries to settle into the French suburban life, using their skills and their instincts to protect themselves against nosey French neighbors. Their violent shenanigans are a pain to the man who is charged with keeping their identity a secret. He is Robert Stansfield, an FBI agent who is constantly at odds with Giovanni's method of dealing with domestic problems - like the people who get roughed up because they won't fix his taps that run brown water. Also Bella's violent rage when a boy leads her into the woods hoping for sex. Or Warren's dealings with a dim-witted jock at school.This would seem like the perfect fish-out-of-water story. The quick-tempered Brooklyn-ites versus the snooty neighbors, but the movie never really finds a consistent tone. It moves from comedy to violence to sentiment without any real purpose. Subplots are brought in but never really dealt with, like Bella's romance with a college professor, or Warren's ability to wheel and deal. These things are brought up but never come to any conclusion. There's also the issue of a book that Giovanni is secretly working on detailing his criminal career. Again, it has no payoff. Perfect opportunities for comic gold are wasted, like a scene in which Giovanni is invited to a film debate. The film being shown: "Goodfellas." But the movie misses the opportunity for De Niro to really get to discuss the film, Besson cuts away from the joke so we don't get to hear what he's staying. The movie also misses an opportunity with Tommy Lee Jones who, as the family's handler, is given a thankless role with nothing to do. He's a much better actor than that.

Rather than building characters, Besson's punchlines usually include someone being beaten to a pulp, accompanied by an annoying rock score (the movie is wall-to-wall music). The characters do things that make no sense. For example, why would Maggie, who is suppose to keep a low profile blow up a supermarket after being insulted by the proprietors?

It's really too bad, because the movie contains a wonderful performance by Robert De Niro. He has one of the easiest and most inviting screen presences of any living actor. De Niro has been a part of American film for 48 years now, and he is so familiar to us that he seems to be part of the furniture, not just an actor in a role. When he appears in any role, he always seems to have been there for years. His work here is actually pretty good, giving us the portrait of a former wise guy who has been forced to retire to the life of an ordinary schnook. He can't stay hidden, and must type out his memoirs so as not to be forgotten.

Yet, even with that wonderful performance, you watch "The Family" with a sense of frustration. It moves back and forth between melodrama and comedy at a pace that is sometimes confusing. It raises and drops one subplot after another and never develops a firm narrative that you can follow from beginning to end. Besson is a talented filmmaker and you can see his skill at work in certain scenes, but you just wish he had made a much better, and much more focused film.
½ August 29, 2015
What the fuck happened here, Luc Besson.
August 28, 2015
Another take on mafia life. Post mafia and under protection. This is serious comedy where the body counts mounts fast. I liked the french setting. I liked the acting. The story is preposterous, no mob family would be protected and still be allowed to kill anyone not nice enough. even if the police was that incompetent. ...although in real life they don't seem to be able to fight the mob much. Probably all the bribes.... but I digress. The daughter is one sexy and nasty thing and incredibly still virgin at 17. The son is genius at manipulating while looking nerdy. The mom is the most legit, only bombing the shops that piss her off. I liked in spite of the changes in mood (jarring tonal shifts). After all, this is the daily bred of the psychopaths that form the mafia. They can go from murder to romance on a dime. Fun! Still so easy to kill everybody but the hero mobsters.
August 21, 2015
This movie looks amazing and interesting.
½ July 31, 2015
While the script is far from original, the Family benefits from great performances from... well the Family, and has its touching genuine moments to pull you through.
½ July 27, 2015
A decent attempt at a comedy / drama movie. Would recommend if you had nothing better to watch.
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