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  • I just watched "The Family" and I for one have had a very good time. This movie is gleefully dark, wickedly funny and offers great acting from all the stars involved, (who really seem to relish their parts). I was shocked when I checked IMDb and found so many comments and reviews from disappointed film fans. How can anyone complain about the violence in this dark comedy and at the same time love films like "Fargo" (or practically anything by the Coen Brothers, for that matter)? I came to the conclusion that the main reason behind all the negative reviews is that people expected something more akin to "Léon", "Goodfellas" or "The Godfather" (where the violence isn't played for laughs), when in fact this is something completely different: This is a black comedy about a group of predators who have to hide among - unbearably arrogant - sheep. You can imagine how well that will turn out (for the sheep). Anyway, I admit that with other actors involved, this would probably just have been an average mob comedy, but with the kind of talent you get here, it's hard not to have a blast. My rating: 7 out of 10.

    Favorite films: http://www.IMDb.com/list/mkjOKvqlSBs/

    Lesser-known Masterpieces: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls070242495/

    Favorite TV-Shows reviewed: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls075552387/
  • Wow, I just left the movie theater and I am shocked about the amount of bad reviews this movie had. I am a kind of huge fan of Tommy Lee Jones and Robert De Niro so perhaps my opinion about this movie is a bit influenced by that. Despite that, I must confess I truly enjoyed this movie. It was funny and it was very interesting to see how the family get used to an all new identity every time they had to move in. The plot is basically about a family, the Mazonis, that was relocated to Normandy under the witness protection program. So they had basically to try fitting in soon to avoid being caught by the mafia members who were trying to kill them. Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert De Niro were really great playing their characters and despite not being an excellent movie, "The Family" is enjoyable and is another great addition to Luc Besson's career.
  • mistoppi28 May 2016
    7/10
    Fun
    I vaguely remember when this movie was in the cinemas. I didn't go see it and I didn't even see a trailer, but I remember seeing the poster on the wall at the theater. Once it was up on Netflix, I wanted to see it.

    I was expecting some kind of weird mixture between crime drama and a "unusual family" comedy like the Addams Family and We're The Millers. Not the best examples but they are the first ones I can think of. The Family wasn't exactly close to my expectation. The Family is way more refreshing the way it is. Still, it's hard to say what is the main type of this film. It's partially a comedy, it's hilarious and clever and all that. But then again it seems like a deep drama, because it's about a family who is trying to adjust to the new situation, and everyone is facing their own challenges. But of course it's also a crime thriller.

    While it's hard to say which one of these mostly defines the movie, the thing is, the elements of all those types are used so wonderfully, that as the story goes on, it doesn't matter. The story and the characters are intriguing and it's exciting to see what is going to happen. That shows what an excellent writer Tonino Benacquista is. While I don't know the differences between his book and the screenplay by Besson and Caleo, but I'm guessing his Benacquista's writing involved a lot of the stuff I loved about this movie.

    The Family is intriguing, thrilling and fun. It has excellent casting and excellent writing. While this movie doesn't really stand out, it's not astounding in anyway, it's still a good film and definitely worth seeing.
  • Very few actors into their old age have been able to resist the temptation to play out their end years like the last five overs in a 50 over cricket match- keep featuring in any movie that pays decent money. Of late, industry stalwart Rober De Niro has been guilty of the same, but once in a while he does bring out the old sparkle, and more often than not, that is generally in a mobster themed movie. Ditto for The Family- a zany comedy about a family of criminals, who come in all genders and ages.

    Robert De Niro is Giovanni Manzoni, a crime boss on the run from his gang, who he tattled on. Put under witness protection, he and his family have a hard time sticking to their given identities as Giovanni is unable to rein in his sadistic urges, leading to a murder here, and a bashing there. His family is not far behind though- Michelle Pfeiffer is one bad closet pyromaniac of a mother, Dianne Aragon is the beautifully dangerous daughter, and John D'Leo is the young wheeler dealer gun, waiting to make a name in the business. The kids are a chip off the old block - brave and shrewd, with extremely practical, no nonsense attitudes. Tommy Lee Jones is the FBI agent who has to help these lunatics maintain a low profile. But all they keep doing, in different doses of hilarity, is making a war-zone out of a mofussil town.

