It Runs in the Family (2003) - Rotten Tomatoes

It Runs in the Family2003

It Runs in the Family (2003)



Critic Consensus: Despite its gimmick casting, the movie ultimately goes nowhere.

It Runs in the Family Photos

Movie Info

A family takes on the difficult task of learning how to get along with one another in this emotional comedy drama. Alex Gromberg (Michael Douglas) is a middle-aged man who feels caught in the middle of his familial obligations as he muddles he way through a midlife crisis. While a successful businessman, Alex sometimes still feels as if he's under the shadow of his father, Mitchell Gromberg (Kirk Douglas), a successful attorney whose skills in the courtroom outstripped his gifts as a parent. Elderly Mitchell has recently survived a stroke, and Alex and Mitchell want to mend their relationship while there's still time, but making it so proves difficult, even with Alex getting advice from his wife, psychologist Rebecca (Bernadette Peters), and Mitchell being prodded by his long-suffering wife, Evelyn (Diana Douglas). Alex is also trying to reach out to his two sons, who are as different as night and day; college student Asher (Cameron Douglas) is an aspiring club DJ who seems to be styling himself to bear no resemblance to his father, while 11-year-old Eli (Rory Culkin) is an overly serious lad who is having trouble navigating the first steps of adolescence. It Runs in the Family marked the first time Kirk Douglas acted in a film with his son Michael Douglas; adding to the family atmosphere was Michael's son Cameron Douglas, working with his family for the first time, and Diana Douglas, Kirk's former wife and Michael's mother.

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Michael Douglas
as Alex Gromberg
Kirk Douglas
as Mitchell Gromberg
Cameron Douglas
as Asher Gromberg
Diana Douglas
as Evelyn Gromberg
Rory Culkin
as Eli Gromberg
Bernadette Peters
as Rebecca Gromberg
Mark Hammer
as Stephen Gromberg
Michelle Monaghan
as Peg Maloney
Irene Gorovaia
as Abby Staley
Audra McDonald
as Sarah Langley
Josh Pais
as Barney
Marc Damon Johnson
as Professor Edwards
Carmen Lopez
as Rosario
Stephen Singer
as Dr. Kaplan
Roy Milton Davis
as Homeless Man
Lisa Ann Frisone
as Homeless Woman
Adrian Martinez
as Mitchell's Doorman
Cameron Boyd
as Skateboarder
Ian Boyd
as Skateboarder
Demetrius Kiprakis
as Skateboarder
Ray Demattis
as Italian Waiter
Alvin Crawford
as Male Nurse
Robert Montano
as Officer Bane
Jerome Preston Bates
as Officer McDonough
Adam Mucci
as Officer Samms
Adam Grupper
as Principal
Sara Meyer
as Jogger
Mark Ledbetter
as Young Jogger
Shantell Herndon
as Young Jogger
Bob Kaliban
as Jim Lindsay
Sho Ma "Xiao"
as Skateboarder
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Critic Reviews for It Runs in the Family

All Critics (99) | Top Critics (32)

A funny, articulate, imperfect, sometimes messy, often infuriatingly sentimental, but always caring and spirited movie.

May 1, 2003
Top Critic

Goes easy on the schmaltz, and the catastrophes have the puncturing feel of real life.

April 29, 2003 | Full Review…

A lot of things, we see coming about three scenes in advance ... But, the three generations of Douglas' in particular, that's why I'm recommending this film.

April 28, 2003

Worthwhile, though the story is predictable.

April 25, 2003 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Acting together for the first time, Kirk and Michael Douglas have some powerful scenes together, which only makes you wish the entire project had tilted more towards Eugene O'Neill than Neil Simon.

April 25, 2003 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

A pretty unpalatable blend of syrup and formaldehyde-basted turkey.

April 25, 2003 | Rating: 2/4

Audience Reviews for It Runs in the Family


A scattershot mess whose only interest is the casting of three generations of Douglases in the main roles.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

Cast: Kirk Douglas, Michael Douglas, Bernadette Peters, Rory Culkin, Cameron Douglas, Diana Darrid Douglas, Michelle Monaghan, Geoffrey Arend, Sarita Choudhury, Irene Gorovaia, Audra McDonald, Annie Golden, Josh Pais Director: Fred Schepisi Summary: The Gromberg family is one of the most powerful families in New York City -- but hidden beneath a veneer of perfection is a wealth of dysfunction. Three generations of Douglas thespians star in this touching drama about the ties that bind. My Thoughts: "Although it was nice to see three generations on the screen thogether, the film wasn't that great. It had some funny moments here and there but not the comedy I thought it was going to be. It was more of a drama. A lot of father and son issues going on in this film that I am sure some will be able to relate to. The acting was good and it's unfortunate Cameron Douglas is in the position he is cause I think he could have easily followed in his grandfather and father's footsteps in the film industry. I thought he did good in the movie. I liked his character, he was fun. Perhaps the film is more fact then fiction. Either way it wasn't great but I enjoyed it."


Super Reviewer

Not really very original and pretty dull in parts.

Sunil Jawahir
Sunil Jawahir

Super Reviewer

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