IMDb > A Family Torn Apart (1993) (TV) > Reviews & Ratings - IMDb
A Family Torn Apart
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Reviews & Ratings for
A Family Torn Apart (TV) More at IMDbPro »

Filter: Hide Spoilers:
Index 3 reviews in total 

17 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Tense, gripping, well-executed mini-movie that rises above its tabloid trappings.

9/10
Author: gary brumburgh (gbrumburgh@pacbell.net) from Los Angeles, California
17 February 2002

There are precious few TV movies that remain indelibly etched in one's mind. After awhile they all seem to be the same routine stuff -- capitalizing on the same lurid titles, based on the same sordid headlines. But 1993's "A Family Torn Apart" stands apart from the rest of those violent-edged movies we usually witness. Superbly acted by young actors Neil Patrick Harris and Johnny Galecki who play half-brothers, this stark drama makes quite an impact, rising far above its potentially sensationalistic trappings. With taut, believable characters, knowing direction and a gripping storyline, we are presented with an "A" class bit of storytelling.

Both Harris (from "Doogie Houser") and Galecki (from "Roseanne") grab the opportunity to shed their earnest, amiable TV typecasts for once and immerse themselves completely into the minds of these two poor unfortunates. And as we witness, via family flashbacks, the harrowing pressure-cooker situations Brian and Daniel are forced to live under, we understand the "why" and the "how" of this tragic family occurrence.

John M. Jackson and Linda Kelsey give remarkable performances as ill-fated

Joe and Maureen Hannigan. By outward appearances, they appear to be stable, dedicated, church-going parents who have earned the respect of their flag-waving community by participating in selfless civic endeavors. But behind closed doors we get to see an entirely darker side.

Extremely strict, overbearing, eccentric and subject to religious fanaticism (she, in particular, shows warning signs of manic mental illness), their demands for perfection make life increasingly unbearable for quiet honor student Brian (Harris) and troubled, delinquent foster son Daniel (Galecki), especially as the latter gets into more and more trouble. And then one day, the parents are found savagely murdered in their home. Was it a random act of violence? Or did one of the boys go off the deep end and do it?

Bleak, depressing and often disturbing, "A Family Torn Apart" may cover familiar ground, but it covers it much better than most. Well, well above average. And like a bad accident, it's hard to look away from it.

Was the above review useful to you?

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

All Hail Neil Patrick Harris

7/10
Author: slightlymad22 from United Kingdom
15 August 2014

With his younger brother in his arms Brian Hannigan (Neil Patrick Harris) calls 911 as he believes his parents are dead. They are having been brutally murdered the night before with the finger of blame falling on Brian's adopted brother Daniel (Johnny Galecki) who has been in Crownsville State hospital for a year due to his violent behaviour. With the police trying to build their case Brian speaks to Tom (Gregory Harrison), a lawyer and friend of the family about their parents, about growing up and what he and Daniel went through.

Patrick Harris from "How I Met Your Mother" and Johnny Galecki from "The Big Bang Theory" are the stars of "Sudden Fury", aka "A Family Torn Apart". This is a TV movie from back in 1993 when Harris was known for "Doogie Howser, M.D." and Galecki was popping up in "Roseanne".

The 2 stars are not the only interesting thing about this movie as the murder is based on a true story.

Patrick Harris's delivery has you gripped and I can't praise him highly enough.Harris's initially cold then emotional performance as Brian is both touching and powerful. Whilst Galecki is brooding, raw rage. Linda Kelsey and John M. Jackson performances as the parents (shown in flashbacks) deserve plenty of praise. there is drama and pain as the plot thickens.

Trust me when I say "Sudden Fury" is worth watching alone for the performance of the young Patrick Harris as much as for the fact it's a horrifying true story.

"Sudden Fury" is an absolute gem of a movie with a great true story and great performances from Neil Patrick Harris and Johnny Galecki. For those who discount made for TV movies as rubbish should seek this one out as it will change your mind.

Was the above review useful to you?

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A must see!

Author: rsrungaram from United States
10 May 2007

When I was away on business I couldn't help but turn to Lifetime, TV for women and stumble apon this overlooked film. This film is a dramatic masterpeace and should be viewed by all. Neil Patrick Harris delivers a great job in playing a confused youth bent in an uneasy yet dark situation. The story envolves two kids who are victim of strict parents who abuse there kids. The film is very touching and will jerk a few tears. The film touched me in so many ways, my spouse as well. One the most memorable scenes when a Lawyer gives Niel Patrick Harris a cigarrete as he tells his story of darkness, it just great symbol of self destruction, lost and confusions. This film is truly a touching phycological adventure. Please TiVO it next time it comes on Lifetime, TV for women.

Was the above review useful to you?


Add another review


Related Links

Plot summary Ratings Awards
External reviews Parents Guide Official site
Plot keywords Main details Your user reviews
Your vote history