    Luc Besson makes a fine comeback with this funny gangster comedy- the script is witty, the pace is fast, there are sudden scenes of shocking violence, and equal doses of laugh out moments. All the actors do a great job. This is a role meant for De Niro- he is a career don (Goodfellas, The Godfather, Casino) and this is right up his alley, a walk in the park. His interactions with his family are awesome, and at the end i was left wanting more of this family- a sequel on the cards? Michelle Pfeiffer's beauty has not dimmed one bit, and Tommy Lee Jones maintains a straight face throughout the antics.

    The Family is as much about a real family as it is about thugs. Growing up pains, romance, responsibility, will to survive- all of it is nicely packaged into a decent entertainer which has loads of laughter, guns, hammers, baseball bats, explosions, and everything else you love about the gangster movie genre- 7/10
  • When I received the premier passes to see "The Family", I was really expecting with such great actors/actresses, that this movie would be good; but more-so expecting it to fall flat like so many before it. I was greatly surprised.

    The Movie is based on the French author Tonino Benacquista's novel Malavita, which is know as Badfellas in America. And "BadFellas" is an interesting way to view this film. It does have all the wonderful elements of the great Mobster movies, but with a touch more humor. The family dynamic is a refreshing one that invokes what a modern mob family would probably be going through. You found yourself "going" for the family as a whole and not singling out one for their idiocy.

    The movie starts off fast to quickly usher you thorough the character introductions and development, which is a good thing, because it allows you to experience their personality and growth throughout the film. You watch the stupid mistakes of a teenage girl, a boy who's intuitive yet still flawed. A mother who's trying to do the best she can to hold her family together, and a remorseful (somewhat) father.

    If you are wanting Goodfellas or Casino, this isn't it. What this IS is DEFINITELY what "Analyze This" could have been if it was a better movie. There is plenty of action, and the previews don't give away the best of the movie. It is definitely a must see and Smush Approved.

    www.Facebook.com/SmushPub
  • bob-rutzel-117 January 2014
    Warning: Spoilers
    The Manzoni family is in Witness Protection in Normandy, France because Giovanni Manzoni (Robert DeNiro), who is now Fred Blake, ratted out the Luchese mob family. Don Luchese (Stan Carp), the old Don, now in jail, needs to find Giovanni to whack him.

    This isn't exactly a comedy, not so much a drama, not really a thriller and I would say it's light drama with comedic overtones, although I didn't experience many chuckles. It's watchable and kind of enjoyable until we get 16-yr old daughter Belle (Dianna Agron) viscously beating up on a classmate with a tennis racket. Later Fred Blake takes a baseball bat to a local plumber. And, still later Fred beats up on the manager of a water distribution facility. The viciousness of the beatings were too extreme for this movie and went too far in my opinion. It was like watching someone beating a dead horse. Not good.

    Fred's wife, Maggie (Michelle Pfeiffer), blows things up when she gets upset. I guess old habits are hard to die when one is attached to a mob family.

    On a less violent side, the son, 13-year old Warren Blake (John D'Leo) gets involved at school with black market cigarettes and prescription pills. See, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

    Then we have FBI Agent Stansfield (Tommy Lee Jones) whose job it is to protect the family. Later he learns that Fred is writing the story of his life and if that ever got out well………………

    The acting by all is fine, but you somehow get the idea that all is not as serious as it really is. In other words the door is left open for somewhat comedic comments.

