Family Business (1989) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
38 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
What's the problem?
Boyo-212 November 2001
I can't believe the reviews for this!

If anything is open for critcism here, its the casting of Connery, Hoffman and Broderick as grandfather, father and son, but no one seems to mind that. Hoffman's wife is a Jewish woman, played by Rosana DeSoto, who was Richie Valen's mom in "La Bamba" and Edward James Olmos' wife in "Stand And Deliver". All the casting choices are questionable but I think someone along the way decided to be sarcastic about it, which of course makes the movie that much better.

Broderick is not a criminal but his elders are (or were) and he brings them all together to do a robbery. It makes perfect sense, since he's in that family and has their blood. Without even trying hard, he's a product of his environ, just like we all are. Matthew was a whiz-kid who got bored with that and doesn't seem to have any guilt about this caper. His girlfriend (Victoria Jackson) has extremely questionable morals and practically brags about that fact at dinner one afternoon. But is also in keeping with Broderick's character. He's like a wanna-be lowlife.

Hoffman is working in the meat-packing district in the West Village of Manhattan and is trying very hard to do the right thing after having served time and having had an on-again, off-again relationship with both his father and son. He demands honesty and even fires a guy (Luiz Guzman) who is caught stealing from him. The movie is also very realistic from his point-of-view since he gets involved mostly to keep an eye on the other two. Father and son do not get along and always seem to be arguing about one thing or another.

Connery is a life-long trouble maker who was never much of a father but loves his grandson very much and has some pride about their all working together. He argues with his son..father and son do not get along, again.

Some of the dialogue is very funny and there are always great character actors in Sidney Lumet's movies; this one is no exception. In very small parts are Marilyn Cooper, Deborah Rush and Marilyn Sokol. This is in addition to a great trio in the leads, all of whom register great work in this little-seen flick.

Movie has a real NYC feel to it. I'd recommend it to anyone.
33 out of 38 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Nasty, but brilliant
fung014 July 2010
When I see this film reviewed, over and over, as a comedy, I don't know whether to laugh or to cry. This is one of the most brutally cynical, agonizingly tragic films I've ever seen - the story of a family caught up in the romance of crime, trying to help at least the youngest generation escape its inevitable fate.

Perhaps it helps to know Sidney Lumet's other work, especially his previous bitterly brilliant collaborations with Sean Connery: The Hill, and The Offense. Family Business is a similarly scathing attack on preconceptions. Lumet takes what looks like a tame little 'heist comedy' scenario and shows just how poisonously evil it really is. He gives us the charming scoundrel (Connery), and shows how destructive his devil-may-care attitude can be.

One might as well criticize Othello or Macbeth for having no laughs. This film is, in fact, Shakespearian in its tragic dimensions. Connery starts out with the classic Tragic Flaw, and must pay for it in the end. (There is a heroic dimension in his ultimate realization, at least.)

I can easily understand that many people won't enjoy this film. It's a nasty, venomous, painful piece of work. But it's also quite brilliant. If you want easy answers, by all means, rent Ocean's Eleven. But if you're up for a challenge, don't overlook Family Business.
17 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Interesting Look at a "Crime Family"
joedabear21 January 2001
A well done film about a family of theives. The grandfather (Connery) is a successful semi-retired theif whos son (Hoffman) is trying to stay on the straight & narrow in order to give his son (Broderick) a chance at a life free of crime. The trouble starts when the son goes to Granddad with a plan for a major job, Who is interested in it, and rather than discouraging his grandson takes it to his son for refinement and additional manpower.

It is a good film for many reasons, not the least of which is the by play between a good cast that are believable in their roles. It has a few interesting twists and demonstrates what honour among theives is really all about, "A family thing".
17 out of 23 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
diorio200111 August 2002
This movie got a lot of bad reviews and is that well known. I don't know why. Each of the actors (whom I am all big fans of) put forward an amazing portrayal of their characters. The plot was not steady because it was a situational film in with the basis of the plot seems to change from each major occurrence in the film (noticed in many Woody Allen films). I thought that the movie had a lot to say about respect, morals, family values and trying to differentiate right from wrong under tense circumstances. This is definitely a must see if you are a fan of any of the three headliner stars in this film. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll enjoy it.
17 out of 24 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Has its problems, but a good film nonetheless
For many, the family business is a meat market, or a hardware store, or maybe even a homely little jewelry store. For the McMullen's, the family business is armed robbery. Jessie McMullen (Sean Connery) is an aging yet unabashed criminal who has been in the business for many years. When his grandson, Adam (Matthew Broderick), finds the opportunity to net a cool million dollars, Jessie organizes one last heist with himself, Adam, and Adam's father, Jessies son, Vito (Dustin Hoffman). Vito is reluctant at first, but eventually comes around to pull of the heist. The movie tells the story of some rocky family ties and how the relationship between these three generations waxes and wanes in a very unconventional method.

