Metascore
42

Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 32
  2. Negative: 10 out of 32
  1. Reviewed by: Sheila O'Malley
    Sep 13, 2013
    75
    A pretty uneven film, lurching from comedy to violence to sentiment, but it's best when it sticks in the realm of flat-out farce.
  2. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Sep 12, 2013
    75
    This is a deliberately off-kilter, cheerfully violent, hit-and-miss effort with just enough moments of inspiration to warrant a recommendation — especially if you know what you’re getting into.
  3. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Sep 12, 2013
    75
    This isn't vintage De Niro but at least there's more substance here than in a lot of his other recent projects. Michelle Pfeiffer, who flirted with this sort of a role 25 years ago in "Married to the Mob," is enjoying something of a renaissance after working only sparingly for more than a decade.
  4. Reviewed by: Peter Keough
    Sep 12, 2013
    75
    Not known for subtlety, Besson gets the expected laughs, and then some. He also exercises an unwonted finesse, not only with the allusions, but also with variations on the “f” word that, if not poetic, are at least funny.
  5. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Sep 12, 2013
    75
    The Family is the rare breed of pitch-black comedy that effectively uses violence for laughs or gasps, depending on the situation.
  6. Reviewed by: Adam Markovitz
    Sep 12, 2013
    67
    Doesn't just wink at De Niro's history, it leans on it, hard.
  7. Reviewed by: Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
    Sep 12, 2013
    67
    It’s at its best in the brief moments when Besson 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.
  8. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    Sep 13, 2013
    63
    The Family is a film at once strange and intriguing. It can't seem to settle on a tone. The early eruptions of violence are treated as slapstick when they are most assuredly not. But the climactic showdown, which fairly cries out for a touch of humor, is played as a tense and grim action sequence.
  9. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    Sep 12, 2013
    60
    A messy brew that is a bit too slack to get all the way to actually being good.
  10. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Sep 12, 2013
    60
    The movie has holes galore. It has abrupt 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.
  11. Reviewed by: Sherrie Li
    Sep 12, 2013
    60
    You can be chuckling one minute then cowering and cringing the next, which tinges the humor with apprehension and taints the brutality with absurdity. That isn't to say that the combo doesn't work at all.
  12. Reviewed by: Matt Patches
    Sep 12, 2013
    51
    It’s a sadistic comedy, both in bloodshed and groan-worthy gags.
  13. Reviewed by: Stephen Farber
    Sep 12, 2013
    50
    Their inside jape is unfortunately not as much fun for the audience as it may have been for the filmmakers, though it does have its piquant moments. But it’s not consistently entertaining enough either as a spoof or as a thriller.
  14. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Sep 12, 2013
    50
    Robert De Niro – wait for it – in the role of a mobster. Now there's an original idea.
  15. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Sep 12, 2013
    50
    The Family is a fish-out-of-water/buddy comedy/Mob flick. But most of all, it's a missed opportunity.
  16. 50
    Besson aims his movie at anyone who’s ever held a grudge at an ill-mannered French waiter or clerk (haughty, and by the way, they’d NEVER condescend to speak to you in English). If that includes you, The Family has serves up a little wish-fulfillment payback, with a baseball bat.
  17. Reviewed by: Neil Smith
    Nov 21, 2013
    40
    Though it’s good to see Michelle Pfeiffer married to the mob again, she alone can’t redeem a lumbering farce that takes an unpleasantly sadistic glee in violence, murder and intimidation.
  18. Reviewed by: Nick de Semlyen
    Nov 19, 2013
    40
    Another to airbrush out of the De Niro back catalogue.
  19. 40
    But Besson — by no means a bad filmmaker — has gotten rich off that kind of violence that upsets no one, least of all jaded international action audiences. He tries to have it both ways and fails some of cinema’s most precious resources.
  20. Reviewed by: Andrew Barker
    Sep 12, 2013
    40
    Curiously airless, weightless and tonally uncertain, the picture mixes mass murder, dismemberment and rape threats with sappy sentimentality, fish-out-of-water gags and groan-worthy meta-humor, yet very little of it manages to leave any impression.
  21. Reviewed by: Kerry Lengel
    Sep 12, 2013
    40
    Yes, The Family has skills. They’re like “The Incredibles” — except they’re heroes for sadists and sociopaths only.
  22. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Sep 12, 2013
    40
    The film is curiously joyless and inert.
  23. Reviewed by: Steve Davis
    Sep 18, 2013
    30
    It dispassionately plays like a video game with a high body count.
  24. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Sep 30, 2013
    25
    Remember when Robert De Niro was an interesting actor? These days his talent, like his character in The Family, is in the witness protection program, never to be seen again.
  25. Reviewed by: Stephanie Merry
    Sep 13, 2013
    25
    After the movie limps along for an hour and a half, Besson suddenly switches gears and does what he does best.
  26. Reviewed by: Adam Nayman
    Sep 12, 2013
    25
