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Stunning performances all round
ScarTrek31 March 2004
The Addams Family are one of the more recognisable families in TV history. With that in mind, let's skip the introductions and get straight to the chase.

The performances in this movie are superb. It's a black, black comedy, and as such, it requires a certain kind of actor. The kind who has the right look, the perfect comedic timing, and the ability to deliver lines so deadpan it almost hurts.

Raul Julia, Anjelica Huston, and a young Christina Ricci somehow ALL manage to deliver. They're truly a delight to watch, delivering the most macabre lines without even coming close to cracking a smile, yet having me in stitches every time. Even Christopher Lloyd, playing a far more energetic character, manages to bring in a maniacal edge to the performance. I don't think there's an actor in the movie who doesn't understand the role they play.

The script is great material for them to work with too, extremely witty, rarely if ever falling on it's face, and complemented with some fantastic sets. And let's not forget the music. From the legendary theme tune, to the harpsichord jingles accompanying the visual gags, to the booming organs during the heavier moments, it's spot-on. The whole movie works as one to capture *THE* Addams atmosphere, macabre as it's ever been.

Sure, there's a plot too, but while it drives the movie on, you'd watch this movie for the wonderful theme, not for an intriguing plotline.

It's a classic, and you're doing yourself a disservice if you haven't seen it, or if you think you're too sensible for this kind of movie.
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They're funny and they're zany...
Lee Eisenberg16 September 2005
So here it is: a feature look into the lives of the ghoulish family that bears the name of their creator. In this case, Morticia (Anjelica Huston) and Gomez (Raul Julia) are raising their family, when long lost Uncle Fester (Christopher Lloyd) rejoins the family. But there may be other people who want the Addams' house.

Most people don't seem to realize that "The Addams Family" actually had some social commentary: everyone outside the Addams house considers them weird because they live differently, but they're actually a very loving family. As it was, "The Addams Family" was always better than "The Munsters" (cleverer and not as silly). But anyway, this is the feature, and it's one of the few TV-to-movie adaptations that got it right.
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An amusing film from the popular TV series "The Addams Family"
Kristine28 November 2003
"The Adams Family" is a very funny film that is very under rated. With a great all star cast you get just what you expect, a great comedy. The TV show was already funny enough, and then the movie came and I was on the floor laughing. It's fun to see a happy dysfunctional family. No, I'm not talking about "The Osbornes". All the characters are great and you really get into it. If you can tell me that you honestly did not get one laugh from this film, there is something very wrong with you. Because it is a very funny film. I would recommend this to anyone. It's a good watch on any day.

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Gothic Kookiness
nycritic30 January 2006
Charles Addams' dark characters get the film treatment in Barry Sonnenfeld's THE ADDAMS FAMILY, which is something of a cross between the actual New Yorker comics and the 1960s television show. Not trying to lean too far to either, the movie stays at a safe plane, even incorporating a vague plot involving two grifters, Gordon and Abigail Craven, posing as Uncle Fester and a renowned psychiatrist (Christopher Lloyd and Elizabeth Wilson) who are in cahoots to rob the Addams of their fortune and house. The problem arises when Craven seems to go against his take-the-money-and-run attitude and when the Addams themselves appear to enjoy every minute that they're being taken advantage of. It suits the dark humor well, because since the Addams live in an alternative universe of their own creation in which dark is light, repugnant is beautiful, pain equals pleasure, death is life, and chaos equals order, it leaves the door open for many of their Gothic eccentricities to pull the rug over Lloyd and Wilson over and over again. It's clever, although its only problem is the "needing to introduce the characters we all know" setup which like in all movies based on comics or television shows, looks obvious.