The film is directed by the late and great Sydney Lumet. Lumet wasn't a consistent director and obviously put out some pretty terrible films, as well as some incredible films. Family Business falls right in between these two poles. It has its problems but it isn't a terrible film. Lumet directs the film very well with some great tracking shots of various New York locations we see in the film. The two funerals that take place in the film both include pans that lay out the characters very nicely in tightly constructed cinematography that isn't exactly flashy or incredible to look at, but adds a very subtle quality to the direction of the film. Lumet also directs his actors with a lot of precision and the performances from the three leads are excellent. All three characters are very different, not only in age but in personality and personal convictions. Each actor plays their character's nuances and attitudes very nicely, delivering dialogue that is at times cheesy and convoluted, yet also sharp when it isn't being silly.

The nice thing about this film is that there aren't any glaring issues. There are a multitude of small problems along the way, but nothing that kills the film's momentum or ruins the story. The issues range from bad chunks of dialogue, to moments that just don't fit well with the story, like Sean Connery singing. There are some pretty ugly plot holes that stick out when present, but thankfully they aren't anything that carry over throughout the film, causing more and more unrealistic problems. Overall the story doesn't exactly tie up as nicely as it could have. It leaves some loose ends and it resolves a few points a little too easily. I can't buy into everything that happened in this film, but I can believe enough to say that this is a decent film.

This is really just a film that sets out to entertain and tell an interesting story. It kept me interested from start to finish, and there were enough good things about this film to allow me to thoroughly enjoy it. The high points would be Lumet's direction and the great performances from the three leads. The low points would be the kinks in the story and some of the forced dialogue. Yet overall this is a fun little film that more or less accomplishes what little it sets out to do.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A surprising story, complete with a sadly, happy ending . . .
dspires17 September 1999
Good acting. I was quite surprised with the end result. Three blockbusters with an excellent supporting cast.

Seeing that this was Connery and Hoffman, billed together with Broderick, I was expecting a real thriller. Ouch! Sitting way out in the audience, even I had to think. This film is a brain-teaser from start to finish, and gently plucks at the emotions. When you rent it, or go to see it, pay attention.

A criminal family, torn between right and wrong? How could this be?

Cute, innocent Victoria Jackson, as Christine, plays Matthew Broderick's, Adam's, fiancée, and is revealed to be someone even lower than this three-generation family of thieves.

Fascinating, ironic, clever, well done . . .
8 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
superficial caper with an unconvincing cast
Michael Neumann16 November 2010
Sean Connery, Dustin Hoffman, and Matthew Broderick play an unlikely combination of grandfather, father and son in a family held together more by larceny than love. It might be little more than a miscast Hollywood star package gift-wrapped for the holidays, but the otherwise routine caper scenario is given added depth in the script by Vincent Patrick ('The Pope of Greenwich Village'), showing his affection for offbeat New York City characters and allowing a full hour of screen time before the big heist to establish each relationship. Young Broderick idolizes crooked granddad Connery, forcing a reformed Hoffman to reluctantly accompany them on one last job, to protect his overeager, amateur son. The fun and games end when the robbery begins, but under the typically efficient (if unstylish) direction of Sidney Lumet the film never quite sinks to the expected level of melodrama, despite going for the sentimental chokehold in the final scenes.
6 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
This movie taught me a lesson
jax7131 August 2005
I've got to learn to stop believing the studio-generated hype on movie jackets. To look at the summary, Family Business would appear to be a comedy...."laughs and larceny!" Whoever thought this movie is funny has a weird sense of humor. For me, it did not achieve even black comedy status. A couple of gaping holes in the plot almost made me eject it from the player. Were it not for the star power and consummate acting of Hoffman and Connery, I wouldn't have made it through to the end. And it may have been the first time for both of them to play characters we never really get to know. Broderick is wasted on a character that whines throughout the story. Glad I didn't pay full-tilt admission at a theater when this was first released.
15 out of 25 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Some Family...
mibailiff29 December 2001
Connery, Hoffman, Broderick, oh my! OK, it should have been an Oscar contender, but it wasn't. Vince Patrick's work will never rival Tolstoy, but it isn't intended to. This is classic Connery chewing scenery with acid tongue dialogue and more than a few memorable moments. Hardly a talent waster, lets call it an under achiever, just like the main characters here.
14 out of 24 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Not a Family
Davalon-Davalon6 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
The first problem with this "movie" is the endless opening long shot that takes us over a NY street and buildings and traffic. We keep waiting for something to happen. While this shot is going on endlessly, we are forced to listen to a bizarre Cy Coleman score which sounds like it was salvaged from an off-Broadway show based on the "That Girl" TV series. It's ghastly. When the shot finally ends, it ends on the top of a building and it looks like it is focusing on either pigeon sh*t or cocaine -- it's hard to tell.

