Before 'After Earth': Ten notable movies with family connections
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'Donnie Darko' (2001)
Family ties: Real-life brother and sister Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal play suburban siblings
Why it worked: Writer/director Richard Kelly never managed to replicate the magic he evoked in his 2001 debut, and part of the reason is that unlike, say, his long-delayed 2007 follow-up "Southland Tales," his self-indulgent brand of overblown existentialism was here grounded in characters we actually came to love and care about. The Darkos were a family that many of us could recognize from our own lives, and the bond between them felt palpable on-screen, sometimes painfully so. Most striking in its intimacy was the chemistry between real-life siblings Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal; when these two mock one another across the family dinner table, you can practically see the twinkle of a shared history in their eyes. Though they actually share very little screen time, it helps anchor the dynamic of this remarkably-drawn movie family in a very real place.