But despite this, everyone is uniformly excellent. Raul Julia and Anjelica Huston lend their looks to embody their cartoon counterparts and are the romantics at the heart of this decidedly perverse story. Christopher Lloyd is also great in his representation of Uncle Fester. But hands down: the one who walks away with the entire movie is Christina Ricci who plays Wednesday as if she were living the role day by day. There's a sadistic gleam in her eyes and her voice that not many child actors have and I think that any other actor of the time that this film was made would have been unable to fit into this difficult part. Other than that, the tone of the movie is perfect: as dark as it wants to be, but never letting its Gothic setting drown it in an inescapable mire. On the contrary, we're constantly aware that this is a typical American family who lives upside down and who are happy in being so even when we gawk and cringe at their oddities.
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Not brilliant but consistently amusing, well performed and solid enough to stand as its own beast
bob the moo25 September 2005
The Addams family are far from being normal but they are rich and as such are their attorney's only chance of getting rich. Tully has debts up the yazoo and the only thing that stops his knees being violently replaced with fresh air is the fact that Abigail Craven's son Gordon looks eerily like Gomez's missing brother Fester. Shaving his head, Gordon enters the Addams home as Fester and tries to use his spare time to get into the family vault. However Gomez's joy at his return is gradually marred by a sneaking feeling that Fester is not himself – meanwhile Wednesday has no such doubts at all and is out to expose the impostor.

One of the few remakes that actually works, The Addams Family takes the Gothic humour of the TV series and makes it feel fresh and entertaining. The story is essentially a nail for us to hang our coats on so we can watch the gags come but even with this it is actually pretty good. Making one of the family a "new character" is a clever way of adding to the formula without having to bring in new characters to lead the film and it does work. Within this frame the twisted comedy is rather entertaining and, although rarely laugh out loud funny, it is still consistently amusing and enjoyable.

The cast are roundly good. Julia is a perfect Gomez and Huston is a great Morticia despite the latter being a fairly one-note affair. Lloyd is enjoyable in the lead and manages to do well to carry the "new character" aspect of Fester without disrupting the dynamic of the family. Ricci is excellent and the only downside is that the film doesn't give her enough to do; Workman is also good and has good chemistry with her. Hedaya, Wilson, Ivey and others are strong in support and generally do well to shore up the story.

Overall a kooky affair that is enjoyable in you are in the mood for its particular brand of dark silliness. The plot is more than enough to act as a frame, the jokes maybe don't hit many real highs but they do consistently get very close to the target and the fact that the actors all buy into the joke makes it that little bit better. An enjoyable remake that succeeds because it has the strength to stand as its own beast.
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'Fun' Is The Best Adjective
ccthemovieman-118 November 2006
Generally, speaking this a pretty "fun movie" for most people, kids and adults. I think "fun" is the adjective most people would use in describing this film.

As one who remembered the television series, I thought I would check this out, too. Angelica Huston certainly didn't match Carolyn Jones' beauty but she, along with Raul Julia, Christopher Lloyd and Christinia Ricci all were entertaining to watch.

There certainly were no end to the colorful imagines, unique scenes and dialog, special-effects and - for those with a surround system, good sound. It all made for an entertaining and fast-moving film.

I didn't find a lot of laugh-out-loud moments but it did bring a lot of smiles to my face. A lot of this is dark humor, so it helps to appreciate that type of comedy.
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A morbid joy
D A10 May 2007
Extremely enjoyable update to the old t.v. show retains the eccentric spookiness and oddball humor of old, then proceeds to update the warped family familiarity with a rousing sense of decadent glee. The unexpectedly classy affair benefits greatly from the amazing casting that went into choosing all the Addams clan. What is nothing short of ensemble perfection, a sense of fun had by all on set during production remains undeniably infectious throughout, lending the amusing proceedings a distinct level of class.

Directed by easily digestible Barry Sonnenfeld, The Addams Family may be a bit intense for young kids but should stay a delight to all others. A wonderful, gentle perversity that hangs over the entire family might have pushed things a little too far to justify this family film to the younger set, but will stay surprisingly balanced with an outpouring of heart and morality,simply flipped inside out here, for comedic intent.

Wonderful set and prop design mixed with it's politely warped sense of humor would have been enough to make Addams Family the success it became, although it was the brilliant casting which continues to uphold a credibility for this film. Led by the outstanding (and sadly missed) Raul Julia, nearly every single family member wears their role with an unreal amount of dignity, making the fairly standard plot completely memorable.
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This Is How It Should Be Done
gavin694225 October 2009
The Addams Family has had a death... Fester Addams. But lo and behold, their lawyer knows a man who resembles Fester and if he passes the impostor off, could gain access to the family vault, full of treasures untold. But can the fake Fester survive the family's maniacal games?