The second problem with the movie is the casting. We are asked to believe that Dustin Hoffman shows up with his wife at a Seder--and yet, he's not the Jewish one! Oh, come on. So, they named him Vito so he'd be Sicilian? And then his father is supposed to be Sean Connery? And Dusty's son is supposed to be Matthew Broderick? What a joke! Maybe that was the joke.

Matthew Broderick is a rude, obnoxious, ungrateful brat and there is one fabulous scene in where he keeps telling Dusty, after he's made his grand plan to rob someone, "There's nothing you can do about it." Dusty says, "There's nothing I can do?" And then he SLAPS him as hard as he can. It was gratifying, it really was.

But then, later on in the movie, Dusty is seen brutalizing some poor Hispanic man who's been caught stealing meat while on the job at Dusty's meat factory. You have to see it to believe it. Is that Dusty's "Mafia" blood coming out?

In the midst of this "film" there is this ENDLESS funeral scene with all these people we don't give two flying f's about because we don't know who they are.

We watched this film and kept staring at each other: What's it about? When does it start? Has it started? Why is Sean Connery Dustin Hoffman's father when it's obvious that there's no way in hell that he could be?

We nodded off half way through to the "delightful strains" of Mr. Coleman's "they should have used this score the first time I wrote it!" score -- which only made me think of a 60s TV show... oh, right, "That Girl." Except -- that isn't what this movie was supposed to be about - - unless it was.

Don't waste your time--unless that's what you like doing.
8 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
regrettably forgettable
ZachsMind27 October 2000
You would think with this lineup, this movie would be a sure thing. I mean look at it! Where else in the history of cinema has there been this much talent on the same screen?

Knighted in 2000 by the Queen of England herself, Scottish born Sean Connery broke the Hollywood trap of typecasting from his many successful James Bond films, and is now known as one of the most consummate motion picture performers of all time. Oh, and he got an Oscar in 1987 for The Untouchables. Dustin Hoffman impressed the world early in his career with The Graduate, and has quite a consistent track record with at least one successful film every year since 1967. He was nominated for the Oscars seven times and won twice. Just Hoffman and Connery alone on the screen together should be enough, but throw into the mix the comparatively youthful Matthew Broderick and the screen should be supercharged with guaranteed nonstop drama, action, humor and raw memorable entertainment.

Should be.

Broderick's career on the big screen was solidified with "WarGames" in 1983, just as Hoffman's work on "The Graduate" or Connery's first Bond picture "Dr. No" permanently put those men on the map. Even compared to these more experienced and mature talents, Broderick's resume is comparatively impressive, with easily a dozen critical or financial successes under his belt. Though not yet an Oscar winner himself, his work in films like "Glory," "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and Neil Simon's "Biloxi Blues" have rewarded him with awards and respect among his peers. Able to dance flawlessly between drama and comedy, he was easily a suitable match for Hoffman and Connery.

This should be one of the greatest films of all time. Three talents this impressive should still cause a buzz among movie fans everywhere. This should be a film that is heralded as the greatest production ever. It should be. You would think on the surface that it was. I've watched this film more than once. I can't put my finger on why exactly, but it is terrible. The dialog is stiff. The performances do not match men of this caliber. They seem to be going through the motions instead of emoting anything. The pacing is slow. The plot is flawed with an amoral and apathetic approach to having a theme, or a moral, or even a desire to be about anything in particular. There is no purpose to the storytelling. It goes out of its way to speak volumes of nothing about anything. It's difficult to even believe these men are remotely related to one another. The chemistry between the actors is diluted. They might as well be playing golf together. And most of all, it's a tired premise for a film: three generations of a family blood line, separated by the generation gap, cultural differences and various past events which caused a strain on relationships are inevitably drawn together because of one thing: family blood. It's predictable. There's no suspense. There's no emotional attachment to the characters by the audience. The end result of this film is like a brightly colored clown forgetting to inflate the balloons that he uses to create balloon animals.

