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Based on 17 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( 0 )
  • 75
    Peter Stack San Francisco Chronicle

    It's impossible to dismiss the attraction of such accomplished actors on the big screen, even with a fits-and-starts script. show more

  • 50
    Mike Clark USA Today

    It's likely to be overrated by some and underrated by others, and both contingents will be wrong. One can't, however, overrate the performances, with auntie ruling the roost in more ways than one. [29 Mar 1996, p.4D] show more

  • 100
    Barbara Shulgasser San Francisco Examiner

    The film's premise is totally implausible yet great performances, directing and script allow us to transcend the concept of believability and enjoy nevertheless. show more

  • 75
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    The situations are more or less standard (fights over sleeping arrangements, emergencies that have to be solved, moments of truth and confession), but the dialogue and the acting bring the material up to another level. show more

  • 75
    James Berardinelli ReelViews

    Despite its good intentions, A Family Thing could easily have been a mediocre drama, but the excellent performances elevate the film considerably. show more

  • 63
    TV Guide

    Its assets are considerable: affecting performances (especially Irma P. Hall as blind Aunt T.) and sharp writing. show more

  • 50
    Austin Chronicle

    With acting legends Duvall and Jones in the lead roles, the story stays afloat, but occasionally these actors seem to be lurching around in a script that's too "small" for them. show more

  • 75
    David Sterritt Christian Science Monitor

    The story is thin, but the film has rich emotions and a highly constructive moral sense, showing how racial divisions crumble once people recognize their artificiality. show more

  • 67
    Entertainment Weekly

    Any other writers handed this premise would probably play it for cheap laughs, but Billy Bob Thornton and Tom Epperson have made an earnest drama out of it, one lightened by a few affectionate laughs and much heartfelt sentimentality. show more

  • 90
    Jonathan Rosenbaum Chicago Reader

    In one sense, this seemingly melodramatic plot premise is contrived, registering more as myth than as real possibility. Yet thanks to what the movie has in mind and especially what the actors bring to it, it's a lovely myth, one that has the ring of deeply felt truth. show more

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