My Family (1995) Poster

(1995)

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21 ReviewsOrdered By: Helpfulness
9/10
Emotional roller coaster...
stephani-229 September 1998
I really enjoyed this movie. If you know anything about Mexican culture, it should really make you laugh! Of course, it also has its moments of tragedy but somehow everything ends up being okay. I liked it! It's definitely a movie that makes you feel!

Esai Morales, Chucho, does an excellent job! I think it's some of the best acting I've ever seen him do.

I hope you see it!
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8/10
'My Family'
rah60426 April 2004
'My Family' is a compelling tale spanning three generations about a family of Mexican origin living in Los Angeles. It starts with the father of the family, Jose Sanchez (terrifically played by Jacob Vargas), making a one year journey on foot from Mexico to Los Angeles. Once there, he meets and marries the love of his life, Maria (Jennifer Lopez, in an interesting performance). After, Maria survives a tragic separation, she and Jose settle in Los Angeles and raise a family of six.

There is a tremendous amount of expectation here, namely because Francis Ford Coppola, who crafted arguably the most exhilarating family saga in the Godfather pictures, is an executive producer. But, My Family is nowhere near in the same league as films like 'The Godfather'. Rather, 'My Family' turns out to be a great film that could have been better. One glaring flaw is in the script written by Gregory Nava and Anna Thomas is that too often, the script relies on tragedies to stir our emotions. Consequently, the emotion presented in the film feel fake at times. Particularly, in the scenes involving Jimmy attempting to bond with his only son, Carlitos.

Despite the missteps in the film, there are many positives to draw upon. The strong performances of the cast. Jimmy Smits, in particular, dominates the film with an intense and yet affecting performance. The film hardly ever succumbs to being a standard tear-jerker or phony. Instead, the film succeeds at creating a touching and provocative portrait of a family's struggles and tribulations in a world that hardly seems just.
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8/10
A great peek into Mexican life
Agent1024 June 2002
Mexican culture has rarely been pictured in the Hollywood cinema (even though they we are the biggest minority in the country!), but this film probably rates as the best Mexican-themed film (until further notice). The evolution of the family's house really makes this an interesting image in regards to the lives of the family. The intersecting lives of the family are all well thought out, even though it all seems rather convenient they all have these different personas and political aspirations. When I first watched this film, I thought it was one of the greatest movies of all time. Instead of portraying Mexicans as lazy, this film really encompassed the cultural aspects and fears of the common Mexican man. A great film to watch, even if you aren't Mexican.
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A wonderful scene
Oscar-4810 May 1999
The following tender scene (in an otherwise male-oriented movie) is totally unexpected: Jimmy Smits is a macho and is busy with his car, his wife (Elpidia Carrillo) whom he only married so she wouldn't be deported, comes up to him and changes the music in the cassette-player. She tries to get him to dance with her, right there on the street. At first he doesn't want to, but the way by how she finally succeeds is really a must to see. He even asks her at the end of the dance "Will you teach me how to salsa?". For only this scene one should rent the video, the rest of the movie isn't bad either!
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10/10
Fantastic Latino movie
Vitor-1825 January 2002
This is one of the best Latino movies I ever see. Story is great and the problems are real. The characters are well played. If you like "the goodfather" here's the hispanic version!
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8/10
'My Family'
rah60426 April 2004
'My Family' is a compelling tale spanning three generations about a family of Mexican origin living in Los Angeles. It starts with the father of the family, Jose Sanchez (terrifically played by Jacob Vargas), making a one year journey on foot from Mexico to Los Angeles. Once there, he meets and marries the love of his life, Maria (Jennifer Lopez, in an interesting performance). After, Maria survives a tragic separation from her husband, they both settle down in Los Angeles and raise a family of six.

There is a tremendous amount of expectation here, namely because Francis Ford Coppola, who crafted arguably the most exhilarating family saga in the Godfather pictures, is an executive producer. But, My Family is nowhere near in the same league as films like 'The Godfather'. Rather, 'My Family' turns out to be a great film that could have been better. One glaring flaw is in the script written by Gregory Nava and Anna Thomas. Too often, the script relies on tragedies to stir our emotions. Consequently, the emotion presented in the film feels fake at times. Particularly, in the scenes involving Jimmy attempting to bond with his only son, Carlitos.

Despite the missteps in the film, there are many positives to draw upon. The strong performances of the cast. Jimmy Smits, in particular, dominates the film with an intense and yet affecting performance. The film hardly ever succumbs to being a standard tear-jerker or phony. Instead, the film succeeds at creating a touching and provocative portrait of a family's struggles and tribulations in a world that hardly seems just.