Watching these three men interviewed by Barbra Walters about what they each ate for breakfast would be more exciting than this film. This film isn't even a car wreck. At least with a car wreck there is something that causes one to do a double take. The potential for a head rolling out of the glove compartment. Something.

This film is one of the most forgettable and regretful moments in twentieth century cinema, and the real tragedy is that it didn't have to be this way. These three men are three of my favorite creative talents of all time. Together they should be unstoppable. I pray that one day an attempt is made to put these three men on the screen together again, but this time the script must be wholly unique, made to measure up to the challenge, and everyone needs to leave their egos outside the studio door.
14 out of 26 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Dull Day Afternoon
JasparLamarCrabb3 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
A really dull film with the bizarre casting of 59 year-old Sean Connery as 52 year-old Dustin Hoffman's father. The plot involves degenerate crook Connery trying to rope his trying-to-go-straight son into helping him with a robbery. It's unclear if this is a comedy as there's nary a laugh, but the light as air aura the film exudes combined with Cy Coleman's peppy score lead you to believe it's a farce. Hoffman's character is named Vito! Matthew Broderick plays Hoffman's criminally eager son and the woefully underutilized Rosanna DeSoto is Hoffman's wife (and Broderick's mother, though she's only 12 years older). None of these actor seem even remotely linked to one another much less family. A real misstep from the great Sidney Lumet. The script is by Vincent Patrick, whose also wrote the earlier (and much better) POPE OF GREENWICH VILLAGE.
7 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Slightly more exciting than sleeping pills
Drax-74 April 1999
With the incredible cast, I expected this movie to be awesome. As it is, I'm not sure why such talent agreed to appear in the movie after seeing the script.

The text on the back of the video's box implies that this movie is full of laughs. Alas, it has none. Nor does it have any action or drama. Basically, it's a collection of boring characters wandering around doing very little. There isn't even any tension or suspense in the movie's big break-in scene!

Definitely one of the most disappointing movies I've seen.
8 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Expectations: Great. Reality: A little bit disappointing
Rodrigo Amaro31 December 2011
Looking back now, we can say that this is the kind of films Hollywood should be doing now. Put together three big stars from different generations and make a good film about a good subject; in the case of "Family Business" about a family united in criminal activities. A material like this could rescue the career of many veterans actors.

In 1989, having Sean Connery (after Oscar for "The Untouchables"), Dustin Hoffman (right away for his Oscar in "Rain Man") and Matthew Broderick (still on the wave from hits like "Biloxi Blues" and "Ferris Bueller Day Off") as the cast from this film directed by Sidney Lumet was solid gold, a real bait to attract audiences, and even know when you hear that those talents were together in a picture you rush away to see it. Those are the expectations but expectations always differ from reality. Given a better script these could be a better picture than it is, more memorable.

"Family Business" tells the story of three generations of a problematic Jewish family involved with robberies. It starts when the bright college student Broderick (Hoffman's son and Connery's grandson here) decides to get involved in a sure thing business related to robbing a laboratory and he calls for his family to help with. But all of this triggers a crisis among father and son and grandfather, when Hoffman's characters wants at all costs protect his son for doing this, he doesn't want his son to get caught and arrested while Connery thinks they must do it, because nothing can go wrong. From here, the movie is more about family issues than dangerous and illegal activities.

It lacks substance to this being a great film, it lacks something to make us involved with their problems. The main problem was the that there were times when the film required of its viewers a certain seriousness but when we knew this was also a comedy. It gets stranded in never being really funny and never being awfully dramatic as some situations tend do be. The good news about this project is that Sean Connery has an incredible timing for comedy, his punchlines were amazingly funny, not to mention that his character is very problematic yet very amusing. His best scenes are when he defends himself on court for beating a policeman and when he beats another prisoner during their transfer, to what the guard asks what happened and the other prisoners reply "He felt!"

A path should be decided by the writers in what type of film they were looking for, a goofy comedy or a powerful drama about family relations, and that was a deficiency that almost ruined the film for me. Regarding the most awaited moment of this, the robbery was pretty good, funny and tense at the same time but the whole situation involving Broderick's arrest was poorly made, unconvincing that he couldn't run away and cross the street to his family car or run to any other direction when it was clearly enough that the police wasn't so close to him, that scene is bizarre. One final complaint: the soundtrack was totally wrong for this film, hauntingly dramatic.

