Critic Reviews



Based on 11 critic reviews provided by
There's whimsy and raunchy humor here, but also an underlying sense of darkness and despair.
Deftly mixing the visual exuberance of “Trainspotting” with the familial pathos of “Angela's Ashes,” the gifted van Groeningen offers gleeful depictions of drinking contests and naked bicycle races that gradually give way to a sense of moral peril for young Gunther.
The Hollywood Reporter
While The Misfortunates careens with madcap hilarity through the Strobbe's tumultuous lives, it also resonates with its serious story undercurrent. In essence, it is the story of a boy's struggle to survive, and, in this case, evolve.
If Ken Loach and Roberto Benigni went into a bar, drank themselves into a stupor and emerged the next morning with a screenplay, it might look a lot like The Misfortunates.
Village Voice
Often very funny, and the rolling remember-when vignettes trump the typical low-country wild-hairy-man sideshows.
Calling the Strobbe clan a working-class family would imply that some of its members worked (or had class), but none of the lowlife protags do in the visually robust and often hilarious Flemish tragicomedy The Misfortunates.
Adapted from Dimitri Verhulst's semi-autobiographical novel with a flair that recalls the squalor-and-dazzle visuals of “Trainspotting,” Felix Van Groeningen's highly entertaining tale is full of hilarity, horror and heartbreak (sometimes within the same scene).
The movie has to twist your arm to get you to feel for these people. But you wouldn't be wrong to think it's been broken.
The acting is super -- these guys know how to be sweet and disgusting -- and the story provides its share of laughs. But after a while, the one-note movie, directed by Felix van Groeningen, grows tiresome.
The title of The Misfortunates ­really applies to any audiences unlucky enough to sit through it.

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