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It Runs in the Family Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 25

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    A sodden drama of filial conflict that dares the audience to confuse the characters with the players. P.T. Barnum couldn't have come up with a better hook, but he would have rewarded his suckers with more ''On Golden Pond'' entertainment bang for their buck.

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  • 40

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Every scene in this oppressive film has a theme or didactic purpose, but little life.

  • 50

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The movie is simply not clear about where it wants to go and what it wants to do. It is heavy on episode and light on insight, and although it takes courage to bring up touchy topics it would have taken more to treat them frankly.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Father and son Kirk and Michael Douglas' moments together are among the movie's best.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Mark Caro

    Never quite transcends its movie-of-the-week trappings. But either you're glad to have spent time with these three generations or you aren't. Bottom line: I was.

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  • See all It Runs in the Family reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 14+

Disappointing story of a dysfunctional family.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie has a lot of mature material for a PG-13, including sexual situations and references. There is one casual sexual encounter in which a girl introduces herself to the boy just as they are about to go to bed together. An older brother nags his 11-year-old brother about kissing (or more) the girl he likes. A grandfather gives his grandson tips about seducing a girl. An adulterous encounter is halted because someone comes into the room. A character uses and deals in drugs, and characters turn to alcohol to numb their feelings.

  • Families can talk about why it is so hard for the people in this family to talk to each other, even though many of them want to. How do different families communicate in different ways?

The good stuff
  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Strong women.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Tense family scenes, bullies menace smaller kids.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Strong sexual references and situations for a PG-13.

  • language false3

    Language: Strong language for a PG-13, including "s--t," damn, ass, and bitch.

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Character uses and sells drugs, drinking and smoking.