    There isn’t a single genuinely sharp sequence in the entire movie. The casting of Robert De Niro as an ex-Mafioso hiding in witness protection is witty in only the silliest, most superficial way. It’s a joke with its own tinny, built-in laugh track.
  27. Reviewed by: Jesse Cataldo
    Sep 12, 2013
    25
    A film whose only distinguishing characteristic is how big a mess it makes of its already meager ambitions.
  28. Reviewed by: Gabe Toro
    Sep 12, 2013
    25
    The Family is ultimately a headache, nearly two hours of baseball bat beatings and dull witticisms, with zero inventiveness or energy.
  29. Reviewed by: Catherine Shoard
    Nov 21, 2013
    20
    Robert De Niro does further damage to a reputation much battered by "The Big Wedding."
  30. Reviewed by: Ashley Clark
    Nov 19, 2013
    20
    The film’s sole saving grace is Tommy Lee Jones’s amusingly cranky FBI agent, but he can’t save this ship from sinking.
  31. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Sep 13, 2013
    20
    Director Luc Besson treats his protagonists as likable cartoons yet never provides a single reason to view them as anything less than remorseless, repugnant psychos.
  32. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Sep 12, 2013
    20
    It’s too bad we can’t take a hit out on The Family. This unexciting, unfunny would-be action satire is filled with Italian-American stereotypes, decades-old TV-style Mafia cliches, bits of business that never amount to anything and actors so much better than the hoary, one-joke material.
User Score
6.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 124 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 40
  2. Negative: 5 out of 40
  1. Sep 18, 2013
    0
    My review is going to be very short because this movie doesn't deserve a lot of analysis. This movie was billed as a dark comedy, there is a lot of darkness via the extreme violence and not a chuckle in the whole movie. As far as I was concerned I never smiled, giggled and certainly never laughed. How can you laugh at gratuitous violence to undeserving innocent people. It was so predictable that it held no surprises whatsoever. Don't waste your money. After 10 minutes I wanted to ask for a refund, but my friend had fallen asleep and I did not want to wake him up and tell him we were leaving. So I sat through the whole stinking thing. Basically this movie was not funny at all. Unless you were a ten-year old. And the movie is way too violent for a 10 year old. The theater was fairly crowded but the people were not laughing. This film is pure pornography. Not sexual pornography but violence pornography. If I'm going to watch pornography it's going to have babes with big boobs and guys with big well you know!
    Basically A Diarrhea of Violence
    Full Review »
  2. Sep 14, 2013
    8
    Subtle humor is sparsely accessible to cheap slapstick comedy fans, kitsch-ish monster/dragon/vampire lovers, so thank you Mr. Besson for raising the bar. Brilliant casting/acting helped as well. Snobbish critics, please feel free to smirk your nose. Full Review »
  3. Dec 6, 2013
    1
    This movie doesn't even deserve a score, I couldn't even get passed the first hour without losing my temper at how stupid this movie is. Firstly, having lived in France as a British student for the last 3 years, I have to say that the portrayal of France and French people is abysmal, I don't expect realism, but I at least expect respect toward the things that make France such a wonderful place. Firstly, you'll meet maybe 1-in-10 people who even speak a TINY BIT of English, this movie blows it out of proportion, I appreciate them speaking English as the film is aimed at English speaking audiences, but it also sadly pointed out how dumb the dialogue was. Also, French food is absolutely wonderful and for the most part, isn't much different from the food available in the US and Britain, in fact, almost ALL stores sell British foods, Not at one point have I not been able to get something I've been looking for in some way or another. This movie goes out of it's way to insult French foods, I find it disgusting how they even have the audacity to do that. Next is the portrayal of French people themselves, this films portrays them as being rude, intruding and selfish, NONE of which is factual, the French, especially in the rural areas are the kindest people you will ever meet and they love having guests in their country, obviously, you will meet the odd bigot who dislikes you for being foreign, but this film knocks it out of the ball park in that regard. Now that I've covered that. Lets look at the movie itself, the acting for the most part is okay, But the kids can't act, not at one point did I find their roles believable.

    At the end of the day, all I see in this movie, is a family full of moving to a town full of bigots and watch the main character randomly kill people he dislikes and watch everyone else do insanely stupid things for absolutely no reason. Not at one point did I even smile through the small amount of this movie that I watched.

    The problem lies in the direction, this film tried to be comedy, but there is NOTHING funny about the situation, Why are films like The Iceman and Goodfellas so great? Because they are dark, brutal and serious. If this film took the correct direction, it could have been a dark and brutal gangster film, but it decided to go with the quirky comic approach to a situation only madman would find funny.

    It's a shame because De Niro's acting is superb as always, shame everything else about the movie lacks any sense or logic. Maybe one day Il give the film the benefit of the doubt and watch it with a few friends, but I honestly couldn't see the film getting any better.
    Full Review »