    The interactions among the family are good, supportive and genuine. They have each other's backs and that will be needed when Don Luchese's men find the family. You didn't forget about them, did you? (5/10)

    Violence: Yes. Sex: Yes, Belle and her tutor teacher against a door. Nudity: No. Language: Yes, the kids too.
  • Ramascreen12 September 2013
    THE FAMILY is one of my favorite movies this year. It's funny, it's witty, it's quick on its feet and it's surprisingly heartwarming. It's got firepower, it's got action, though it has a hard time finding peanut butter. What a great blend of family drama and gangster comedy. Luc Besson, the great director who brought us such masterpieces as Leon The Professional and The Fifth Element, is back and he's bringing with him a family that's as tough as their patriarch is. Led by three great thesps Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Tommy Lee Jones, and complimented by young talents like John D'Leo and Dianna Agron, THE FAMILY aims to entertain those of us who love a bit of Goodfellas added a hint of humor. Just like that old saying: Never go against the family.

    In a nutshell, it's about a family who was part of the mob right up until the patriarch, Robert De Niro ratted out the bosses and since then, De Niro's family has been in witness protection program, and the bosses in prison are still bent on finding them and killing them. De Niro's family got moved by the program to a new place in Normandy, France. Obviously it's a big drastic change from Brooklyn NY to France, so that in and of itself is already enough to let you know that hilarity that comes out of the difficulties of adjusting to a new place will ensue, including the bullish*t story that they have to come up with to explain where they're from or who they are to the new neighbors. Now.. unlike other gangster comedies, kinda like the ones that Guy Ritchie made, THE FAMILY does not show dumb bumbling criminals, the comedy in THE FAMILY banks on the short fuse and the temper that this Brooklyn family has, the violence exists because the reasons behind it are petty and that makes it funny. They try so hard to fit in and but because the new culture that they're in is extremely different, to a certain point it even looks down on them, they can't help but to unleash their old tough selves

    Robert De Niro is a legend, we all know that, he makes things look so easy. He's played gangster or mobster roles countless times before, he's even done it for comedy, anybody remember Analyze This?! So THE FAMILY is a walk in the park for him, he could probably do this blindfolded, but of course, he doesn't take it too lightly especially when sparring with other greats like Michelle Pfeiffer and Tommy Lee Jones, whenever those three interact on screen, it's like the camera just wants more and more of them even when their lines are done and over. De Niro's character is a good father, with a terrible past, but is a good father to his kids, and it's killing him that he can't tell his story to the world. Pretending to be someone he's not, suffocates him. He starts writing his own memoir, which is discouraged by his handler, played by Tommy Lee Jones, but it's clear to see that all De Niro's character wants is some kind of appreciation, that despite the terrible things he's done, he's still a good man. Note the many use of the word F*CK that De Niro uses to express all kinds of range of emotions, it's definitely one of this movie's highlights. De Niro and Tommy's friendship relationship in this movie is a complicated one, you can tell that Tommy cares for De Niro and his family but at the same time there's duty that he has to uphold and strict protocol that must be followed by all involved if De Niro's family wants to survive. The kids, played by D'Leo and Agaron, face ordinary things that teenagers face, sexual tension, trying to fit in and figuring out how to be resourceful, there's also the matter of good ol' heartbreak, so this movie has a nice dose of family drama that doesn't beat around the bush, the pacing is just right. You can tell that they're aching, they're not enjoying life in hiding, they wish they could run away, but deep down they're not blaming each other because in a strange way, that lifestyle has brought them closer together.

    Another thing I love about THE FAMILY is that you get it or you understand why these characters stay together; why these people love each other, why Michelle's character and De Niro's character ever matched, and even their kids, played by D'Leo and Agron, display their parents traits; their take-no-bullish*t attitudes. They're physical, they're cunning, they won't hesitate to use a bat or a hammer to prove a point, they're easily offended, and all of that equals hilarious. Inflicting pain, gangster-style, is always hard to watch mainly because in gangster world, there are no limits as to what you can use to inflict pain, you improvise, the creativity is boundless, so the shock value is always there, director Luc Besson doesn't shy away but at the same time he never means for this movie to be straight up Scorsese, who by the way helped exec-produce THE FAMILY, this movie at its center wants to show you a dysfunctional family, a family who we would quickly judge, but they're a family nonetheless.

