The Family That Preys

2008

The Family That Preys

Critics Consensus

Tyler Perry's The Family that Preys treads the filmmaker's established terrain of family loyalty and moral uprightness, though the occasionally predictable plot slides forward, aided by an excess of soapy melodrama.

52%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 42
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Alfre Woodard and Kathy Bates star in writer/director Tyler Perry's family drama about an upper-crust family and their working-class counterparts, who discover that scandal knows no social boundaries. Charlotte Cartwright (Bates) and Alice Pratt (Woodard) may be from different sides of the tracks, yet over the years they've managed to nurture a strong and healthy friendship. That friendship is put to the ultimate test, however, when their adult children begin to act out in ways that neither parent ever saw coming. Alice's daughter Andrea (Sanaa Lathan) is married to a trusting husband named Chris (Rockmond Dunbar), but lately she's been betraying that trust by sleeping with her boss, William (Cole Hauser), who just so happens to be Charlotte's son. William is married to Jillian (KaDee Strickland), and in addition to being unfaithful, he's also scheming to take over the role of COO at his mother's lucrative construction firm. Meanwhile, Alice's other daughter, Pam (Taraji P. Henson), and her husband, Ben (Perry), a faithful family man and construction worker, have both recognized that their family has strayed from the course of righteousness, and become determined to help their loved ones back on the right path. When paternity secrets, shady double dealings, and a series of other scandals become too much for Charlotte and Alice to take, the two women set out on a cross-country trip in order to clear their heads and devise a plan for saving their families. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for The Family That Preys

All Critics (42) | Top Critics (14)

  • This snail-paced film might as well take place in the 1950s, since it seems to have been inspired by one those Hollywood melodramas in which one company employs the entire town, and the only places free of corruption are the church and the local diner.

    Sep 18, 2008 | Full Review…
  • While it's wonderful to see actresses as shamefully underemployed as Woodard and Bates on the big screen, even they can't make sense of [these] incoherent characters.

    Sep 15, 2008 | Rating: C+

    Sam Adams

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • The Family that Preys shows grand advances in the filmmaking education of playwright-turned-filmmaker Tyler Perry. It's also his soapiest film yet, an overwrought melodrama of sibling rivalry, infidelity, family business power plays and terminal illness.

    Sep 15, 2008 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • By far the best thing about the enterprise is Woodard. If she's not in this thing, I think it goes kaput.

    Sep 15, 2008 | Full Review…
  • The film takes off when Woodard's and Bates' characters go on a Thelma & Louise-style road trip.

    Sep 15, 2008 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • The movie plays almost exactly like four daily soap episodes stitched together.

    Sep 15, 2008 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

    Ty Burr

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic

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