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The Family Review

Movies.com Critics

2.5

Dave White Profile

Le Family Nikita Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 3.0
    44

    out of 100

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

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    The Family is a fish-out-of-water/buddy comedy/Mob flick. But most of all, it's a missed opportunity.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Stephen Farber

    Their inside jape is unfortunately not as much fun for the audience as it may have been for the filmmakers, though it does have its piquant moments. But it’s not consistently entertaining enough either as a spoof or as a thriller.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Richard Roeper

    This is a deliberately off-kilter, cheerfully violent, hit-and-miss effort with just enough moments of inspiration to warrant a recommendation — especially if you know what you’re getting into.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    This isn't vintage De Niro but at least there's more substance here than in a lot of his other recent projects. Michelle Pfeiffer, who flirted with this sort of a role 25 years ago in "Married to the Mob," is enjoying something of a renaissance after working only sparingly for more than a decade.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Family reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 15+

Funny but imperfect mob comedy has violence, language.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Family is a mix of comic hijinks, mobster violence, and, to a lesser extent, melancholy. Because it's about an ex-mob boss (now in the Witness Protection Program), there are many scenes filled with Mafia hit jobs, with varying degrees of violence, from smacks to beatdowns to fatal shootings and explosions. Expect plenty of strong language, too, particularly "f--k" (the word's supposed ability to express so much is a running theme), and a scene in which an adult beds a teenager (no sensitive body parts shown, but it's clear they're having sex). Some drinking, smoking, and product placement as well.

  • Families can talk about The Family's violence. Is it all necessary to the story, or does any of it seem excessive? Would its impact be different if the movie's tone was more serious?
  • What does this movie contribute to the mob-movie genre? Does it stray from it? If so, how?
  • Are any of the characters intended to be role models?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: There's nothing like family to make things better, even if they're wacky (or just busy whacking somebody).

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: In truth, there are many reasons not to trust the Blake family. But it's amazing how much they have one another's back, love one another dearly, and aren't afraid to show it. A young woman stands up for herself and won't let boys take advantage of her (even if she does beat them to a pulp when they try to).

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: The movie's mood is often comic, but there's nearly an endless parade of scenes showing mobsters (and their families) avenging themselves or exacting punishment, including beating others with tennis rackets, bats, and other implements; dragging people down the street by a rope; shooting them point blank; blanketing them with bullets from semi-automatics; planting and exploding bombs; etc. The (rough) opening scene sets the tone: A family is sitting down for dinner when there's a knock at the door; when the father goes to open it, he's blasted across the floor. Then the man at the door walks in and point-blank shoots the mother and the two children.

  • sex false3

    Sex: One scene shows an older man having sex with a high school student; no sensitive body parts are visible, but it's clear that they're having intercourse. Sexual innuendoes between a married couple.

  • language false4

    Language: Many uses of "f--k." Also "s--t," "hell," "a--hole," "ass," "damn," "goddamn," and "sonofabitch."

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Products/brands seen include Peugeot, Citroen, and other French brands, plus Coca-Cola, BMW, Cadillac, and Brother.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Some wine-drinking and cigarette smoking. Although one kid is said to run the cigarette concession at her school, she's not shown smoking. Giovanni's son fakes an injury to get to the school nurse's office. While there, he steals two vials of prescription drugs (pills) and deals them to a student.

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