    -- Ramascreen.com
  • andysevenfold4 November 2019
    The Family (2013) is a gangster comedy movie starring Robert de Niro, Tommy Lee Jones and Michelle Pfeiffer. The movie shows A crime family living in witness protection and trying to get used to their new lives. I thought the comedy was great and some of the gags really made me laugh. I enjoyed this movie. I watched it as it was produced by Martin Scorsese, but stayed for Robert de Niro's performance. I found the aspect of the mafia mixed in with the comedy really interesting and would like to see more.
  • mxintx27 September 2013
    I watched this almost expecting to be disappointed.

    I ended up watching it twice.

    After a few times of "things" happening they came to be expected. But I still couldn't help laughing. And really the only time I didn't laugh was because the script decided to have a couple serious moments.

    Don't get me wrong. This isn't just stupid laughs. There is a plot, there is acting, there is everything that makes a great movie.

    I think the only way this could have been funnier is if Joe Pesci had been in it also.

    This movie literally defines "wise-guy".
  • "Like Al Capone said, asking polite with a gun in your hand is better than asking polite with nothing." Giovanni

    Family values in The Family are not your father's values unless, like me, your grandfather ran a numbers business in the basement of his barbershop. All of Kodak Park enjoyed that true color.

    The Giovanni Manzoni/Fred Blake (Robert De Niro) family has a paterfamilias who is a notorious Mafia don in the FBI witness protection plan. (De Niro as a mobster is the fall's most unimaginative casting but he's funny.) His values are ratting on his fellow Mafiosi to save his legal hide, forcing him to hide with a $20 million reward dogging him. The family's love for each other is unconditional and treats challenges with a baseball bat rather than diplomacy. If a Frenchman disrespects Americans, he might find his supermarket in flames.

    If this sounds like a story to turn the nuns' heads completely around, don't worry; it's ultra "black comedy," equal parts Italian-American gangster satire and laughable domestic shenanigans. That midway in the film Fred gets to speak on the merits of GoodFellas before a French crowd in Normandy is one of the nice meta-critical-comedic turns followed by carnage we've come to expect from Mob films. It's pretty much territory owned by Scorsese and De Niro. Additionally, the use of the "f" word has never been so deftly played in a comedy.

    Besides the joy of seeing De Niro have a good time with the many tough characters he has played in his career, you get to see Tommy Lee Jones play a gruff FBI agent, Robert Stansfield, who can trade barbs with his charge, Fred, who has such a propensity for violence (he beats up the only plumber within 20 miles of town) that Fred is a full time job for Robert. If Jones's face can't scare Fred into being a good boy, then the threat of losing witness protection does the trick.

    Directed with wicked tongue in cheek by La Femme Nikita's stylish Luc Besson, The Family sports an accomplished supporting cast: Michelle Pfeiffer as mom Maggie is gritty Brooklyn with her famous beauty well preserved. The two kids played by Diana Argon and John D'Leo are spot on sweetly dangerous as you might expect.

    It's all in GoodFellas fun, a mildly amusing and unusual story that beats many mainstream comedies this year.
  • vandelour25 September 2013
    Warning: Spoilers
    **Spoiler**

    The dog was the best actor in the film. Had all the best lines but never hogged the scenes. He delivered his lines with style, feeling and perfect diction. His role demanded a harmonious interaction with the other actors.

    Everybody else? You've got to be kidding. Their lines came right off a cereal box, their characters were despicable. Setting a family of illiterate gangsters in rural France where all the French people speak near-perfect English -- even in school -- was insulting. The audience is supposed to buy into this bull?

    I've come to the conclusion that certain 'actors' are rotated thru on a cycle, repeating their signature performances for audiences more interested in killing time than in being entertained. The audiences are as typecast as the actors.

