Robert De Niro - What Is It About "The Family" That Makes It So Unloved By Critics?

The Family sounds great on paper – a Luc Besson film, set in France, starring Robert de Niro, Michelle Pfeifer, Tommy Lee Jones and Diana Argon – it would take a… the opposite of a miracle for this film to flop. However, the critics just don’t seem to be warming up to this comedy about the family of an American mobster, relocating to rural France and essentially harassing the locals for almost two hours. There are a number of reasons, cited against the family – the acting not being one of them, of course – but the one that seems to be sticking is the uninspired story (penned by Besson himself, along with Michael Caleo, based on the novel by Tonino Benacquista).

Robert De Niro, The Family Still
De Niro manages to shine even in a lackluster role.

De Niro has plenty of experience playing mobsters. His performance as Gio, a gangster-turned-rat, who is forced to pose as a writer, living with his family in a village in Normandy and simultaneously penning a memoir, gets almost universal thumbs up, The New York Times’ Stephen Holden calls De Niro’s performance “surprisingly nuanced” and his character – “charming in a rough-hewed way, but lethal.”

Michelle Pfeiffer, The Family Still
Pfeiffer also has plenty of experience in the field and it shows.

Pfeiffer receives similar praise, as does Tommy Lee Jones. However, the central objection most critics seem to have is against the movie’s insistence on clichés over believability. It can even be seen in the trailer. Of course, the two-and-a-half-minute clip features plenty of somewhat witty banter and explosions to keep you interested and perhaps even make you buy a ticket. However, when Pfeiffer blows up the local supermarket, because she’s angry at the condescending locals, it becomes obvious that realism and depth have taken a back seat in this one.

Watch the trailer for The Family below.

Which isn’t to say that the film won’t be entertaining – this writer would personally be perfectly content watching Michelle Pfeiffer blowing up supermarkets and Diana Argon shooting in slow motion till the cows come home. But in case you’re looking for a mobster film worth watching more than once – it seems like Goodfellas might be a safer bet.

Diana Argon, The Family StillJohn D'Leo, The Family
Argon and D'Leo's roles unfortunately don't offer much beyond the stereotype.


Contactmusic

Tags: Robert De Niro - Michelle Pfeiffer - Tommy Lee Jones - John D'Leo


Editors Recommendations

No, AC/DC Are Not Splitting Up After All. Probably.

It looks like AC/DC fans can breathe a sigh of relief, because rumors of the band’s...

No, AC/DC Are Not Splitting Up After All. Probably.

Allergic Reaction To Blame For Miley Cyrus' Cancelled Tuesday Gig

Miley Cyrus has had it rough this week, as the star has been hospitalized for a severe allergic...

Allergic Reaction To Blame For Miley Cyrus' Cancelled Tuesday Gig

'Transcendence': Negative Reviews For Johnny Depp's 'Lone Ranger' Comeback

‘Transcendence’ is a stern Springtime test for Johnny Depp; the 50-year-old actor mooted...

'Transcendence': Negative Reviews For Johnny Depp's 'Lone Ranger' Comeback

Paul Walker's Brothers Brought In By Universal To Complete Late Actor's "Fast & Furious 7" Scenes

The team behind Fast & Furious 7 has come up with a untraditional solution to finish...

Paul Walker's Brothers Brought In By Universal To Complete Late Actor's

Game of Thrones' Jack Gleeson On Joffrey, Screen Deaths And His Indefinite Retirement

Let’s get the spoiler alert out of the way first: if you haven’t seen Season 4 Episode 2...

Game of Thrones' Jack Gleeson On Joffrey, Screen Deaths And His Indefinite Retirement

Why Did Nobody Watch The 'Mad Men' Season 7 Premiere?

We're not sure what everyone was watching on Sunday night, but the season seven premiere...

Why Did Nobody Watch The 'Mad Men' Season 7 Premiere?

The Next 'Breaking Bad'? 'Fargo' Ep. 1 Is A Must-See [Video]

New television series Fargo premiered last night on FX, giving American audiences...

The Next 'Breaking Bad'? 'Fargo' Ep. 1 Is A Must-See [Video]

Lindsay Lohan's Mother, Dina, Loses Driving Licence After Pleading Guilty To DUI

A member of the Lohan family has ran into trouble with the law, yet again...

Lindsay Lohan's Mother, Dina, Loses Driving Licence After Pleading Guilty To DUI

The First 'Gone Girl' Trailer is Weird And Different To Other Trailers

“I did not kill my wife!” exclaims Ben Affleck in the first official trailer for David Fincher’s...

The First 'Gone Girl' Trailer is Weird And Different To Other Trailers


More recommendations

Comments

Robert De Niro Newsletter

Subscribe to this news alert service to receive news and reviews on Robert De Niro

Unsubscribe | Unsubscribe All