Sidney Lumet’s 1989 motion picture, Family Business, follows the struggles that Vito (Dustin Hoffman) faces in keeping his son, Adam (Matthew Broderick), away from his now semi-retried career criminal father, Jessie (Sean Connery), and the ‘family business’ of theft. As the trailer presents, however, the fact that Adam will ultimately become involved in the family business is not unsuspected.
Though the star studded cast of Connery, Hoffman, and Broderick create a great faux family dynamic in the film; the plot, however, is somewhat expected. This is primarily what the film lacks. While it is made clear that the family will eventually reconnect through their ‘family business,’ it is therefore, very predictable and so, detracts from the total entertainment value. However, as the film is filled with the characteristic, witty one-liners of Connery and solid acting from both Hoffman and Broderick, it is still thoroughly entertaining. Furthermore, though the film’s somewhat expected aspects of its plotline do, ultimately, detract from its total entertainment value of the audience; it thoroughly succeeds in grabbing the audience from the start with its upbeat music and fully encapsulating cinematography – seen specifically through the sweeping New York City tracking shots at the start of the film.
Overall, I did fully enjoy this movie – however, it was not for the film’s plotline, but specifically for the star-studded cast and the dynamic that was created through the film, between them. Furthermore, had Lumet implemented a more developed and surprising plot, I believe this film would have been far more successful in both entertaining the audience and depicting the true struggle that was at hand in the family. Ultimately though, I did enjoy the movie, and therefore, do recommend it.