I don't have much experience with older incarnations of the Addams Family. So, I can't make an educated comparison. However, this film excels in every way: macabre, humorous and just plain eccentrically absurd. The casting is also amazing... Raul Julia in the performance of his career, and Christopher Lloyd in a very offebeat role even for him.

This was a breakout performance for Christina Ricci (playing Wednesday Addams). Sure, it possibly typecast her into weird roles ("Casper", "Sleepy Hollow", "Pumpkin") but this is, beyond a doubt, where she fits. She can do drama ("Monster", "Black Snake Moan") but will always be America's goth girl.

This film's dark humor is family appropriate -- cartoon violence, no nudity and marginal language. They simply do not make films like this anymore. Full credit must be given to the writer and director for bringing this family to life in a way that just cannot be repeated. Well, aside from the sequel.
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Snap, snap
Op_Prime9 January 2000
A good, nay great, movie version to the classic 60s series. Raul Julia is great as Gomez, as is Christopher Lloyd as Fester. The story is sound, pretty much better than the sequel. This is a comedy with slightly dark themes, but that doesn't mean the family can not enjoy it. Barry Sonnenfeld is a genius.
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Great movie!
Movie Nuttball9 March 2003
This film is very good.The late,great Raul Julia,Anjelica Huston,and Christopher Lloyd performed well.Even though there is a sequel this film is one of a kind.In My opinion this is a good dark comedy for everybody!
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Handsome Goth production, often meager returns...
moonspinner5530 March 2008
From the Charles Addams comic-strip about ghoulish yet fun-loving family, here taking in a long lost relative who is in reality a gold-digging impostor. Well-cast and acted, smartly paced and designed comedy is an improvement on the material over the popular television series of the mid-1960s. Still, this screenplay is full of repetitive jokes and groaners; the picture looks better than it plays, with an incredible art direction, costumes and make-up. One is likely to watch and enjoy it, yet wishing it were funnier, crazier. The gags don't spin off into orbit, and eventually the whole thing evaporates from memory. Followed by a sequel, "Addams Family Values", in 1993. ** from ****
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The Addams Family
Jackson Booth-Millard24 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Based on the popular TV series (which there were a few of) and New Yorker cartoons - from the characters created by Charles Addams - comes this live action feature film about the kooky, spooky, eccentric and darkly comical humorous family, from director Barry Sonnenfeld (Men in Black). Basically The Addams Family are the strange scary movie stereotypes filled clan, with wife/mother Morticia (Anjelica Huston), husband/father Gomez (Raul Julia), the witch-like Granny (Judith Malina), Frankenstein's monster like butler Lurch (Carel Struycken), and the kids, Wednesday (young Christina Ricci) and Pugsley (Jimmy Workman). Notice anyone missing, yes, Uncle Fester (Christopher Lloyd) disappeared 25 years ago after a fight with brother Gomez, and Abigail Craven (Elizabeth Wilson) wants to try and get the Addams' fortune, by using her "son" Gordon (Lloyd again), who has a striking resemblance to Fester, to con his way into the family, and find the fortune. As time goes by though, Gordon slowly finds himself settling very nicely as if he really was Fester, oh, and by the end, you realise it is really him, Craven found him with amnesia. Also starring Dan Hedaya as Tully Alford, Dana Ivey as Margaret Alford and Paul Benedict as Judge Womack. The dark comedy is wonderfully strange, the performances from Julia, Huston and Lloyd are marvellous, young Ricci also shines with her moments as the daughter, just a very good dark comedy film. It was nominated the Oscar for Best Costume Design, and it was nominated the BAFTAs for Best Make Up Artist and Best Production Design. Very good!
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I Found It A Bit Of A Drag
sddavis636 May 2010
I suppose you have to have been a fan of the 60's TV series to really "get" this - and I confess that I never was a fan of that series - even as a kid (I was always more of a "Munsters" kid personally.) I'll readily concede that the general consensus of fans of the series seems to be that this was a pretty good resurrection of the series (which makes it better than a lot of the movies based on the 60's series) and I also agree (from the little I've seen of the series) that the various characters in the movie all seemed to be consistent with their precursors, and that all the cast seemed to do a pretty good job with them. But - again - I guess you really have to have been an "Addams Family" fan to appreciate this, because, quite frankly, I found the movie something of a drag.

