The Family Fang (2016)

TOMATOMETER

Critic Consensus: Layered performances from Nicole Kidman and director-star Jason Bateman add extra depth to The Family Fang's sharply observed look at domestic dysfunction.

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Movie Info

Adult siblings Baxter (Jason Bateman) and Annie (Nicole Kidman), scarred from an unconventional upbringing, return to their family home after an unlikely accident. When their parents (Christopher Walken and Maryann Plunkett) - performance artists famous for elaborate public hoaxes - suddenly go missing under troubling circumstances, Baxter and Annie investigate. Unsure whether it's foul play or just another elaborate ruse, nothing can prepare them for what they discover.

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Cast

Nicole Kidman
as Annie Fang
Jason Bateman
as Baxter Fang
Maryann Plunkett
as Camille Fang
Kathryn Hahn
as Young Camille Fang
Linda Emond
as Miss Delano
Marin Ireland
as Suzanne Crosby
Josh Pais
as Freeman
Mackenzie Brooke Smith
as Young Annie Fang (Age 9)
Suzan Perry
as Customer in the Bank
Jaiden Kaine
as Confused Customer
Scott Shepherd
as Art Critic
Grainger Hines
as Sheriff Hale
Taylor Rose
as Young Annie Fang (at 18)
Frank Harts
as Officer Dahlberg
Steve Witting
as Art Critic
Ethan Coskay
as Boy in the Pajamas
Danny Burstein
as Eric Wilcox
Venus Ariel
as First Girl in Santa Line
Genevieve Adams
as Florida Cashier
Abigail Friend
as Younger Sibling
Jack McCarthy
as Young Buster
Seth Barrish
as Principal
Kyle Donnery
as Young Buster Fang
Brian Carter
as Young Hobart
MaameYaa Boafo
as College Student
Brian J. Carter
as Young Hobart
Ryan DeLuca
as Boy Playing Friar Laurence
Joe Lanza
as Bank Manager
Allison Jean White
as Bank Teller
Ashlynn Alexander
as Shouting Pageant Spectator
Adam Shippey
as Beauty Pageant Emcee
Justin Arnold
as Kid Filming Caleb
Dylan Page
as Principal
David Kubicka
as Hobart's Paramedic
Frankie Verroca
as Bank Customer
Kent vanKuller
as Young Blonde Guy in Central Park
Luca Bello
as Crewmember
John Tarry
as JC Penney Kid
Samantha Hlavacek
as Beauty Queen
Jeremy Kruse
as Man Wearing Headphones
Guy Veryzer
as Santa's Photographer
Paige Rossi
as JC Penney Kid
Isaac Galizio
as Roller Rink Skater
Zariah Singletary
as Pageant Girl
Anthony Ferrara
as Shakespearean Player
Jason Zell
as Roller Rink Skater
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News & Interviews for The Family Fang

Critic Reviews for The Family Fang

All Critics (81) | Top Critics (25)

Bateman and Nicole Kidman, too old to convincingly pull off this sibling pair, would have fared better as the parents.

May 12, 2016 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

"The Family Fang" is kind of messy but also fun and touching; it's a definite step forward for Bateman as a director ...

May 6, 2016 | Full Review…
TheWrap
Top Critic

Bateman knows his fractured family well, but "Fang" doesn't give him enough to chew on. The characters are all scarred, but the film doesn't leave a mark.

May 6, 2016 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

It's heavy stuff, served with a light touch.

May 5, 2016 | Full Review…

Fang is directed by Bateman with a sensitivity that the story's sour whimsy doesn't quite deserve.

May 5, 2016 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Even when The Family Fang stretches credulity, we stay with it. Bateman knows how to tell a story.

May 5, 2016 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Family Fang

½

When police show up with crime scene photos of an empty car and foul play suspicions, the daughter remains convinced it is twisted deception by her renowned performance artist parents, whereas her brother is much less than certain. An original story that takes an interesting look at the nature of art. Caleb (an inspired Christopher Walken) contends that art must be dynamic and of the moment, not left to rot bottled up in a gallery, and gained cult theme with a series of short films shot in public which included is young children as a means of shocking the surrounding unknowing public. Nicole Kidman does find work as an now adult actress trying to put her past behind her, take a new step forward, and restart her flagging career. She reconnects with her parents and her brother (Jason Bateman, who also directed), a author two years behind his publishing date for his third novel. I enjoyed watching this fractured family dynamic without knowing where it was headed, so I'll gladly reward an extra half star for that. "Titty shots!"

Doctor Strangeblog
Doctor Strangeblog

Super Reviewer

½

Jason Bateman should focus on character films as he clearly has the talent and the eye as the director. This dysfunctional family film is not going to play for everyone and you can already see the mixed audience review. This is a well acted and cast film, these artsy style films are better for the audiences that are tired of blockbuster borefests. I enjoy slow burning emotional films and this is right up there with some of the great quirky films. Kidman adds strong weight next to Bateman and is in a career best form, it's just a shame that this will miss mainstream appeal. Great film and another fine Bateman director appearance, cannot wait to see where he goes next.

Brendan Nicholls
Brendan Nicholls

Super Reviewer

Bateman and Kidman are great as a brother and sister trying to help each other figure out and deal with the individual flaws in themselves even as they face a bigger monster: the flaws in their family. That the family are performance artists only adds taste to the mix. I only wish that Chris Walken's character had more explanation, however well played.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

I rather enjoyed Jason Bateman's 2014 directorial debut Bad Words. I think I've watched it more times than I initially imagined I would given I thought it was fine, but little more. That said, I was really excited to see what Bateman would do next in the director's chair and boy does he deliver. While I had tempered expectations for The Family Fang it was clear after the films cold open that we were in for something pretty unique. This is in fact the strongest element the film has going for it in that you never quite know where it's going. Eventually, given the circumstances presented, we understand the themes of family and liberation that are being touched upon, but never do we know exactly what will happen next. This is due largely in part to the fact the premise is so different and off the wall. Adapted from a 2011 Kevin Wilson novel by screenwriter David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole, Oz the Great and Powerful) The Family Fang is a film that is telling a dysfunctional family story through the conduit of performance art. With this material Bateman has taken advantage of the dark comedic tones the story highlights and is really able to explore not only his growth as a filmmaker (you can feel the more assured hand at work), but a more complex range of emotions. Bad Words was very on the nose for the sarcastic, cynical straight man, but Family Fang requires more layers and layers he has provided as his latest film never stops evolving and the characters only grow out of the demons they're forced to come face to face with. read the whole review at www.reviewsfromabed.com

Philip Price
Philip Price

Super Reviewer

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