The Family Reviews: Dysfunctional, Yes, But Funny?

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Robert De Niro co-stars with Michelle Pffeifer, Tommy Lee Jones and Dianna Agron in the Luc Besson/Martin Scorsese mafia comedy, The Family.

The Family (DeNiro, Pffeifer, Agron, John D'Leo) is placed under a witness protection program, but have a hard time leaving their old lives behind.

Should the mob comedy be relegated to such a program?

Let's see what The Family reviews have to say …

"The movie has holes galore, tonal shifts, an incoherent back story and abandoned subplots. It doesn’t even try for basic credibility. But buoyed by hot performances, it sustains a zapping electrical energy." - The New York Times

"The Family is a fish-out-of-water/buddy comedy/Mob flick. But most of all, it's a missed opportunity. The bad pacing, humorless scenarios and repetitive gags undercut the few inspired moments, most of which hinge on the chemistry between Robert De Niro's Mob boss and Tommy Lee Jones' FBI agent." - USA Today

"It’s at its best in the brief moments when it plunges into complete, comic-book panel unreality, as in an early shot where a hitman in a black trenchcoat, black trilby hat, and black gloves emerges silencer-first from behind a wall of smoke. It's the rare occasion when you might wish a director were more over-indulgent." - The A/V Club

"The actors, especially Pfeiffer, give the script more than it deserves. But Besson's leaden touch works against light and airy. The Family is a comic soufflé that never rises." - Rolling Stone

"It's difficult to reconcile the jokes with the story's beatings and explosions, no matter how deserving the French victims are. Still, this is the most animated and interesting De Niro has been on screen in a while. If you're a fan, The Family might be worth it just to hear him explain his background to an inquisitive neighbor with a surly, 'We move around a lot.'" - Film Journal

Sounds hit or miss at best, but possibly worth a look for De Niro fans. For more weekend box office analysis, see these Insidious: Chapter 2 reviews.

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