The Family


Obnoxious violence does not always a good movie make.

FILM: A disgraced American mob family are relocated to a tiny French town in the witness protection programme. But, despite the agency’s best efforts, the family just do not grasp the concept of keeping a low profile.

Robert de Niro is the dad who blabbed to the Feds, and the image of him seated at an old-fashioned typewriter, tapping away at his memoirs, is intriguing (and beautifully shot), especially when those memoirs read like a Goodfellas sub-plot.

But, though he may be happy to replay his best-of moments and coast on the results, it doesn’t make for great watching as de Niro basically phones in his performance.

His family – Michelle Pfeiffer as the wife with Diana Agron and John D’Leo as the kids – have as little impulse control as him and violence is their answer to any little problem.

Their violent tendencies make them rather unsympathetic and director Luc Besson just cannot decide if he is making an action movie, character study, thriller or terrible comedy about how Europeans despise Americans, who just could not care less.


– Theresa Smith