Robert De Niro playing a mobster is an act that will never get old, even if the movie he's in isn't quite up to snuff.
Robert De Niro playing a mobster is an act that will never get old, even if the movie he's in isn't quite up to snuff. De Niro puts on the gangster hat one more time for The Family, a flawed but enjoyable film about what happens after your mob days. Giovanni "Gio" Manzoni (De Niro) and his family have been relocated to a small town near Normandy, France. Having been in the witness protection program for over a decade, Gio has developed some serenity over the years, but his wife, Maggie (Michelle Pfeiffer), and their kids, Warren (John D'Leo) and Belle Glee's Dianna Agron), are another story. The whole family is calm and collected on the surface, but Maggie is prone to blowing up supermarkets (with the snooty locals inside) while Belle and Warren take turns busting kneecaps at school. They're an interesting, if underdeveloped, bunch.
The film's tender family dynamic is actually pretty cute, it's just the conflict that feels forced. The Manzonis may be far from Brooklyn, but they're still not safe when their past comes knocking. A kingpin in prison is still holding a grudge against Gio, and through a series of impossible coincidences, he finds out where the Manzonis are hiding. The discovery is beyond the limits of my imagination, and it's not the only outlandish twist that had me rolling my eyes. But there are some things that redeem The Family. Keep reading to find out what they are.