    The dog was good.
  • In New York, the mobster Giovanni Manzoni (Robert De Niro) makes a deal with FBI agent Robert Stansfield (Tommy Lee Jones) and snitches his mafia family. In return, Giovanni is included in the witness protection program and receives a new identity, Fred Blake. Giovanni, together with his wife Maggie (Michelle Pfeiffer) and their teenager children Belle (Dianna Agron) and Warren (John D'Leo), are relocated to the small town Cholong-sur-Avres, in Normandy, under the protection of Stansfield and two other agents. Meanwhile the mafia offers a 20 million-dollar reward to the killer that executes Giovanni and his family. Soon the Blake family uses the mafia methods to improve their lives in the town. But when the mafia accidentally discovers the whereabouts of the Manzoni family, Cholong becomes a no man's land.

    "The Family" is a funny black humor comedy by Luc Besson about a family that travels to France under the witness protection program. The story has memorable moments, and my favorite is the reaction of Maggie when she goes to the small supermarket and feels offended. The conclusion uses many clichés and is weak, but watching this movie is worthwhile. It was a great entertainment for a Saturday afternoon without beach in Rio. My vote is seven.

    Title (Brazil): "A Família" ("The Family")
  • Mafia boss Giovanni Manzoni (Robert De Niro) and his family are in witness protection, and relocated for the upteempth time to Normandy France. Agent Robert Stansfield (Tommy Lee Jones) tries desperately to keep this crime family in line.

    Director Luc Besson is trying to make a black comedy, but it's only mildly amusing occasionally. It's cute to see Dianna Agron smash a guy with a racket. And it's cool to see Michelle Pfeiffer blowing up the convenience store. Of course, Besson is winking at us as Robert De Niro enjoys a showing of Goodfellas. But it's doesn't translate into a funny comedy. At best, there were a couple of chuckle worthy moments.

    The movie probably needs a comedian. Looking around, there isn't one known comedian in the bunch. I can't imagine somebody who thinks the pairing of De Niro and Jones would result in hilarity. They could be funny, but only if paired with a great comedian. De Niro needs Ben Stiller for the Meet the Parents movies, and Billy Crystal for 'Analyze This'. And Grumpy face Jones can really only do the straight man. The Tommy Lee Jones role would be better played by somebody funny. Grumpy face is not that somebody.
  • The Family (2013)

    * 1/2 (out of 4)

