46 user 58 critic

It Runs in the Family (2003)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 25 April 2003 (USA)
This is the story of a dysfunctional New York family, and their attempts to reconcile.



Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The In-Laws I (2003)
Action | Comedy | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Right before his daughter's wedding, a mild-mannered foot doctor discovers that his future son-in-law's father is a free-wheeling international spy.

Director: Andrew Fleming
Stars: Albert Brooks, Michael Douglas, Ryan Reynolds
Illusion (2004)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A once-powerful, but now ailing movie director nears the end of his life. As he awaits death, he slips into a "dream" and is shown three "snippets" of the movie of his son's life. At first ... See full summary »

Director: Michael A. Goorjian
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Michael A. Goorjian, Karen Tucker
Diamonds (1999)
Comedy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Mystery about an ex-prizefighter who embarks on a journey to find 13 missing diamonds.

Director: John Asher
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Lauren Bacall, Dan Aykroyd
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A tribute and doc-crime-drama celebrating American film noir and the icons of the Hollywood golden age. It recaptures the time and place of New York in the 30's and 40s as well as plays with the codes and references of the genre.

Director: William Karel
Stars: Ben Gazzara, Mickey Rooney, Kirk Douglas
The Sentinel (2006)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A Secret Service agent is framed as the mole in an assassination attempt on the President. He must clear his name and foil another assassination attempt while on the run from a Secret Service Protective Intelligence Division agent.

Director: Clark Johnson
Stars: Michael Douglas, Kiefer Sutherland, Kim Basinger
Greedy (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Uncle Joe is ageing. He's also a millionaire. That's why his family is trying so very hard to get into his good books. They all want a piece of his empire. Unfortunately Uncle Joe isn't as ... See full summary »

Director: Jonathan Lynn
Stars: Michael J. Fox, Kirk Douglas, Nancy Travis
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An unstable dad who after getting out of a mental institution tries to convince his daughter that there's Spanish gold buried somewhere under suburbia.

Director: Mike Cahill
Stars: Michael Douglas, Evan Rachel Wood, Willis Burks II


Cast overview, first billed only:
Abby Staley (as Irene Gorovaia)
Mark Hammer ...
Sarah Langley


Wealth can't spare three male generations of the dysfunctional Jewish New York Gromberg family grief or grim reality. However successful in life, Alex never felt pleasing pride or proper parental support from sprightly patriarch Mitchell, who sarcastically imposes his own values and priorities on everyone and everything. Alex starts despairing that his modern permissiveness may ruin his own bright firstborn, college-boy Asher, unlike adoring kid-brother Eli. A dorm-drug-bust pushes things to the limit -- or beyond? Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Some families can survive anything. Even each other.


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for drug content, sexual material and language | See all certifications »


Official Sites:




| |

Release Date:

25 April 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Few Good Years  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$2,804,441 (USA) (25 April 2003)


$7,375,836 (USA) (23 May 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Final film of Diana Douglas. See more »


Mitchell Gromberg: Alex, you're a much better father than I was.
Alex Gromberg: Thank you. But you didn't exactly set the bar all that high.
See more »


Referenced in Bad Movie Beatdown: Scissors (2012) See more »


Written by Badi Assad (as Mariangela Assad Simao)
Performed by Badi Assad
Courtesy of The Verve Music Group
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Bushel Of Douglas'
14 June 2004 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

I think the only person who's not a member of the Douglas clan in 'It Runs In The Family' is director Fred Schepisi. Okay, I exaggerate, but there are 3 generations PLAYING 3 generations (Kirk, Michael, and Cameron) and Kirk's ex-wife even plays his doting wife in the film. This is the first time that Kirk & Michael have worked together since the son's bit part in dad's '66 war drama 'Cast A Giant Shadow'. Young Cameron makes his film debut here and doesn't embarrass himself while acting with his world-famous elders. Bernadette Peters and Rory Culkin round out the headlining cast as the mother and youngest son of the Gromberg family.

This picture received plenty of publicity in spring '03 because it was a rare on-screen appearance by movie god Kirk Douglas. He doesn't stray too far from his own reality as a stroke victim with a loving wife and a successful son. In the movie, the Grombergs are New York lawyers. It must have been an act of will not to make them movie producers or something filmic. The drama is actually mostly melodrama, some of which doesn't work. Mitchell (Kirk) has a complicated relationship with Alex (Michael), who has difficult relations with his own sons. Every character goes through romantic troubles of one kind or another (death of a beloved, first love, infidelity) and the movie deserves credit for managing to be cute, but not cloying. It even ends on the right note of non-finality, which I assume was a contribution by Schepisi (who's good at leaving some realistic loose ends in his films).

Kirk probably comes off best here. He does a thing with pillows that just might bust your heart in two. Michael isn't stretching himself (although you can read the reverence for his dad in his eyes) and while Bernadette Peters & Rory Culkin do a nice job, they're merely providing low-key support to the Douglas gang. Kirk's still got it, even if he has to work extra hard to form sentences. The ferocity of 'The Bad And The Beautiful' isn't there anymore (hey, the guy is 88 this year, so the fact that he's working at all is amazing), but Kirk shows some funny facial expressions and double-takes. He's never anything less than compelling, which is the way it's always been in his career.

'It Runs In The Family' was in & out of theatres in about 19 minutes last year, which is a shame. While I'm being generous to recommend it, I confess that I enjoyed myself and really grew to like what was going on in this flick. The humour is scatter-shot, but I like that they didn't camp it up and go for cheap gags. Perhaps Michael, Kirk & company have never had a strained relationship the way the Gromberg's do, but they play the pathos in Jesse Wigutow's script well enough to make you care. Am I being so nice because it's such a treat to see a feisty Kirk Douglas working again? Maybe, but I felt good about these characters, warts and all. Perhaps the Douglas' will do something else together and get Catherine Zeta-Jones to join in the fun.

27 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: