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358
3.8 out of 5 stars
The Family [DVD]
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 1 September 2014
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 12 May 2014
Watched this on a Sunday afternoon and really enjoyed it. You could make a number of observation from a criticle point of view, there are some films where you need just to lay back and enjoy and this is one of them. Are you getting a great film no, are you getting a film that puts a little smile on your face yes.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 April 2014
In case you were wondering what De Niro, Pfeiffer and Jones have been up to, this celluloid offering will leave you clueless and bored. Besson, who is by previous accounts, a director with a difference; not in this case.

An American mobster relocated to Normandy?
Nothing really noteworthy happens in the film: the wife's trip to the grocers, where , disgruntled , she decides to blow-up; the kids get bullied at French school and they get even,having learned those valuable life-skills from their Papa; De Niro tries to write his memoirs and Jones tries to make sure he stays within the house perimeter.
Then there are a few bits with unsuspecting neighbors, who then get the mobster treatment...etc. etc.etc.

Pfeiffer does a great Brooklyn accent, but her kids were ultra homogenized. De Niro played a caricature of himself; glazed and disinterested, except for the fat paycheck.

These little character vignettes tried to make a film, but they are just that, little character studies that are sweet, but if I want sweet, I'll rent the newest Pixar offering.

Basically it was trying to be La Femme Nikita, but we ended up with Wise Guys in France, nonsensical and predictable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 10 April 2014
Like many films all the best bits were in the trailer.

I expected 'The Family' to be really good; especially with the casting of Robert De Niro and Tommy Lee Jones. I find De Niro really good in comedy films as he plays it straight which adds to the fun.

The trailer was carefully edited so as to make the film seem 'a laugh a minute'; but the remainder of the footage was very lacklustre indeed.

Not what I expected.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 8 July 2014
Really Poor. No really one thing or the other, for a film with this calibre of stars, it was dreadful. Too much random meaningless killing, with no real reason.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 23 November 2013
"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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 1 September 2014
This had potential for a good plot and adventure. In the end we had De Niro creatively using the F-Word and half a village population being slaughtered. And the film has no conclusion as such but leaves it open to more misery for the poor villagers they set camp next to.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Black comedy is a difficult genre, some viewers are going to find it as funny as having their fingers broken, others are going to regret there was not a bigger body count. Tip in the genuine dislike many viewers will have for bad guys and it is a matter needing a subtle approach, but in this case it's Luc Besson directing so we can go straight to Plan B. Providing frequent slaughter does not bother you there is an amusing tale here, well-delivered by the players though the French location is pretty much St Imagination-sur-Scriptwriter, and lots of shooting. It was an interesting distraction but no more.
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