    Luc Besson returns to the director's chair for this "comedy" about a former Mafia member (Robert DeNiro) who rats out his friends and must take his family into the Witness Protection Problem. When he starts to write his life story this sets the Mafia boys off to try and track him down and put an end to him and his family. THE FAMILY has so much talent involved that we should have been given a great film but sadly just about everything that you could do right with the concept is turned into a complete disaster and in the end we're left with a really bad and disappointing film. The film is bad on many levels including the fact that this "comedy" simply isn't all that funny. The idea of a Mafia guy having to get used to a small, unknown place should have made for some laughs but the only thing the screenplay offers is him throwing a fit about his water not being clear. We get some fantasy violence scenes but these aren't funny either. The stuff dealing with the wife (Michelle Pfeiffer), daughter (Dianna Agron) and son (John D'Leo) also add up to very little. This is especially true with the daughter's subplot dealing with her relationship with a teacher. Even worse is the relationship between DeNiro and his FBI guy played by Tommy Lee Jones. I never would have thought these two actors in the same scene could lead to such boredom. The performances are okay but with this much talent you just expect so much more. DeNiro can be a master at comedy but the screenplay just never allows his character to do anything. Agron, as the daughter, certainly steals the picture. What's strong is that this "comedy" doesn't come to life until the end when it turns into a violent thriller. This "thriller" aspect is directed with some style and real energy. Had the comedy scenes been handled this well then we would have been left with a much better film. The entire film has an uneven mix and in the end it's just a complete mess that never pays off.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I could hear a thunderstorm outside, so I stayed and watched it all. In retrospect, I would have had more fun standing in the rain. Early in the film, there may have been a smile or two in the lines. Once the gratuitous violence and killings began, I sat there wondering where did I go wrong? I am probably too old to laugh at needless killings. I find it about as funny as teen suicide. In slasher films, the body count is the point; here, well . . . what's the point? Whenever things got boring, another character was killed needlessly. The filmmakers at least had the restraint not to shoot the dog, but had no qualms about the needless killing of a friendly neighbor.
  • AlanRRT23 September 2013
    Warning: Spoilers
    I went to the movie theater and my girlfriend thought "The Family" might be good. A mafia movie starring Robert DeNiro? What could go wrong? Everything, it turned out. (Spoiler alert!) To start with, it's not a mafia movie, it's about a former mafia member in witness protection. In the south of France. Like that's gonna happen. Not only that, but he breaks his cover multiple times, and just gets moved from one place to another. In real life, he'd be told "you're on your own." Like what happened to Henry Hill, who's life was made into a movie, a great movie about the mafia starring. . .oh, it's too depressing to think about. So we start off with a shaky premise, which would be forgivable if it was a good movie. I had to read about the movie on IMDb to find out that it was supposed to be a comedy. The only comedy I saw was that it almost sunk to the level of so bad it was good, along the line of "Plan 9 from Outer Space." Almost. It didn't even get to that level. Then, to top off a shaky premise and poor writing, there is a lengthy reference to "Goodfellas," as if to slap the audience in the face with the reminder that DeNiro once starred in some of the greatest mafia movies ever. I know I sound like I'm picking on DeNiro, and I hate to do it, but this movie and "The Big Wedding" are sad reminders that Hollywood will use the big names of once great actors to draw a crowd without respecting them enough to give them good scripts to work with.
  • italo50522 September 2013
    Warning: Spoilers
    I don't know if I've lost my sense of humor. I never thought seeing people sadistically torturing, beating up, smacking people across their face was supposed to be funny. I might have missed the memo. There's a fine line between great and way over the top and I believe the new comedy The Family, produced by Martin Scorsese, is more the latter than anything else. Robert De Niro stars as the head of household in a family of former mobsters that have fled to a foreign land in Normandie, France to escape their mafioso family they have turned in to justice. Apparently, this family has learned how to survive every place they've been to and we get a glimpse of how they deal with their new surroundings. Let's just say that this is not your typical family who would normally be terrified of their situation. They seem to fit right in to any circumstance and they face their frustrations with vandalism, violence and even murder. Michelle Pfeiffer is the wife: a determined, charming, great cook with a twisted way of dealing with bad customer service at the local supermarket. Her daughter Bella, played by Glee's Dianna Agron, has a bigger issue with anger management and doesn't miss the chance to beat anybody at the new school for hitting on her, for not borrowing their cell phone when she needs it, for looking at her funny or just for fun. The son Warren (John D'Leo) is a little more likable and resourceful, a bit of a nerdy type but he is so streetwise that he can tackle the bullies and become the new drug dealer at his new school in practically no time. Meanwhile, back at their temporary house, an old, charming European home with a run down greenhouse that could really use a little watering, DeNiro has found inspiration and has begun to write his memoirs in an old typewriter. They're being closely monitored by Robert Stansfield (Tommy Lee Jones), an FBI agent whose sole purpose is to check De Niro's every move. Even though The Family is a comedy about misfits in a foreign land trying to survive in their new surroundings, the movie loses precious momentum by exploring every family member's individual struggles instead of focusing on the main characters, or spending too much time following the romantic misadventures of a precocious teenage girl who has a crush on a school tutor and gets her heart broken once the guy goes on with his life (as he should, she's a psychopath, if you ask me). Am I really supposed to believe that this bully, violence-driven, vengeful girl has "feelings"? The plot is too predictable and been done a hundred times before. The only exchanges I enjoyed were whenever De Niro, Jones and Pfeiffer were on the screen. I remembered why I love coming to the movies and it's because we're infatuated with these movie stars and their likability. But that's not reason enough to buy a movie ticket and sit through a film that seemed to last an eternity. Several times during The Family I felt like getting up and going to the bathroom, getting popcorn and soda at the concession and take my time coming back to my seat, just to kill the time. You shouldn't have to wish that a movie be over, right? So take it for what it is: The Family is a cheesy, mediocre cable movie that should have never been done, doesn't anybody in Hollywood recognize a flop when they read the script anymore?
  • For a movie with stars like Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer and Tommy Lee Jones in it, then "The Family" didn't really live up to all that it could have been.

