A half brother, a half sister, a complete mess | Movie Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

A half brother, a half sister, a complete mess 

Skeletons come tumbling out of a family's closet in People Like Us

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

All is not in the family in People Like Us

All is not in the family in People Like Us

You'd never guess from the mushy trailer, but this debut feature by Alex Kurtzman tackles a knotty family situation with intelligence and compassion. A corporate hustler estranged from his parents (Chris Pine) reluctantly returns to Los Angeles after the death of his father, a lionized record producer, and discovers that the old man had a secret second family; when the son tracks down his half sister (Elizabeth Banks), a single mother and recovering alcoholic, he can't bear to identify himself, and their growing friendship veers uncomfortably close to romance. This layer of deception only complicates further their respective resentment of the father, and as the action widens to include the protagonist's widowed mother (Michelle Pfeiffer), the movie develops into a painful story of one generation inflicting its selfish compromises on the next. The three leads are uniformly excellent, and the strong supporting cast includes Mark Duplass and Philip Baker Hall.

What others are saying

  • Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

    We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

    Are you in?

      Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
      Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
      Reader Radical $15/month →  
      Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

    Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

     One-time donation  → 

    Film Details


    Subscribe to this thread:

    Add a comment

    Agenda Teaser

    Performing Arts
    April 10
    Performing Arts
    November 12

    Popular Stories