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The Family (2013)

HD   R Closed Captioning

Luc Besson

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About the Movie

When a Mafia boss and his family are relocated to a sleepy town in France after snitching on the mob, they can’t help resorting to old habits by handling their problems the “family” way.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews

TOMATOMETER

29%
  • Reviews Counted: 132
  • Fresh: 38
  • Rotten: 94
  • Average Rating: 4.6/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Rotten: Curiously airless, weightless and tonally uncertain, Luc Besson's mafia comedy falls flat. – Andrew Barker, Variety, Sep 12, 2013

Rotten: The Family is a film at once strange and intriguing. It can't seem to settle on a tone. – David Hiltbrand, Philadelphia Inquirer, Sep 13, 2013

Rotten: The film isn't worthy of De Niro's stature, in the gangster sub-genre or otherwise. – Adam Graham, Detroit News, Sep 13, 2013

Rotten: "The Family" does have its entertaining moments. But anyone who thinks it's a real knee-slapper needs therapy. Stat. – Kerry Lengel, Arizona Republic, Sep 12, 2013

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Amazing

This movie is the best! I love the action!

A DARK, VIOLENT COMEDY WITH NOT ENOUGH LAUGHS

Far too dark and violent to be considered a genuine comedy, this breezy but bloated crime thriller never seems to hits its stride. It's efficiently made, as expected from a filmmaker like Luc Besson, but the script here is both lazy and over-serious, so it's just hard for us to believe a moment of what's happening on screen. It doesn't exactly help that we can't identify with any of the characters. Even so, the movie at least benefits from its committed, talented cast and their over-the-top dialogue, so it's definitely far from a total loss. Basically, we follow the Manzoni family, who've gone into witness protection after snitching on the mob, continually moving from town to town around Europe as their curmudgeonly handler (Tommy Lee Jones) and his assistants struggle to cover up their heavily violent ways. Their newest home is just a tiny village in Normandy, where patriarch Fred (Robert De Niro) is posing as a writer while his wife Maggie (Michelle Pfeiffer) merely gets the lay of the land. Their teen kids Belle (Dianna Agron) and Warren (Jon D'Leo), meanwhile, rapidly work out the system at the local high school. But it isn't long before their troubled past comes back to bite them. For a French film, this movie is eerily packed with a lot of negative stereotypes, from the strangely ugly cast members to the backwards technology they use. They also all speak English in silly French accents. At the same time, everything about this script feels way too contrived, from Belle's yearning adoration for her new tutor to Warren's instant mastery of pretty much every vice at school. This simply leaves Agron and D'Leo, who are fine young actors, with nothing particularly interesting to do onscreen because there's nowhere they can take these underdeveloped characters. And the more serious moments are easily ignorable because they seem to inexplicably happen by accident. Meanwhile, De Niro and Pfeiffer have clearly played these same characters so many times before in other better flicks that they're practically sleepwalking here, although an extended "Goodfellas" gag is pretty amusing. Nonetheless, they're still consistently watchable, even as things do take a few deeply distasteful turns right from the start. And the big climactic sequence is enjoyably outrageous (even if it is a near-pointless massacre that only the most bloodthirsty viewers could possibly laugh at). At the end of the day, "The Family" may not subvert the "dark comedy" genre in any way, but despite its overly familiar setup and endless jarring tonal shifts, it's still packed with enough cheerfully off-the-wall violence to warrant a recommendation. At the very least, it's worth watching once.

Avoid this stinker.

Though billed as an action-comedy, there isn't really anything humorous throughout. With exception to one clever, laugh-inducing moment that had to do with referencing a famous DeNiro film, the jokes all fall flat. The attempts at comedy mainly involve DeNiro's mafia family being fish out of water in rural France. It's a lot of Frenchmen being rude and the Americans beating them up. Rather than being funny they came across as being a bunch of violent sociopaths for no reason. There are some jarring shifts in tone as the film tries to balance out the unnecessary violence by shoe-horning some heartfelt moments in. The secondary plotlines of the two kids trying to fit in at the French high school and Michelle Pfeiffer befriending a priest go nowhere and are full of holes. I got the feeling that several of these scenes were cut out because they didn’t work, which just made the remaining footage seem pointless. Meanwhile, Pfeiffer just forgets to use her “New Joy-Zee” accent in half of the scenes. They should’ve spent more time developing the Odd Couple relationship between Tommy Lee Jones and DeNiro - the only thing in the movie that almost worked. DeNiro just seems bored to be there and couldn’t muster the minimal energy required to reprise any of his old Scorsese bad guy roles. The action is typical and cliched, with no interesting stunts, chases or twists. Quite a lazy effort overall which paled in comparison to a quality action-comedy like “RED”- a movie that consistently delivered on the laughs and the action.

The Family (2013)
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  • $14.99
  • Genre: Action & Adventure
  • Released: 2013

Customer Ratings