    That being said, then I am not saying that this is a bad movie. I am merely saying that director Luc Besson didn't really fully cash in on the potential of the script and the talents of the actors and actresses. And as such, then the movie turned out to be watchable, albeit not overly memorable.

    The story is about a family running from the mafia, hiding away in Normandy, where they try to blend in and trying to pass as a foreign family living abroad. However, their past is right on their heels and soon catches up.

    The characters in the movie were good and well-detailed. And they were equally well portrayed by the actors and actresses, and especially Robert De Niro was doing a great job in carrying the movie on his shoulders.

    "The Family" is the type of movie that you watch once, and then most likely never again. It just doesn't have enough leverage or material to sustain a second watching.

    A mere mediocre 5 out of 10 stars from me.
  • "I didn't kill him, I took him to the hospital."

    Luc Besson is a director whose work I respect and tend to enjoy. The Family doesn't rank amongst his best efforts, but I still had a great time with this dark comedy. It isn't a film for everyone because it mixes some violent action scenes with comedy and has some major shifts of tone, but it worked really well for me. The Family counts with a very strong cast including lead performances from Robert de Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer, and supporting performances from Tommy Lee Jones, Dianna Agron, and John D'Leo. They were all great in this film and I especially enjoyed the small scenes between Tommy Lee Jones and Robert de Niro. The Family isn't exactly innovative, we've seen this sort of film before, and De Niro even starred in another similar movie: Analyze This. We've seen him make fun of the vary roles that made him such a huge star (Goodfellas and The Godfather II) and here he does it once again. Even Michelle Pfeiffer agreed to play the wife of a mobster once again. It was fun to see these Hollywood stars make fun of their stereotypical roles even though they'd done it before. Luc Besson did a great job adapting Tonino Benacquista's novel, and some of his classic trademarks can be found in The Family. Next to Leon and The Fifth Element, The Family really doesn't live up to its predecessors, but it still is an entertaining watch. The film is hit and miss and superficial at times, but it's still worth a watch thanks to some very exciting and funny scenes. Besson also pays homage to Scorsese's gangster films in his own satirical way. The cast makes this worthwhile, especially the beautiful Dianna Agron who is just menacing here.

    The Family focuses on the Manzoni's, a former Mafia family that has been relocated to the small french town of Normandy under the witness protection program. Fred (Robert de Niro) and his wife Maggie (MIchelle Pfeiffer) along with their two children Belle (Dianna Agron) and Warren (John D'Leo) have had trouble in the past adapting to these new locations due to the fact that bad habits die hard. They always end up trying to solve the problems around them on their own and that makes CIA Agent Stansfield's (Tommy Lee Jones) job more difficult as he continuously has to relocate the family. They are under the witness protection program after snitching on the mob and therefore have many gangsters searching for them so they will have to be on their best behavior in this new town if they don't want to attract attention their way.

    The Family doesn't add anything new to the film genre and will probably not be mentioned in any of the actors' resume, but I still had a fun time and was entertained. The film never aspires to be an artistic one, it just puts its strength on the cast and lets them entertain us by playing with their stereotypes and tonal shifts. Besson relies heavily on the performance from the cast and in my opinion they make this film an entertaining one. They just bring so much energy into their roles that it comes through in the film. I even enjoyed the climatic final scene which most have criticized, and the film was energetic enough to make me care for these characters and their outcome.
  • Quietb-116 September 2013
    Warning: Spoilers
    Expecting a comedy? This isn't what you had in mind. It is difficult to mix genres. Here they are trying to mix comedy with blood bath violence. The violence is over the top.

