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196 Reviews
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gudanov for me
"The Family" is an excellent and entertaining gangster comedy about an aging mafioso "snitch" played by Robert De Niro who , along with his family, are relocated to Normandy,France under an FBI witness protection programme. The film boasts a very good cast and some fine acting. Michelle Pfeiffer plays De Niro's wife and Tommy Lee Jones his FBI handler. The two teenagers...
Published 13 months ago by L. Davidson

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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars YOUR FAMILY IS AN INCARNATION OF EVIL
Fred Blake / Giovanni Manzoni (Robert De Niro) and family are in the witness protection program. The mafia has a $20 million price tag on their heads. They have just moved into Normandy. Tommy Lee Jones is their FBI contact. The movie plays light Italian music to induce us into thinking it is a comedy. There are numerous humorous moments, but it is far from a knee...
Published 12 months ago by The Movie Guy


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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars YOUR FAMILY IS AN INCARNATION OF EVIL, 2 Dec 2013
By 
The Movie Guy "Movies from A to Z" (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Family [DVD] (DVD)
Fred Blake / Giovanni Manzoni (Robert De Niro) and family are in the witness protection program. The mafia has a $20 million price tag on their heads. They have just moved into Normandy. Tommy Lee Jones is their FBI contact. The movie plays light Italian music to induce us into thinking it is a comedy. There are numerous humorous moments, but it is far from a knee slapper. The characters are stereotyped, as is the mafia, minus the token character named Fat Tony...they use Fat Willie instead.

The family has to endure the snobbish French, all the while desiring to smash their faces, which sometimes they do. The writing was lackluster and flat. As contradictory as this sounds, the film relies heavily on stereotypes, yet at the same time fails to exploit the stereotypes to create a smart comedy. If you are going to do one, you have to do the other.

The kids at school scene begins as if it is going to be a smart comedy, but then fizzles. The affection Belle (Dianna Agron) develops for her math tutor was a complete bore and waste of time. Both De Niro's character and his wife Michelle Pfeiffer were poorly utilized outside of a few scenes.

Makes for a decent rental. Wait for a price crash to own.

Parental Guide: F-bombs, brief sex scene, no nudity.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gudanov for me, 23 Nov 2013
By 
L. Davidson (Belfast, N.Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Family [DVD] (DVD)
"The Family" is an excellent and entertaining gangster comedy about an aging mafioso "snitch" played by Robert De Niro who , along with his family, are relocated to Normandy,France under an FBI witness protection programme. The film boasts a very good cast and some fine acting. Michelle Pfeiffer plays De Niro's wife and Tommy Lee Jones his FBI handler. The two teenagers who play De Niro's children also put in star performances. One thing about the film I had qualms about was it's assumption that sadistic, brutal violence is somehow funny, but if you put that to one side this film does stand out from the crowd. It is witty and clever throughout and the viewer does care about this dysfunctional mafia family despite their criminal antics. The film is well paced, suspenseful and absorbing as mafia hitmen close in on the fugitives following the family's decision not to live a quiet, unobtrusive life among the French locals. One of the best films that I have seen this year.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Neither one nor the other, 29 Dec 2013
By 
PJ Rankine (Wallington, Surrey United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Family [DVD] (DVD)
This film from Luc Besson purports to be a black comedy and it starts promisingly enough but ends up being an all out action flick. The story is about a mafia family in witness protection hiding in France but unable to escape their own nature which eventually reveals them to their pursuers.
The acting is all good though De Niro and Pfeiffer could do this with their eyes closed and it could have been a very funny film but somewhere it gets lost between the two genres and never hits either mark satisfactorily.
That said its not a bad film and not a total waste of time to watch.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a masterpiece, 16 Dec 2013
This review is from: The Family [DVD] (DVD)
You might object to a film with a rating of 29% based on 119 reviews from leading critics being called `a masterpiece' but you would be wrong because `The Family' is one of the most entertaining action comedy films of the year with great performances from Robert De Niro and Tommy Lee Jones and when I say great performances I mean they pretty much play the same role they have played in every movie ever. However it's hard to object to Robert De Niro playing a gangster and Tommy Lee Jones playing a grumpy law man.

Some of the bad reviews go like this `Unfortunately, The Family suffers from an extreme case of advanced tonal disorder'; `It's horribly violent, the family are appalling, it's never believable and far too long'; `The collateral damage involving innocent bystanders is staggering.'; `A lumbering farce that takes an unpleasantly sadistic glee in violence, murder and intimidation.'; `Neither comedy nor drama, 'The Family' is a combination of both that sometimes works when it decides what it wants to be.'; `The Blakes are hardly sympathetic figures, so when their lives are threatened, I began to silently root for their demise' and finally my favourite comment `The film isn't worthy of De Niro's stature, in the gangster sub-genre or otherwise' - apparently this reviewer has not seen a Robert De Niro film in the last few years.

