Parents' Guide to

Family

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Language, drinking in affecting comedy about acceptance.

Movie R 2019 85 minutes
Family Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 6+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 2+

Guy

age 9+

This is a 5 year old movie

This movie can be watched my mature 9 year olds

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (1 ):

It churns through plenty of cinematic clichés along the way, but ultimately this comedy gets to a place of genuine sweetness -- in a gathering of the Juggalos, of all places. Viewers will instantly recognize Schilling's Kate from the first scenes: She's tightly wound, all business, with no time for friends or family. "I have a habit of saying things that everyone is thinking, but then someone's always like 'Why did you say that?' so I'm usually in the place where I hate myself but also think I'm better than everybody else," she sums up to Maddie. We know, by the way, that Maddie will be the driving force of Kate's story arc, because of course Kate has to change by the time the credits roll, or why else would she be dressed in pristine white silk shirts and frowning? So change she does, and in all the ways you imagine she will -- but the magic of Family is that it's done with such artistry that it transcends the trite setup.

Maddie is a weird kid, but the movie's not laughing at her -- even though her true friends wind up being Juggalos who hang out in front of a mini mart playing a recorder. We feel the pain of her differentness from the kids at school, as well as her joy at finding a group that accepts her as she is -- and an aunt who can help her feel comfortable and supported in choosing to stand out rather than trying fruitlessly to fit in. Maddie's new friends, as Kate tells Maddie's worried mom, "play with their spit, and all their songs are about stabbing people, but once you get beyond that, they're really kind of sweet." And, without giving away the ending, it's true. No, it's not realistic, but Family gets at a real feeling: the wonder of finding your people. And clichéd as it is, it's awfully affecting.

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