    The comedy doesn't work. The premise of being relocated to Normandy feels like a needed stretch to get the financial participation to get the film made. The performances are good, but you don't care about any character in the movie. Tommy Lee Jones is getting too old for these roles.

    There is a good score but it's often loud and too noticeable. The movie is too long and drags in the middle on the way to the blood bath ending. Don't let the cast or fun trailer suck you in. This is a no fun waste of time and money.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    2 hours for nothing! The story line is so simple. I think they wrote this movie in 30mn after watching mafia movies on TV. This movie is like directed by an amateur! I am so disappointed about Luc Besson. The production only count on first grade actors and it was not enough to make a great movie. I don't know what this movie belongs to, this is not an action movie and nor a comedy, its not fun at all. The first hour of this film is so pathetic and boring, only the last ten minutes are interesting. This is a worse movie this year, for sure! Don't waste your money and time! This is a traditional boring french movie! Go for a coffee with your friends or girl friend is better than watching this crap!
  • This Movie Is Terrible. Don't Believe The Great Reviews Planted By The Studio Here...

    This movie sucks, and sucks really bad. Don't waste your time and/or money on this STINKER.

    The story is disjointed, and it is very difficult to believe that a movie that had a production Budget of 30 million dollars could be so terrible.

    Believe me, I am quite sure that the crappy reviews are going to start showing up here really soon, and will start to outweigh the paid, and planted reviews.

    I was going to walk out of the movie theatre and ask for my money back, but I kept watching the movie to see if it would get any better. IT NEVER DID... My suggestion is not to waste 1 single penny on this movie. Pure Garbage of a dumb mixed up story line that goes nowhere!!!!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I attended a screening of "The Family" a week before it opened in theaters. From the very first scene I was blown away. I was expecting a dark comedy, but I was pleasantly surprised that "The Family" was full of action and vendetta. Michelle Pfeiffer was outstanding as the clever mother who didn't take too kindly to people talking behind her back or stealing from her. Robert DeNiro was stellar as the father trying to do what he needs to do to protect his family but in need of an outlet of his own to maintain his sense of purpose and self. Then there are the children. Clever, meticulous, observant children. High school isn't a picnic by any means but they handled themselves well. Tommy Lee Jones co-starred as the family's handler and he sure can drive a car. There are twists, turns, shoot outs, explosions, fights, strategic use of a tennis racket and homage paid to "Goodfellas". I really enjoyed "The Family" and I will see it again.
  • bob_wilson111 October 2013
    The top stars phoned in the acting took the money and ran. The plot seemed to promise a good black comedy but it mostly fell flat. I had a hard time staying awake during this turkey waste of time and money. This movie would have been better off being rewritten with actors who still want to act and not collect a easy pay check. The young actors did a much better job. Mainly the biggest problem with this turkey was you didn't like anyone in it, and that says it all !! Its sad to see used to be A list actors turn in a b movie performance. I rather watch a made for TV movie than this mistake for a movie. the price of a ticket for a movie now days demands better quality and this movie fell flat ad sadly crashed and burned
  • It's extraordinary that with such talent, such a budget, and with so many resources that a film could be so utterly stupid.

    This is billed as a comedy and yet the only faintly amusing section is the sight of people who have anger management problems, or are inbred sociopaths, beating other people to pulp.

    Director Luc Besson has created a film set in France that is more like Akron Ohio. Everyone speaks English, the teens act like Americans. Why France?, Why bother? Who cares? There is no story as a writer would know it; nothing hinged on plot and structure, just a series of post mafia clichés bind this goop which struggles at being a reference to other mafia movies, which were all funnier. Goodfellas was hysterical compared to this. Goodfellas showed the audience how to use a pen in unusual ways which was just a rib-tickling humorous moment of fall on the floor laughing. Such laughs in that movie.

    Not this one.

    There are goldfish who are bored and insulted at seeing this on the TV in the living room.
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