First of all if you dislike this film it's probably based on one the reasons given by leading critics in the second paragraph and to be honest not one comment is a bad reason to hate this film because the characters in the family are complete psychopaths who care about nothing but themselves. They overact to the slightest comment and are pretty much gangsters which is hardly surprising since De Niro's character states that he considered the mob his `family' and sold them out for a better quality of life.

The best thing about this film is the story. The start, middle and end. The ending is fantastic with a brilliant last 30 minutes that had me on the edge of my seat. Given the previous actions by the family it is completely open to what might happen; you just really don't know how it will end. The best scene is the scene where Robert De Niro is asked to be a critic on the film `Goodfellas'.

This film is for you if you can accept the fact that the family are psychopaths with zero redeeming qualities and absolutely no empathy for other people. The story is strong and for a film with few likable lead characters is incredibly enjoyable. Definitely worth seeing.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Family - what a family!, 2 May 2014
By 
S. Brand "pigs rule!" (Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Family [DVD] (DVD)
Really enjoyed the film, the whole family providing good entertainment. Excellent acting. Would recommend the film to other members of our family and our friends.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A 90 min episode of "Itchy & Scratchy", 1 Sep 2014
This review is from: The Family (DVD)
Pretty poor stuff considering the cast and director. Billed as a comedy, but really very short on laughs and with a pointlessly high body-count.
Basically, its a cartoon, with constant acts of ridiculously overblown violence with no consequences, one-dimentional characters and a plot which is just a string of absurdities.
How could Besson make a film which is so wrong in every possible way about France and the French? The two kids have apparently been going to school in France for quite some time, yet still speak no French, which is fine since all lessons are conducted in English for their convenience! They will feel right at home since the whole school and everyone in it are lifted straight out of every American teen high school movie you've ever seen. The only concession to it supposedly being in France is that everyone speaks English with a French accent. In fact the whole town speaks English all the time (not just English, but idiomatic American English). Why did he bother setting this film in France?? Most baffling is the claim that the French live entirely on macrobiotic steamed veggies and are therefore longing for a hamburger! If it did not have Luc Besson's name on it you would think it was made by someone who had never been within a hundred miles of the place (or even to a French restaurant).
In such a cartoonish film you'd expect French clichés and stereotypes, but these aren't even clichés, its just WRONG.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Was expecting more, 27 July 2014
This review is from: The Family (DVD)
Disappointed with this film. It's as if it couldn't quite make up its mind what type of film it wanted to be. Some bits of the comedy were good, but these were far too brief for me. The last 15 minutes were by far the best when it really cranked up a gear. Something I found really annoying (and this is typical of the Americans) - Being British and having visited France on holiday on numerous occasions, I can assure everyone that if you meet a French person you have never met before they do not automatically speak English to you as they do in the film. Michelle Pfeiffer's character visited a church and the Priest just came up to her and spoke English. When Robert De Niro and Tommy Lee Jones' characters visited the debate the place of full of French people yet the guy running the debate automatically spoke in English. Now, I understand why they did this, but it did make it very unrealistic. On this subject, the subtitles they did have when some characters spoke French were too small and the wrong colour on the screen making it very difficult to read them.

Of the two actors playing the children - John D'Leo was the best. Dianna Agron looked far too old to be playing a 16-17 year old and I think the brief sex scene between her and the tutor was totally out of sync with the rest of the film.

It was all very stereotypical mafioso when the Mafia arrived to take out the family, but this was probably the best bit of the film for me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars waste of money, 8 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The Family [DVD] (DVD)
Was looking forward to seeing this movie , some of my fav. actors in, but what a let down so poor in fact could'nt watch it to the end. What I did watch was utter trash......
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars so worth the money, 27 April 2014
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This review is from: The Family [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
anything with robert de niro is worth watching in my opinion
supporting cast were great really well picked
very funny and bloody/brutal
im so glad i got this
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No Redeeming Value, 26 April 2014
By 
prisrob "pris," (New England USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Family [DVD] (DVD)
If you want violence, murder and insanity all in one film, this film is for you. I have been trying to find the redeeming values, but you know, the actors must have done this for the money.

Robert DeNiro plays a Mafioso, who turned and he and his family are now in the witness protection program. His wife, Michelke Pfeiffer is as crazed as he is, within the first hour in a hew town, she has burned down the local grocery store. The two children have caused mayhem and misery in the local high school. Half of their friends are mutilated, or engulfed in their dangerous games. They have to move from town to town because dad keeps giving away their identity by killing or maiming someone. In this particular program 3 handlers accompany them from town to town. I won't give away the star who is the head handler, you will be as amazed as I that he would turn to this kind of misery.

Really, no redeeming value of any kind here. Move on, nothing to see.

Not Recommended For Me. prisrob 04-26-14
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The Family [DVD]
The Family [DVD] by Luc Besson (DVD - 2014)
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