Movie Reviews & Interviews from Washington

‘The Family’ Review: A Satirical Comedy-Action-Thriller

When you walk in to see The Family, just remember not to take it seriously. In essence, Robert De Niro is making fun of himself and maybe that will piss off fans of the mafia-charged movies or maybe it will give them a big laugh. Also, if you adore Goodfellas, there’s a special surprise in this film for you.

Director/writer Luc Besson (1994’s Leon: The Professional) makes his comeback with this action-comedy-thriller about a retired mafia boss and his family who are in the witness protection program.

Fred Blake (Robert De Niro), his wife Maggie (Michelle Pfeiffer), daughter Belle (Dianna Agron) and son Warren (John D’Leo) just relocated to a small town in France. Agent Stansfield (Tommy Lee Jones) is doing his best at keeping the family under cover and safe from the deathly grasp of the mafia back in New York. Fred, otherwise known as Giovanni Manzoni in his former life, testified in court against his mafia buds, which is why he and his family were placed in witness protection. But the mafia, otherwise known as his former colleagues and friends, is working diligently trying to track Fred and his family down.

dianna agron the family

Maybe The Family had some missed opportunities here and there, but thank goodness someone decided to put Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer opposite of each other in a movie! The two had wonderful chemistry and it was a complete joy to watch them on screen together.

I have to talk about my girl Dianna Agron here. We all know she can sing because of Glee, but the 27-year-old can definitely kick some ass. I enjoyed watching her in a completely different role, rather than the good-girl-damsel-in-distress. Agron and De Niro also had fantastic chemistry and one of the best scenes in the movie involves the two of them having a little father-daughter moment.

The middle section of The Family is certainly the weakest, but the final act will have you on the edge of your seat and you’ll start to get the picture just how much this family takes after the head of the household. Throughout all the violence and goofy dialogue, the most important message that I took away from the film is the importance of family and that the Manzonis would do anything to keep each other safe. It’s kind of a sincere message, especially for a mafia-type movie!

If you don’t take The Family too seriously, are appreciative of good ol’ mafia-style violence and love Robert De Niro in anything, you’ll have a lot of fun with this Family.

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