What makes me like of this film, except the reunion of stars involved even though they're not at their best and they are somewhat mediocre, is its way of showing us the importance of family and caring about them whether through good times or bad times. When it comes down to present how Hoffman suffers for his son, wants the best for him, is when the movie really hits the target, family is family and business are business and sometimes they should not be mixed, otherwise is problems to both sides. And that's the ruin for everyone involved.

A good film from the 1980's, deeply flawed but completely watchable. I'm positive that Lumet has better than this. 6/10
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A strong cast dragging along the weight of a dead film, with mediocre results.
garyvanhorn4 April 2011
Sean Connery, Dustin Hoffman, and Matthew Broderick play grandfather, father, and son respectively in a heist movie that is less about the heist and more about the family that pulls it. Matthew Broderick is the good son, smart, squeaky clean, and destined for the good life beyond the criminal past of his father and grandfather, except he wants nothing to do with that life and instead dreams of being a thief. To help him on his way is the original thief of the family (Sean Connery), much to the dismay of Broderick's father (Dustin Hoffman) who is eventually pressured into helping with the heist against his better judgment.

Much of the film is spent exploring the familial relationship of the three men. The grandfather is an unrepentant thief who thinks his son is a quitter. The father is angry at the grandfather for never giving him the opportunity to be anything other than a criminal. The son is angry at the father for not giving him the opportunity to be a thief like his father and grandfather before him. The actors are talented and the premise is good but the movie lacks a certain intangible aspect that prevents it from being anything other than mediocre. The movie is just too......ordinary, for lack of a better word. There is no real flair for the dramatic, no golden comedy moments to remember, just a story idea that is dragged forward by the strength of the cast, and little else.
5 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
It is not a comedy, it is not drama and is not really intresting.
alexr64722 February 1999
The actors and the characters they play are well developed, but the film's direction lacks any emotion. While one watches the film it is hard not to wish for these intresting characters to actually do something.
6 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
great talents wasted
SnoopyStyle24 September 2013
Jessie (Sean Connery) is an old timer criminal. His son Vito (Dustin Hoffman) is trying to stay straight after a shady past with his father. The grandson Adam (Matthew Broderick) is the golden boy and has the hope for a respectable future. So it's shocking when Adam approaches Jessie with a burglary plan.

While I see Dustin Hoffman as Matthew Broderick's father, Sean Connery just doesn't look related to them. It's distracting. Directed by Sidney Lumet, it makes little sense that they drag Vito into this knowing how much he hates the family business for his son. It seems easier to do this behind his back. Once Vito got all the details of the caper, he could easily end this right there and then. Call up the company and tell them their ex-partner's plans. Then tell Jessie and Adam the jig is up. The company doubles and triples security. So it was really stupid for Jessie and Adam to get Vito involved. Vito has to want to do the job, and not just to keep Adam safe. He could do that easily without doing the job. The simplest solution is to have Vito need the money. The caper is really boring. The only interesting thing is Jessie's story when they were buying the supplies. The sad thing is that it showed it show the potential of these actors together. What we have here is great talents being wasted.
4 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Falls very flat, very early
gcd7013 March 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Sydney Lumet's attempt at a criminal-comedy-caper film, ala the forties and fifties, falls very flat very early. Since nothing really happens in this flick, and there's no moral point or purpose, the entire show relies upon the wit of the writer, the talent of the leading actors and the skill of the director to pull it all together. Though no one doubts the collective talents of this all star collaboration, somehow they just don't manage to pull it off.

Lumet places a lot of faith, and thus asks a lot of, his three stars. In fact he really leaves it up to them to carry this picture. Sean Connery, Dustin Hoffman and Matthew Broderick all try hard and deliver good performances, but sadly they have little to work with in Vincent Patrick's script, based upon his own novel. Try as they might, this trilogy is always struggling to interest you in what's happening to them, and it's hard to feel anything for the McMullens, let alone believe they're related.

Script is just not funny enough, and though the 'caper' scene is a highlight, there's little else going for this surprising Lumet let down. In the end we're left with three fine actors and a master director trying to conjure something from nothing. "Family Business" is like a pantomime, but not without words, just without depth or entertainment.

Cy Coleman's catchy show tune music belongs in a better picture than this.

Monday, February 26, 1996 - Video
5 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Three Stars Make A Preposterous Story Happen
bkoganbing1 January 2007
Sean Connery, Dustin Hoffman, and Matthew Broderick have talent to spare and they manage to make an impossible story jell on the screen in Family Business.