The story revolves around the return of the long lost Uncle Fester to the Addams family bosom, and an attempt by the family's lawyer to swindle Gomez out of the family fortune. But is it really Fester? And will the plot succeed? It's all tongue in cheek, of course, and there's the usual wordplay going on in this type of movie (such as when Gomez tells Thing to "lend a hand.") Fans of the series obviously enjoy this. Those who weren't fans probably won't get much out of it. I definitely didn't.
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"The Addams Family"- An amusing and stylish 90's revamp of the classic comedy franchise!
MaximumMadness27 October 2017
For some reason, the 90's and early 2000's were a bit of a heyday when it came to contemporary adaptations of kitschy old TV-shows and stories. Everything from "The Flintstones" to "Charlie's Angels"... from "The Brady Bunch" to "Dudley Do-Right"... they all got remade, rebooted and re-imagined for then-modern audiences. But strangely, almost all of them were redone in typically either a self-satirical or self-deprecating way. Almost like the filmmakers were ashamed of the properties they were meant to be paying tribute to. But one particular film among them stands out for doing quite the opposite. For creating a respectful, honorable and faithful adaptation that kept changes to a necessary minimum while simply delivering a bigger and wilder version of what came before.

And oddly enough... that film was "The Addams Family", directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and released in 1991. Loosely inspired by the original comics of creator Charles Addams, while taking many cues and nods from the beloved 1960's sitcom, Sonnenfeld crafted a delicious and delightful comedic throwback that's filled to burst with classic Addams humor... with dark visual references, creepy double-entendres and plenty of cynical gallows humor gags. All the while, treating audiences to top-notch visuals and fantastic comedic turns from an all-star cast. "The Addams Family" might not be a perfect film... but it's darned entertaining and is a great riff on a classic piece of source material.

The very creepy and kooky Addams Family is getting along fine, though Gomez Addams (the late and great Raul Julia) still laments the disappearance of his brother Fester 25 years earlier. But things take an interesting turn when the Addams' lawyer Tully (Dan Hedaya) ends up in too deep with devious loan shark Abigail (Elizabeth Wilson)... Out of time, Tully hatches a plan to pay off his debt- To disguise Abigail's oafish son Gordon (Christopher Lloyd) as the long-lost Fester, of whom he is the spitting image, so that he can infiltrate the Addams clan and discover their secret vault, which holds an immense treasure. Gordon is welcomed "back" into the clan under the pretense of suffering amnesia. Though the more time he spends with the devilish family, the more he grows attached to them, and the more he doubts he'll be able to go through with the plan...

The peculiar thing about both this film and it's immediate follow-up "Addams Family Values" is that in many ways, they come across more as a series of clever but only tenuously connected vignettes than as singular, cohesive narratives... and yet, they both function quite well. The story lines are kept almost as an after-thought and only serve the basis of building and contriving funny situations to find our heroes in. And I think it actually works better this way given the nature of the material. The humor of the Addams Family was almost always about contrast and subversion of modern American ideals. And structuring the film in such a way to base much of the humor on almost random interactions with standard members of middle-class culture was a good way to go. It keeps the pacing light and refreshing, and only bogs itself down with the intricacies of plot and character development when needed.

Visually, the film is a delightfully Gothic masterwork of manic energy thanks to Sonnenfeld's breezy and slick cinematography and use of movement and flow. It's got an energy to it that's all its own, and feels unique and even special in a weird way. This is complimented by the remarkable and even awe-inspiring set and costume design and Marc Shaiman's fabulous score, which incorporates that classic theme we all know and love and makes good use of it for varying levels of humor and suspense.

And then there's the cast. My lord, this is just an exceptional ensemble of performers. Raul Julia and Anjelica Huston frequently steal the show as the demented obsessive lovers Gomez and Mortitia, and their chemistry is out of this world. Particularly admirable is the childlike energy Julia exudes in every scene. Lloyd is a blast and a half as the would-be Fester, and he really nails the character in the best of ways. Jimmy Workman, Carel Struycken and Judith Malina round out the clan in fine supporting roles. And then- newcomer Christina Ricci is a complete joy as the sardonic daughter Wednesday in a wonderful performance. Hedaya and Wilson also do quite well as our devious and bumbling villains, and have some good scenes to shine.

