This is an intelligent, well-written, considered family drama with comedic elements directed by Sidney Lumet. The McMullen family live in New York where the male line has deep seated “criminal genes.” The film explores the intense relationships between three generations. Sean Connery is outstanding as Jesse, the charismatic career criminal grandfather who is idolised by his grandson Adam (Matthew Broderick). Matching Connery is Dustin Hoffman who plays Jesse’s son Vito, who is trying to ensure that Adam lives a respectable middle class life. However, Adam has a plan to make millions of dollars involving a straightforward robbery, namely breaking into a genetic engineering laboratory and stealing some DNA research material. Jesse readily agrees to participate in the robbery while Vito only reluctantly agrees to do so in order to look after Adam. Inevitably, things don’t go as planned and it is soon evident that another, more devious plan exists. Most of the film has an upbeat tone but the later stages involve unexpected developments which result in a more reflective ending.
It's quite ironic that under normal circumstances, a theatrical movie based around a novel is usually rushed and misses key parts of the plot (The Beach, for example...), yet Family Business, though based on a novel, feels the opposite... drawn out, and lacking a drive.
My hat (proverbial - baseball caps aren't "cool" any more) goes off to Dustan Hoffman, Sean Connery, and Matthew Broderick for pulling off wonderful mature performances in, what is, quite a serious film with its odd silly moment. Though this doesn't deter from what's missing; substance. The plot is their, as is the well explained story, the medicore directing, camera work, and use of time prevents the film from flowing nicer. Instead, the film feels like its been stretched out to 1 hour 45 minutes, when in reality, what you watch could have been compressed into just minutes!
Not a suitable DVD buy, but OK for watching once-over.