The Family Tree Reviews

  • The only reason I can think of to watch Vivi Friedman's flat, satirical farce "The Family Tree" - and it's not a good enough reason - is the opportunity to play a game of spot the semi-star.

    Stephen Holden — New York Times

  • [It makes] a small case for not succumbing to nostalgic malaise -- too bad it's in a genre as played-out as [the] lead characters' passion.

    Mark Holcomb — Village Voice

  • To judge from the talent she drew for her shaky debut, Vivi Friedman must either be very well connected or an awfully smooth talker.

    Elizabeth Weitzman — New York Daily News

  • "Mad Men" devotees may show up for Christina Hendricks, who plays Mulroney's buxom secretary. Quite the acting stretch.

    Sara Stewart — New York Post

  • Friedman's inability to successfully reconcile the film's duality undercuts an eclectic cast gamely committed to Mark Lisson's thematically ambitious, if scattered, script.

    Gary Goldstein — Los Angeles Times

  • The Family Tree is a surprisingly funny dysfunctional family comedy that manages to entertain throughout.

    Sean Kernan — We Got This Covered

  • ...a misguided and thoroughly obnoxious piece of work that wears out its welcome almost immediately.

    David Nusair — Reel Film Reviews

  • There are too many branches on this tree trying to give every unemployed actor in Hollywood a job.

    Jackie K. Cooper — jackiekcooper.com

  • So in the end what we are presented with is a mildly affable comedy of familial dysfunction that wants to chide the times for being both morally and emotionally obtuse. Instead, The Family Tree winds up being little more than a film uprooted.

    Brandon Judell — CultureCatch

  • Another around-the-bend black comedy that doesn't work.

    Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat — Spirituality and Practice

  • The Family Tree is never willing to try and really understand its family, instead creating wall of surface-level quirks as shorthand for their personalities.

    Sean Gandert — Paste Magazine

  • Davis could play a role like Bunnie in her sleep, Mulroney often seems to be asleep and the rest of the overqualified supporting cast just appears relieved that their screentime is limited.

    Ethan Alter — Television Without Pity

  • This black comedy about a dysfunctional family strikes out on all counts: originality, wit and viewer tolerance.

    David Noh — Film Journal International

  • Like the body of a peeping tom high school student that hangs hidden in the Burnett's tree for the duration of the film, the direction of the movie remains dangling over audiences.

    Mark Peikert — New York Press

  • Think Overboard with masturbating, asphyxiated teens, gun-toting/weed-smoking priests, lesbian high school teachers preying on her students, a parade of wasted talent, and Bow Wow.

    Erik Childress — eFilmCritic.com

  • Here's a film that consists of a hodgepodge of blah. Too many subplots are crammed into this dramedy that leaves little for emotion or laughter.

    Wilson Morales — BlackFilm.com

  • fresh and engaging...and quite funny

    Blake French — Filmcritic.com

  • There's not much dramatic glue here to huff, leaving The Family Tree satisfying on a technical level, with external developments more captivating than internal deliberation.

    Brian Orndorf — BrianOrndorf.com

  • It has a terrific cast of actors doing committed work; it also has a screenplay that tries so hard to be quirky that it tires itself out.

    Mike McGranaghan — Aisle Seat

  • The Burnett clan manages to encompass virtually every cliche of any dramedy made in the last decade that has garnered or hoped to garner Oscar buzz.

    Chuck Bowen — Slant Magazine

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