Robert De Niro gives an excellent performance as a widower named Frank Goode whose four adult kids are not coming home for Christmas. So he heads out and travels with the idea of seeing all four of his kids, two girls and two boys. One son is in trouble but the others keep it from him. Additional family problems are kept secret and everyone tells him that “everybody’s fine.” However, Dad is a wise old gentleman who knows things are not adding up.
The movie has some touching scenes including one in which Frank calls home to hear his deceased wife’s voice on the answering machine. He also believes one son didn’t care for him only to learn a surprising truth by film’s end. This comes in the form of a painting by his artistic son but we won’t give the ending a way. The film focuses on the importance of being truthful and keeping in touch with family. It is a shame that strong language prevents us from being able to award our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal to this movie.