The three men play grandfather, father, and son of the McMullen clan. Connery is an unregenerate criminal who offers to apologies for the life he's led. Hoffman is someone who went into that life during his youth due to Dad's influence, but he leaves that life and now works in the wholesale meat business which he hates, but more than pays the rent.

Matthew Broderick is his son who absolutely idolizes his grandfather. He's middle class and a Westinghouse scholar to boot, but lives for his time with his grandfather and the criminal tales he tells of his past.

Broderick's life as a Westinghouse scholar is about to intersect with Connery's habitual criminal background when Broderick's professor, B.D. Wong offers him a scam. He's to break in to a laboratory in Nassau County and steal the results of his research for a million dollars. Hoffman also goes along for the ride, mainly he says to watch out for his son.

These three have tremendous chemistry together and it is what makes this story float. Especially Connery because you have to believe in his character in order to enjoy the film.

Family Business is one of those movies that after I come away from it I say this is completely ridiculous. Yet when you watch you feel guilty enjoying it so much.

Sidney Lumet did a wonderful job showing the background of the Hell's Kitchen area where Connery resides. I recognize a whole lot of the neighborhood. Interesting that this area a decade later served as the background for the much more serious film Sleepers.

Look also for a good performance by Rosanna DeSoto as wife and mother to Hoffman and Broderick. What she puts up with in that family.
5 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
tfrizzell22 September 2000
"Family Business" looked like a sure-thing with its star-power of Dustin Hoffman, Sean Connery, and Matthew Broderick. However, this is a very bad film that wants to be good but never does come together the way it should. The three aforementioned actors star as three generations of a family who go on a big heist that goes terribly wrong. Sidney Lumet's direction is never clear and this, more than anything else, grounds "Family Business". 2 stars out of 5.
5 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Disappointingly flat comedy...
MovieAddict201625 February 2004
In this disappointingly recycled, dry and surprisingly unfunny comedy, a tri-generation family of males (Sean Connery, Dustin Hoffman, Matthew Broderick) with problems of their own mix paths in crime. Broderick is the grandson who wants to help his granddad pull off the heist. Hoffman works in-between as the worrier who knows exactly what's going to happen to his son. And it does.

Too bad Lumet never stopped to insert any laughs in this dry comedy with a top-notch cast that just barely manages to make it worth watching on television.

Just barely.

Don't go out of your way for this one.

2.5/5 stars

  • John Ulmer
6 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Adam19835 May 2002
The performances in the movie are excellent. The movies plot however lacks the strength to keep it interesting. The heist was pathetic and the outcome was predictable. I felt nothing after viewing this movie. I didnt think twice about it. In all actuality I would avoid this movie. Rent 'HEAT' instead.
6 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Better than the lazy copying tripe nowadays despite its flaws
ArthurJimbo14 August 2013
If you're a jerk with little sensibility that knows nothing about the process of making movies but likes to pick apart films as if a professional ..then by all means believe the bad reviews here and skip this movie.

As many problems as this film may have, god, i sure wish they still made them like this. Real human to human relationships and interactions without dumb sensationalized curve balls thrown at you to ruin the reality and truth of the experience. i thoroughly enjoyed it despite any minor disappointments with the story along the way. decent writing, great acting, and sure handed direction.

Don't pay any mind to the many laymen naysayers sittin in their recliner snarfflin down popcorn who assume a position of expertise above these tried, proved and truly talented professionals.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Not too bad a movie, but I hated the ending
Jerry Bank28 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Since this movie has been commented upon dozens of times there is no need to repeat the plot. I am a fan of Connery and Hoffman and usually enjoy their acting. They did OK in this one.

I did not like the attitude expressed by the Broderick character. It is really not the most wonderful thing in the world to be a petty criminal. Connery seems to think it is, and Hoffman thinks it is not. We, the audience are meant to believe that criminality=freedom in this case.

What I hated about the ending was that Connery, a Scot is given a traditional Irish wake, complete with Danny Boy. Would a good Scot put up with that, even while dead?!
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Sometimes too many A-lists = F lists
HagenDas13 June 2007
I personally am a huge fan of all three actors, especially Connery, who I really started to get into after his performance in Finding Forrestor. As such, when I noticed this movie at the local rental hut I decided to give it a watch.

Unfortunately I simply didn't like the movie. It came off as forced and the story was predictable and while the premise is kind of cute overall it felt way too stretched out. The actors do be themselves and they put out okay performances. But, with predictable story and plot it just didn't do it for me. It had potential, but as I say, sometimes too many A-lists don't provide a good movie.
5 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews