The Family Tree (2011)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Life in suburban Serenity, Ohio is never quite as serene as it appears. The dysfunctional Burnett family - Bunnie (Hope Davis), Jack (Dermot Mulroney) and their twin 17 year olds Eric (Max Thieriot) and Kelly (Britt Robertson) - seems like a lost cause. When a freak accident leaves Bunnie with a case of amnesia, the Burnetts get an unexpected second chance at happiness. Meanwhile, next door neighbor Simon (Chi McBride) is relieved that his tryst gone wrong with Bunnie remains undetected, at least for the moment. Before long, a slew of past relationships, kids with guns, a suicidal teacher, a very zealous religious club, misinterpreted advances, corporate down-sizing, and one fateful squirrel combine to create enough mayhem to test the resolve, sanity and future of any family! -- (C) Entertainment One US
Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:

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Dermot Mulroney
as Jack Burnett
Hope Davis
as Bunnie Burnett
Chi McBride
as Simon Krebbs
Britt Robertson
as Kelly Burnett
Selma Blair
as Ms. Delbo
Keith Carradine
as Reverend Diggs
Bow Wow
as T-Boy
Gabrielle Anwar
as Nina Fouts
John Patrick Amedori
as Paul Stukey
Evan Ross
as Josh Krebbs
Steven Grayhm
as Andy Porter
Newell Alexander
as Dr. Lieberman
Eddie Hassell
as Ricky Johnson
Pamela Shaw
as Vice Principal Carnes
Jack Kyle
as Police Officer #1
Mac Brandt
as Young Police Officer
Adrian Alvarado
as Uniformed Cop
Peggy Etra
as Eunice
Ally Maki
as Shauna
Hannah Hodson
as Ashley
Colby French
as Coach Sutton
Christopher Bradley
as Bobby Overmeir
Shad Moss
as T-Boy
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Critic Reviews for The Family Tree

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (5)

To judge from the talent she drew for her shaky debut, Vivi Friedman must either be very well connected or an awfully smooth talker.

Full Review… | August 26, 2011
New York Daily News
Top Critic

"Mad Men" devotees may show up for Christina Hendricks, who plays Mulroney's buxom secretary. Quite the acting stretch.

Full Review… | August 26, 2011
New York Post
Top Critic

Friedman's inability to successfully reconcile the film's duality undercuts an eclectic cast gamely committed to Mark Lisson's thematically ambitious, if scattered, script.

Full Review… | August 25, 2011
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

The only reason I can think of to watch Vivi Friedman's flat, satirical farce "The Family Tree" - and it's not a good enough reason - is the opportunity to play a game of spot the semi-star.

August 25, 2011
New York Times
Top Critic

[It makes] a small case for not succumbing to nostalgic malaise -- too bad it's in a genre as played-out as [the] lead characters' passion.

Full Review… | August 23, 2011
Village Voice
Top Critic

The Family Tree is a surprisingly funny dysfunctional family comedy that manages to entertain throughout.

Full Review… | March 1, 2013
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Audience Reviews for The Family Tree

The Family Tree is a movie that is such a formulaic crapfest it doesn't even deserve for me to take time out of my schedule to write-up this review of it as I already WASTED an hour and a half of my time trying to appreciate some aspect of it (Christina Hendricks is in it for all of 3 minutes in the first twelve and gone for the remainder). I couldn't find anything else here ... and I rarely say I "wasted" my time when talking about movies (I willingly watched the sequel to Garfield to review it for friends and family); but this IS time wasted. The movie takes so many swipes and swings at many hot-button topics (religion, sexuality, adultery and marriage) that it is all muddled and ridiculous. So much is thrown at this family of wretched individuals that the audience cannot even keep all of the stupid storylines straight -- none of it is reasonable or plausible. This might be one for those who want to "go back" to a nostalgic past of glory ... and this movie is everything that is wrong with that mindset.

Thomas Williams
Thomas Williams

Cast: Dermot Mulroney, Hope Davis, Chi McBride, Max Thieriot, Brittany Robertson, Selma Blair, Keith Carradine, Bow Wow, Madeline Zima, Christina Hendricks, Jane Seymour Director: Vivi Friedman Summary: Finnish director Vivi Friedman makes her feature-film debut with this dark comedy about wife and mother Bunnie Burnett, who loses her memory and conveniently forgets all of her problems -- including her interracial affair with a neighbor. My Thoughts: "This movie is pure chaotic fun. It's silly, insane, and funny. You can not take this film seriously. I mean the preacher is a gun-slinging pothead. The film in throwing up dysfunctional all over the place. So of course I loved it. The characters are a lot of fun. Definitely worth taking a look at if you like dark, dysfuctional, and quirky films."


Super Reviewer


This was a very sappy movie that never seemed to go anywhere. In the end the previously dysfunctional family is happy together, but nothing profound happens that makes any sense.

Heather Metzger
Heather Metzger

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