In all honesty, it's really hard to say anything critical of the film, because so much of it feels like it's accomplishing and excelling at every goal it sets out to achieve. And yet, there's just something about it that holds it just shy of perfection. Mainly lying in the intrusions of plot that pop in now and again and feel tacked on, and the fact that the film does feel very short and sometimes rushed. There's just some very small squabbles I have that are noticeable enough to hold it back a teeny bit. But even beyond those minor issues, I can't help but give "The Addams Family" a whole- hearted recommendation. It's fantastically fun and darkly hilarious, and I love every single second of it. And so I give it a very good 8 out of 10!
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A decent film adaptation of America's infamous family
John Brooks21 May 2017
Well this film could've been better, then again could certainly have been worse.

The whole point of the exercise here is to somehow make sure the plot holds up well enough for a full-length picture, all the while providing the adequate humor, enough laughs along the way that it's entertaining as the plot alone doesn't supply strong enough incentive.

So it's all of the anti-clockwise mechanisms on all levels of a seemingly dysfunctional, but actually somehow functional loving family, that offers more warmth and love than the more casual, conventional household.

It does well enough with the whole Uncle Fester shenanigans, which ultimately makes just about enough sense, as a moral.

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Creepy characters you can't help but love in spite of their "dark" side.
mark.waltz19 May 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Certainly there are going to be those who take this comic variation on "Tales From the Darkside" as something that was influenced by the devil with its irreverent take on family structure and focus on characters who obviously seem to take great pleasure in following some seemingly morbid characteristics. Yes, they are indeed absolutely ookie, with gorgeous mom Morticia (that's Anjelica Huston, not Cher...), extremely sexy dad Gomez (a very dreamy Raul Julia), the witch-like Grandma (Judith Malina), portly Pugsly (Jimmy Workman) and the very dour Wednesday (a delightful Christina Ricci) not the Brady Bunch, not the Cunninghams, not the Cleavers, and very far even from the Munsters. Gomez has been mourning the disappearance of his brother Fester (which means "to rot") for years, and every year like clockwork on the anniversary of his disappearance, they do a séance to try and find out where he is. Thanks to some con-artist clients of the family attorney (Dan Heydara), "Fester" does show up during the séance, actually the son of a hard-hearted con-artist (a very funny Elizabeth Wilson). She pretends to be his psychiatrist, having "discovered" him in the midst of the Bermuda triangle. Cynical Wednesday is suspicious, and this eventually leads to the Addams being removed from their own home so "Fester" and mommie dearest can find out where the family fortune is being hidden.

Lavishly filmed with fun special effects and gorgeously morbid art direction, the film version of the famous comic strip and 1960's T.V. series is perfectly cast. It seems that nobody could replaced Carolyn Jones as the luscious Morticia, but Ms. Huston does a phenomenal job and is obviously having a ton of fun, especially after being haggard as an evil witch just a few years earlier. Raul Julia is not as tongue-in-cheek as John Astin was, but his Gomez is certainly unforgettable with an undeniable sex appeal. Anjelica and Raul have amazing chemistry, making it clear that this morbidly old married couple are very much in love. Those who saw Raul in the original Broadway cast of "Nine" will agree that after playing that role, nobody else could have done this role justice.

Some people are going to confuse Dana Ivey, the talented stage actress who plays Heydara's neglected wife Margaret Alford, with the legendary Maggie Smith as they do have similar facial features. Lots of old friends truly thought Ivey's character in "The Color Purple" was Maggie Smith until I pointed out her name in the credits. What happens to her character here is truly bizarre, but in a magnificently funny way. Carel Struycken is an amusing Lurch, but unfortunately never gets to say Ted Cassidy's famous line, "You Rang?", only being silent with the exception of a few grunts when things don't seem right to him. Take the satanic references with a grain of salt or you might find yourself as crazy and ookie as the bizarre characters (both dead and alive) here. The film also features a magnificent party sequence which utilizes a classic movie tradition of switching from two characters dancing alone to the switch to the party in full swing. When Julia and Lloyd break into "The Mamushka", the film becomes absolutely delightful. There's really nothing offensive in the things the Addams family does. It's just all silly fun, and if you watch it with that in mind, you won't need to "cleanse" yourself afterwords with a hot shower.
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Good Fun
myspecialparadise18 February 2013
First off ... my most important tweek on this movie is that I would have not used Angelica for the part of Morticia. Though she was quite good in the role, I believe, as much as the original role screamed for Carolyn Jones, the movie role screamed for "CHER!" As I said, Angelica did a fabulous job, but Cher was more suited to the role! Measuring up to John Astin in the role of Gomez was not an easy task, but Raul Julia was more than adequate in the role. However, the people that stole the show were Christopher Lloyd and Christina Ricci, especially the latter! I would agree with others that Christina needed more center time in the film, and the chemistry between her and Jimmy Workman was exceptional. Getting back to Chris Lloyd ... he was able to fill the shoes of veteran actor Jackie Coogan was no easy task, but he conquered the role and expanded it magnificently. However, when it comes to the role of Lurch ... Ted Cassidy still reigns supreme.

As a footnote ... I love that Thing was turned into the Bionic Hand ... that really made my night! Well, if you're looking for a few giggles, with nothing taxing your brain ... The Addams Family movie hits the spot! BUT ... I still wish Cher had played the part of Morticia!
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The Vidiot Reviews...
capone6663 October 2012
The Addams Family

The paradox of being in a family is that you can give other family members advice, but since you're family they won't listen to it.

That happens to be the case in this comedy about an estranged uncle's homecoming.

Decades after his brother Fester (Christopher Lloyd) departed over a disagreement, Gomez (Raúl Juliá) is overjoyed to have his brother back in his, his wife Morticia's (Anjelica Huston) and their children's, Pugsley (Jimmy Workman) and Wednesday's (Christina Ricci), lives.

While a dead ringer of the long-lost brother-in-law, Fester is in fact part of a plan orchestrated by the Addams' lawyer (Dan Hedaya) to fleece the well-heeled weirdos of their riches.

Based on the television series inspired by the comic strip, The Addams Family is aptly adapted in terms of kooky characters, ooky milieu and spooky humour.

However, living with any uncle means having your address on the National Sex Offender Registry. (Yellow Light)
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Wonderful dark and clever rendition of the old comic strip.
Elswet31 December 2003
Warning: Spoilers
This wonderful adaptation of the comic strip takes us out of the venue of camp and into that of darkly clever wit which soars above the TV series! This wonderful attempt takes us out of the venue of camp and into that of startlingly clever wit. Excellent job, Sonnenfeld!

Raul Julia is the personification Gomez Addams. I'm writing this after his death, and unfortunately, for me, there will never BE another Gomez Addams. Julia contributed a lust for life, a dark and twisted animalistic (and, indeed, cultured Barbaristic) sexuality, and the Gothic overtones attempted in the comic strip, but which were miserably overlooked in the awful campy TV series. He was brilliant as Gomez, and in my opinion, when he died, so did the franchise. (Though Jimmy Smits would make a passable Gomez, now that he's older and more mature.)

Also, Anjelica Huston is the perfect Morticia. Actually, this whole cast is about the most perfectly chosen cast for any movie franchise I've ever seen. Christina Ricci perfectly personifies Wednesday Addams, Christopher Lloyd is the absolute epitome of Fester, Jimmy Workman was the perfect shadow of Pugsley, and so on.

The direction was dark and Gothic, just as it should be. The sets and designs were breathtakingly stark, wonderfully Gothic, and beautifully designed. The wardrobe of each character was lovingly created with a great care devoted to each piece, and the story was beautifully written; crafted with a real pride in the work.

The end result is far greater than the sum of its wonderful parts.

This movie is sheer perfection. There is not a moment of wasted film, not one performance which was out of step, not one scene which should have been deleted.

It rates a 9.4/10 from...

the Fiend :.
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So it's not really a comedy, it's still glorious.
Jeremy Dimmick2 June 1999
A rather wonderful film, undervalued on release, probably because people were expecting a comedy. Well, to be fair, this IS a comedy, but its strongest suit is a certain melancholic lyricism, well caught in Marc Shaiman's fine music score. It's basically a rather meditative anatomy of healthy and unhealthy ways of being completely warped. That said, a few more good gags mightn't have come amiss; Caroline Thompson (here as in Tim Burton's 'The Nightmare Before Christmas') is stronger on the feel than the actual words.

The story is perfectly strong enough - better in some ways than the sequel's, because it doesn't dissipate its energies between different plotlines - and of the actors, only Christina Ricci was to improve on her performance here. Raul Julia, quite wonderful as a dashingly romantic, athletic, terribly vulnerable Gomez, and Christopher Lloyd in surprisingly

controlled form as Fester, give performances here that are understated compared with their work in the (more sharply-written) sequel, and much the better for it; Angelica Huston's Morticia has just the same chiselled perfection. As for Ricci, she already has that intense screen presence that means when she's on screen it's hard to look at anyone else, and she earns the right to a starring role in the sequel ("He's just a child" is her standout line, "he" being brother Pugsley - says it all, really). Also excellent is Elizabeth Wilson as the phony doctor and and equally phony mother Alison Craven (aka Dr Pinder-Schloss, the name she eventually takes to her grave: in the Addams family, as in all classic American fantasies, you can become who you want to be).

Perhaps having Dan Hedaya's oddly sympathetic lawyer villain lose his wife to the, umm, hirsute Cousin It is a bit too much icing on the cake, but it must be said that this film is a lot bolder than its sequel in evoking an unexpected degree of sympathy for all weirdos, good-for-nothings and all-round bad sorts, even lawyers. Not girl scouts, of course, but there's a limit to everyone's tolerance. (Speaking of which, yes, that is the same actress who plays the ghastly girl scout in this movie and the ghastly Amanda at the summer camp in Addams Family Values. There's someone who has the market cornered in ghastly!)
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An opposite, but equally valid interpretation.
Gomez-1121 April 1999
The Addams Family was based on the original cartoons drawn by Charles Addams for the New Yorker - and Chaz would have been proud. Many of the scenes are taken straight from his work, and the whole movie maintains an unmistakably Addamsesque feel. ABC's classic 1960's television series was also based on these cartoons, and the movie is often criticized for not following the precedents set by the television show, but the fact remains that the movie has nothing to do with the show. They were both inspired by Addams, and the characters were obviously drawn up from his outlines for the TV show, but the similarity ends there. The movie captured just as much of Charles Addams' spirit as the show, but in a very different way.
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Black > blackest > THE ADDAMS FAMILY!
Coventry28 April 2004
Sadly, I never actively witnessed the legendary TV-series starring John Astin as the original Gomez Addams. I'm from a younger generation so I only heard about its brilliancy by the massive cult-followings. I am a big fan of the concept of sarcastic black comedy, however, and therefore I was very much looking forward to Sonnenfeld's film. The daily rituals of this family are just great! Mom and dad and their macabre passion for each other, siblings constantly thinking up deadly games and a bodiless hand racing around the massive castle! It's all very black and depressingly portrayed, but the humor is hilarious and ultra-effective. The characters remain serious no matter what madness they proclaim and even the driest forms of vulgarity are considered to be the most normal things in the world… The scenery and locations are simply brilliant and all the side-characters that pass by – way too many to list – carry a special place in my heart. The main storyline in `The Addams Family' actually is of minor importance… A long lost uncle returns to the family, but he's brainwashed by greedy lawyers in order to steal the Addams ‘ fortune. Look closely to this film…the amount of jokes and funny, little details there to discover is endless and terrifically worked out. This may very well be one of the funniest comedies I ever saw, but I can imagine it's not for everyone's tastes. Sensitive topics such as death, masochism and torture are constantly being mocked!

I just have to mention the cast! I hope they paid good money to whoever was in charge of the casting… Every character in the family is just delightfully chosen and – as a viewer – you'll always associate them with the roles they played here. Anjelica Huston as the gorgeous witch, Raul Julia (R.I.P) as the poetic madman, Carl Struyken as Lurch!! Not to mention Christina Ricci, who truly bewitched me in all possible ways. She's the same age as I am and when I first saw this film at the theater (aged 10)…I head over heels fell in love with her! It's amazing how she gives image to Wednesday Addams! She doesn't move a muscle when she speaks and her appearance is sexy and spooky at the same time! `The Addams Family' is highly recommended entertainment and easily one of those few comedies you'll never grow tired off. The entire cast and crew returned for a sequel in 1993…One that is marvelous as well, by the way!
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The Addams Family
Coxer9927 June 1999
Entertaining film version of the 60's television series with Julia and Huston beautifully in sync as Gomez and Morticia, while Lloyd is a hammy riot as Uncle Fester. Art direction is impressive and the direction of Barry Sonnefeld is solid throughout. Followed by ADDAMS FAMILY VALUES in 1993.
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Really only for fans of the show.
Oliver Thatcher Watson12 January 2018
As someone who's never seen the show that this film is based on, I can't really say that I loved this film as much as I was hoping to. Not to say that this a bad film, as i'm almost 100% certain that fans of the show would love it. But, as someone who's never seen it before, this film just didn't grab me as much. One, the character development is mediocre at best, as all anyone who hasn't seen the show sees in this film fis a family that treats everything and everyone darkly and unkindly. And the story is much more reminiscent of something you might see on TV than in a film. Which, I understand why it is this way, considering that this film is mainly for fans of the show, but still. I feel like there could've been more work put in to bring newcomers into the dark world of the Addams Family. But I feel like this film doesn't quite hit the mark, and can seem more weird and kind of tiring than entertaining for those who haven't seen the show. But, I guess this film has enough morbidly great stuff, great performances, and dedication to how the show was to make most, if not all fans of the original show happy. So I can't say that this film is bad, as it's not at all. But it would've been a lot better if it also focused on pulling in new people rather than just make a film for the fans. Then again, who am I to judge what the film makers do? If you're a fan of the show, you'll definitely enjoy this film. But if you've never seen the show, it's more recommended to watch the show first, as this film doesn't seem to have enough character development or as good of a story structure to recommend otherwise. Overall, this films alright. If I ever do watch the show and then rewatch this film and if my opinion changes, I might delete this review and rewrite it. But until then, I think this film is just alright.
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The Addams Family **** (8/10)
Paul Kydd2 January 2018
Available on Blu-ray Disc (Region B)

USA 1991 English (Colour); Comedy/Horror/Fantasy (Paramount); 100 minutes (PG certificate)

Crew includes: Barry Sonnenfeld (Director); Caroline Thompson, Larry Wilson (Screenwriters, from Characters created by Charles Addams); Scott Rudin (Producer); Graham Place (Executive Producer); Owen Roizman (Cinematographer); Richard MacDonald (Production Designer); Dede Allen, Jim Miller (Editors); Marc Shaiman (Composer)

Cast includes: Anjelica Huston (Morticia Addams), Raul Julia (Gomez Addams), Christopher Lloyd (Uncle Fester Addams), Dan Hedaya (Tully Alford), Elizabeth Wilson (Abigail Craven), Judith Malina (Grandmama), Carel Struycken (Lurch), Dana Ivey (Margaret Alford), Paul Benedict (Judge Womack), Christina Ricci (Wednesday Addams), Jimmy Workman (Pugsley Addams), Christopher Hart (Thing)

Academy Award nomination: Costume Design (Ruth Myers); BAFTA nominations (2): Production Design, Makeup; Golden Globe nomination: Actress - Musical/Comedy (Huston)

"Weird is relative."

A suitably freakish impostor (Lloyd) - or is he? - infiltrates the spooky residence of a ghoulish yet loving family, headed by an elegant, vampirish matriarch (Huston) and her debonair, devoted husband (Julia), in an attempt to get his hands on their substantial wealth.

Spot-on costumes, sets and casting (precocious little horror Ricci is particularly memorable) are highlights of an extremely successful comic strip adaptation, but not for Orion Pictures, whose fiscal woes compelled them to sell off their anticipated triumph to a no doubt grateful Paramount.

A just-as-enjoyable sequel, likewise helmed by noted cinematographer Sonnenfeld (this big-budget effort, though an exhausting experience, opportunely being his directorial début), appeared two years later.

Blu-ray Extras: Trailers. *½ (3/10)
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