Rating: (8/10)
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9/10
The Overall Summary of the Movie
irisjmejia19 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is by far one of the best Latino stories I have ever seen. True, the movie does use stereotypes (such as Jimmy and his prison life) Chuco and his gang life which eventually leads to his death, and of course who can forget the backyard wedding and the large family living in a small home. However, this movie is not meant to be a representation of ALL Latino's everywhere, rather its meant to merely tell one families story and struggles in the United States. The comments stating "This movie does not represent Latinos everywhere!!" are absolutely correct. And it does not represent Latinos, but it does help you learn about one family you learn to almost care about by the end of the film. Going back to the story itself, I can honestly say that the movie itself was very well made. Jimmy Smits performance was superb and the movie was very focused on all the family members. The film provides a sense of hope at the end, basically trying to get across that while life is full of problems they are manageable. Also, the fact that the movie also involved a different Latino culture, such as the Central American Isabel helped viewers understand that even among Latino's there are differences in cultures. I would definitely recommend this movie to someone willing to learn about one Mexican American families struggle.
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10/10
A great work
LordBlacklist31 May 2006
Mi Familia is a mini masterpiece. It uses all manner of genre styles to tell its story and amazingly it works. This is a film with so much passion and significance it is almost tiring to praise it for fear of running out of breath. You could call this film an epic or a saga since it deals with many generations of the same family. The film never shies away from making a social comment or two and deals directly with the issues at hand in whatever time period it happens to take place in. The family has never had an easy life, but the closing statement rings true in that despite the hardships they have been made to endure they have lead an incredibly good life. More than twice this family is broken up by the racial hatred and civilly unjust policies of their times, but they always stick together and no matter what happens or who does what this family is truly unbreakable. All performances are fantastic but there is one the really sticks out. Jimmy Smits has proved time and again that he is a capable actor but his work in this film is simply amazing.
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8/10
An epic about a Mexican family
preppy-329 June 2003
Movie follows Jose and Maria who emigrate to California in the 1920s, fall in love and get married. It follows their lives and their childrens up to 1995.

An epic--the first American movie to show a multigenerational portrait of a Mexican family. It's not perfect--some parts are romanticized (I find it hard to believe that the house of a pretty poor family looks that good) and some of the situations are really melodramatic.

Still, the script is good and believable and (with one exception) all the acting is good--especially the very talented Esai Morales. His was a very cliched role (the hot headed Latino brother) but he gave it depth and feeling and acted the hell out of it. When his character goes away the movie lost something. Unfortunately he's replaced by Jimmy Smits who gives a real terrible performance--he's so emotionless all the time! His prescence really drags down the last section of the film, but all the other actors keep it going.

This definetely looks like the inspiration for the (unfortunately) cancelled Showtime series "Resurrection Blvd". It's just a little better than the series and some of the same actors appear in both (Morales played a hot-headed latino in the series too).

Engrossing and one of a kind. Also it's kind of fun to see Jennifer Lopez in a small role before she hit it big. A definete must-see...it doesn't matter if you're Latino or not.
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6/10
Que bueno
George Parker6 May 2003
"My Family" peers into the lives of three generations of an East L.A. Mexican-American family moving through time from generation to generation. Focusing mostly on the core family group which chooses to reside in the same house in the barrio and spending most of the time with the male family members, the film gives a skewed view of the Mexican-American condition. However, it does a good job of showing what life was like for one family albeit melodramatic, stereotypical, and contrived for dramatic value. Lacking the verve, passion, color, and creativity of Showtime's "Resurrection Blvd" (though both share some cast members), "My Family" is an okay middle-of-the-marquee watch for anyone interested in Mex-Am issues or family stories in general. (B-)
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10/10
Family importance
imdb-64615 November 2000
This is a wonderful and moving picture. Even the hardest person will shed a tear. Edward James Olmos is a great narrator. The accents are great, as well as the multi-lingual conversations.
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9/10
Shocker that was watched for school...
h1gh-nrg19 April 1999
All I can say is wow! Francis Ford Coppola did an amazing job on this film when he cast the crew to show a struggling but strong family growing up in the middle part of the 20th century. The acting was excellent, the script was excellent, and there was never a dull moment in the movie. If you need to do anything about Mexican culture for a school report, I would highly recommend this movie!
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9/10
Interesting portrayal of a family
jamesnasso24 July 2002
Very interesting film, mainly because it managed to avoid the cliches and the endless navel gazing that most movies with that theme would fall into. The story flowed gracefully and realistically and showcased a great cast of actors in unpretentious dramatic situations.
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8/10
grand Latino opera
SnoopyStyle5 February 2016
Paco (Edward James Olmos) recounts three generations of his Mexican-American family. His father José Sanchez walked to L.A. where he marries his mother Maria. During the Great Depression in 1933, Maria is forcibly deported despite being a citizen. She is pregnant and Chucho is born in Mexico. It took her two years to return. In the late 50s, the large family is starting to clash. José kicks out his rebellious son Chucho (Esai Morales) out of the home. Chucho gets into trouble and killed by the police. Paco served in the Navy. Twenty more years later, youngest son Jimmy (Jimmy Smits) gets out of prison for armed robbery. Daughter Toni has left the nunnery and married priest David Ronconi (Scott Bakula). They're concerned about Salvadoran refugee Isabel.

