The Family Fang

6.11 h 46 min2016R
Having survived a childhood of pranks created and executed by their world famous parents, two grown siblings have serious reservations about the truth when told by the police their parents are missing and presumed dead by foul play.
Jason Bateman
Jason BatemanChristopher WalkenNicole Kidman
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Marin IrelandMichael ChernusJosh PaisJason Butler HarnerScott ShepherdEugenia KuzminaLinda EmondGrainger Hines
Nicole KidmanJason BatemanJames GaraventeRiva MarkerPer SaariDaniela T. LundbergLeslie UrdangDean Vanech
R (Restricted)
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3.9 out of 5 stars

329 global ratings

  1. 48% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 18% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 19% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 6% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 10% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Dennis MummertReviewed in the United States on December 26, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Breaks Boundaries
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Exceeded my expectations. For the record, I dislike participatory performance art, but this is so much more. The character roles are skewed from what you expect them to be, nothing quite fits the slot you have prepared for it, and for that I commend Mr Bateman. Don't really expect nice tidy bows tied around plot twists - and there are a sufficient number of them to keep your interest. You should not find that lagging, however.

This tells the tale of mavericks disdaining the traditional art world and redefining their own styles constantly, gaining followers and detractors, and a family. As families do, they grow up and apart. This is that process - the somewhat messy reunification, the final growth spurt, the life and death of dreams and ambitions and how our childhoods forge our adult persona.

This presentation goes sideways almost immediately, so give it time to lay the groundwork. Most things come together fast enough to hold your interest, and the long term things are worth waiting for. There are a few easter eggs, but as the tale draws to a close, one is left with a sense of satisfaction.

Do NOT build the potato cannon.
5 people found this helpful
Brian ButzReviewed in the United States on June 3, 2019
4.0 out of 5 stars
Thwarts expectation
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I really enjoyed this film despite some minor plot holes. It starts like many indy ensemble films where quirky siblings come home to confront the dysfunction of their eccentric family in order to become functional adults. This film embraces, then knocks that cliche on it's keister. It eventually becomes a compelling weirdly complex dark mystery, where the mystery itself is in question. "Is there a mystery?" becomes an unmentioned central theme. Investigating this notion encourages and frames examinations into concepts of art, devotion, family, parenting, embracing life, discerning reality and measuring one's relevance, purpose and place in this world. Some themes are examined subtly and others directly. I feel this combination was well toned to encourage self examination and creative thought, and central to unraveling the mystery. This film will stay with me awhile. I actually feel quite inspired to dive into an artistic project after seeing this. I'd think most criticisms of this film would be from art snobs or those with no appreciation or experience of that world or creative aspirations. It could've been more impactful for a general audience if the siblings were more psychologically damaged by the questions they had of their family and themselves as events unfolded, but it's a minor criticism, and I understand the choice not to go that route. I applaud Bateman's direction and look forward to seeing more of it. While rereading this, I became aware of one of the film's elements that makes it's resolution work on an entirely different level, it's an idea I'd love feedback on, but can't discuss without ruining things . This really is an intelligent film worthy of thought and discussion. I strongly recommend watching this.
9 people found this helpful
Gerry C.Reviewed in the United States on January 4, 2019
4.0 out of 5 stars
Great sleeper find
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Who ever heard of this movie? Definitely off the beaten path. Kidman, Walken & Bateman do superb jobs in their roles,as all the cast do.
Sort of a mix of comedy, drama, dark type movie.
Short synopsis: brother & sister have a unusual childhood by being used as art objects by their parents. Mother and father go missing as the children become adults. Brother & sister deal with the dilemma of whether it actually happened or its been staged by the parents.
Very mixed reviews on this, but definitely to my liking.
8 people found this helpful
jangleReviewed in the United States on May 6, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
master of few, jason bateman
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wow, if you ever wondered how jason bateman keeps getting the roles that fit the complexity of his developing ability to take the viewer through rather complex realizations and relating to a character's growth, well, here he writes his own parts. Perhaps more importantly, i look for that kind of depth, somewhere, in essentially every project he involves himself in, and that is somewhat of a relief.
plus he seems to be able to get deep stuff out of nicole kidman and for some reason we all like that, don't we? makes me feel better about life. which is odd since i'm completely against the cult of personality and generally don't even like seeing the same actor's twice.
this is actually a "great" movie in every literal sense excepting John Ford vistas. and because it sets it's own boundaries and 'bailywick' , it is perfect in a way. It is a very good and artistic statement that combines both a sense of guided and being coherent along with letting the characters play themselves out "of their own accord."
I'm not ashamed to say that Jason Bateman suprises me often. His massive appeal to housewives grows less and less annoying to my subconscious over the years, and I'm on board now i guess.
2 people found this helpful
OligonicellaReviewed in the United States on January 8, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
This is your brain on performance art.
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"Performance art" - the act of imposing your ideas of what constitutes living on others. I've known a few and to a person they displayed a lack of care about others as long as their project was done.

Walken was his magnificent self playing the psychotic. Nicole Kidman and Jason Bateman were great as the grown children damaged by years of abusing usage at their parent's demented hands.

All in all I wound up hoping the parents actually *were* dead.

Deep and troubling good watch.
2 people found this helpful
joel wingReviewed in the United States on November 30, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
Art imitating life
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You’ve probably heard the phrase “art imitating life”. Well that’s what this film is about. It’s a quirky comedy-drama about the Fang family who do performance art and how that caused all kinds of problems for them.

The Fang parents one of which is played by Christopher Walken talk about their art having to take place in real time in front of unsuspecting people. That was what they believed true art to be not an imitation but real. That premise takes the film in all kinds of weird and unexpected directions.

The flashbacks to what they did are some of the best parts. For instance, the two kids played music in Central Park in New York attracting a crowd and then the parents began insulting them about how horrible they sounded.

The cast really stands out as well. Besides Walken, the younger version of the parents were Kathryn Hahn and Jason Butler Harner. The adult kids were Jason Bateman and Nicole Kidman.

This turned out to be surprising and thought provoking.
J. LockeReviewed in the United States on May 15, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
Smart, funny and Bateman
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Smart, funny and Bateman. Mix in weird weird beyond weird parents and the crazy way some parents raise their kids and you get this film. Clearly the kids love their parents despite all of the very odd way they were reared - and they hold out hope for parents that come to their senses
"we cant change who they are, we can only change ourselves" is something every kid winding up with parents that are not your normal "gerber baby" parents ends up learning. This movie, unlike some of the other reviews, doesn't say its okay to be dysfunctional - its actually just the opposite- that not everything is okay - and in the end I think it gives those very many kids (who will be adults) that have not the norm parental guidance hope- not everything is okay. Sometimes you have to call it what it was - really bad parenting.
16 people found this helpful
Golden RoseReviewed in the United States on June 16, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
Intelligent, thoughtful, and entertaining film.
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A wonderful film that examines the dangerous egotism that can come with art and how it affects families. The best work that Walken has done in years and great nuanced performances from Kidman and Bateman. Jason Bateman directed this movie that is funny, surprising, perceptive, thought-provoking and moving. A delight from start to finish.
20 people found this helpful
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