100

San Francisco Examiner

By Barbara Shulgasser
The film's premise is totally implausible yet great performances, directing and script allow us to transcend the concept of believability and enjoy nevertheless.
Full Review
90

Chicago Reader

By Jonathan Rosenbaum
In one sense, this seemingly melodramatic plot premise is contrived, registering more as myth than as real possibility. Yet thanks to what the movie has in mind and especially what the actors bring to it, it's a lovely myth, one that has the ring of deeply felt truth.
Full Review
75

Christian Science Monitor

By David Sterritt
The story is thin, but the film has rich emotions and a highly constructive moral sense, showing how racial divisions crumble once people recognize their artificiality.
Full Review
75

San Francisco Chronicle

By Peter Stack
It's impossible to dismiss the attraction of such accomplished actors on the big screen, even with a fits-and-starts script.
Full Review
75

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
The situations are more or less standard (fights over sleeping arrangements, emergencies that have to be solved, moments of truth and confession), but the dialogue and the acting bring the material up to another level.
Full Review
75

ReelViews

By James Berardinelli
Despite its good intentions, A Family Thing could easily have been a mediocre drama, but the excellent performances elevate the film considerably.
Full Review
67

Entertainment Weekly

Any other writers handed this premise would probably play it for cheap laughs, but Billy Bob Thornton and Tom Epperson have made an earnest drama out of it, one lightened by a few affectionate laughs and much heartfelt sentimentality.
Full Review
63

TV Guide

Its assets are considerable: affecting performances (especially Irma P. Hall as blind Aunt T.) and sharp writing.
Full Review
50

Austin Chronicle

With acting legends Duvall and Jones in the lead roles, the story stays afloat, but occasionally these actors seem to be lurching around in a script that's too "small" for them.
Full Review
50

USA Today

By Mike Clark
It's likely to be overrated by some and underrated by others, and both contingents will be wrong. One can't, however, overrate the performances, with auntie ruling the roost in more ways than one. [29 Mar 1996, p.4D]
Full Review
71 out of 100
Generally favorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.