The movie can feel a little rambling stretching out over such a long time period centering on the various characters. Each section has a compelling story. The first section is the epic journey for Jennifer Lopez. The second part is Esai Morales and the third is Jimmy Smits. Together, it paints a grand portrait of an American family.
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9/10
Liked it, will film a part 2
Sunday Gracia10 April 2012
This one hit close to home with me, especially with the characters. Chucho is a fun character that seemed to just be chased by bad luck, and some Hispanics, especially the older ones, are extremely superstitious. But it was funny how close the Chucho character was to the character that same actor played on "La Bamba." And Jimmy... well, that character brings so many memories of one of my cousins life... who has been in and out of prison... he's crude, rude, and can be ruthless, but will help you any way he can, especially if you're family. As a filmmaker, I'm hoping to bring a non-integrated part 2 to this, but the background of the adventure of my lineage is exciting on both father and mother's side. It'll be filled with the unexplained, the pain and drama, Spanish royal connections, and treasure.... which still remains hidden to this day.
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1/10
Ridiculous
ikki-130 November 2006
This film is all cliché. The depiction of Latino groups is demeaning. The reflection of white army,police as insensitive and brutal is such a stereotype. The uptight white family meeting the future in-laws in the local family house with roosters and chickens running in the streets and the white family so uncomfortable is another overdone scene.There are some positives-the cinematography was good in various spots.The overall passage of time was not well structured and some of the events depicted were impossible to occur.

All in all this film is pandering to the Latino groups and delivers no suspense,true character development or interest. I rate this a thumbs down!
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7/10
A very clichéd film, but also very entertaining.
Tommy Nelson11 January 2007
I did not expect to enjoy this film as much as I did. From what it sounded like, it was another drama about how a family struggles to stay together, and it was, but it was a very entertaining one. The movie follows various members of a family around through the years 1926 to 1980. I'd almost classify this as an anthology because of many different story lines based around various members of the family. The first story is Jose Sanchez's struggle to get in to the United States, and how he met Maria (when younger played by Jennifer Lopez). The second story, set 25 years later, is about daughter Irene's wedding and son Chucho's gang life. The third story, set another 20 years later, is about son Jimmy and when he gets out of prison, gets married, has a son, goes back in prison and tries to make up with his 5 year old estranged son raised by his grandparents. I wouldn't say that this is Acadamy Award material but it is still a very compelling story that had me wanting to know more about the family as the stories progressed.

My rating: *** out of ****. 122 mins. R for a scene of violence, sex, language.
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10/10
One of the best Latino movies I have ever scene
morales_zoraida13 May 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Contains Spoiler I really love this movie so much I bought the DVD. Edward James Olmos is so good as the father of the family. He acts just like my father used to when we were that age of the people in the movie. In fact, all the acting is really very good. The music in this movie is very authentic. The struggles of the family over so many years really made me cry at times -- what they went through was really so tough. The Mexican countryside is also very authentic too from what I can remember of it. Also, the part where the mother was having a baby, only she died instead -- that was really very good too -- and also reminded me of some people I used to know back when we lived in Mexico. This is a really terrific movie especially if you are also Latino actually.
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5/10
The Oscar was for make-up.
janfilmfan18 June 2006
"My mother believed everyone who got out of the house left something on the empty chairs," or something like this the narrator gives us. It seems that director Nava has watched a few hundred movies, and picked out one or two things from each of them. Be ready for a bunch of cliché's, as in words, situations and play. Maybe when you've not seen that much it will be a joy to watch. If you've seen the same films as Nava, it's getting harder. Me and my wife couldn't help sighing out loud with another birth or death. The Oscar was for make-up. As in an old Dutch pop record: "You mind about your make up, but you better make up your mind."
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9/10
I was intrigued
Di-1215 January 1999
The story of a Spanish family going through the routine did not interest me until I found out Michael DeLorenzo was in it. But his such short lived character did nothing for the fact that the movie had many interesting and notable parts to it. Jimmy Smits was ever crazed not like I was used to seeing him from his lawyer days. As always James Edward Olmos has been my favorite. But it was good to see the portrayal of hispanics in this long-winded film. Issues, issues, issues. I put this at the top of the list for movies of this type because it gave a break down of each character and made them hold their weight. I would definitely recommend it as it served the hispanic communtiy very well.
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Seemed Mildly Awful
Bash30 June 1999
Warning: Spoilers
The best person in this movie was Esai Morales who played Chucho. Too bad he dies early in this movie and Jimmy Smits looked like he was taking Chucho's place. It did have some violence that I have seen, quite awful, especially the tragedies. I hate tragedies. But it doesn't show violence at the end of the movie like most others. Plus I can't imagine a child being disgraceful to his parent.
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