Michael Robison’s “Family Practice Mysteries: Coming Home” is a lackluster murder mystery. Calling it a mystery may be a stretch since neither any pace nor suspense is to be found. The film moves by in a muted, mechanical fashion, with unfolding events and circumstances sputtering out of breath despite orchestrations of sudden revelations or twists. Characters are sketchy, contrivances flood the screenplay, and a maudlin filter hangs onto the proceedings.

Everything about the film feels stagey and over-designed yet also vague and foggy. There’s nothing in the film we can clutch onto, resulting in it being a baggy mess. The situations are nondescript, and at no point do the stakes get accentuated. The film is stodgy and limp, with no understanding of composition or an inclination to delineate its characters, thereby flattening all elements into a mix of heightened ennui and meandering rhythms, even if there’s an investigation at the core of it all. The thrust of a need for answers and clarity is lacking, and so is the possibility of dramatic intrigue and textured interactions.

Family Practice Mysteries: Coming Home (2024) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:

To really enjoy the film, you need a high tolerance of cheesiness. Otherwise, it is difficult to buy into any of the film’s heavy-handed, sentimental efforts or the twists in circumstances. There’s an exhaustion to the whole enterprise and an inherent laziness. It is as if the screenplay was patched together within a few hours, and the cast thought of giving it a shot purely for reasons other than playing around at their craft. Expectations must be kept cardinally low before you step into the film. That’s the only way you can bear with the adventures of Dr. Rachel Hunt (Amanda Schull).

Rachel was a military surgeon in Germany. She lost her husband in the war. Since then, she has moved back to her roots and home turf with her two kids. Matthew (Jett Klyne) and Chloe (Isla Crerar). The kids haven’t found it easy adjusting to a change of place. For Rachel, shuffling back into the rhythms of civilian life hasn’t been smooth sailing either. She diligently buries herself in work and doesn’t pursue any romantic adventures. She is very involved in keeping updates on her patients. A regular, Ross Alexander (Gregg Kean), has been insistent on an MRI scan. However, when Rachel tries to reach out to him, there is no response. She turns up at his house and discovers him dead.

Ross was perfectly healthy. Though the cops are determined to rule it out as a natural death, Rachel is restless. She is suspicious that something’s not quite right. Thus, she starts digging around for signs of foul play. Throughout her journey of unearthing answers, her children provide her with cues that guide her further. She is insistent on getting an autopsy done even though Ross’s family, his brother, Leonard (Christopher Shyer), and his wife, Meredith (Kendall Cross), don’t welcome the idea. Their opposition, however, doesn’t dent her enthusiasm and drive in searching for the answers. She’s advised against it but refuses to let go, choosing to trust her gut instinct that something is awry.

Family Practice Mysteries: Coming Home (2024) Movie
A still from “Family Practice Mysteries: Coming Home” (2024)

Ross ran the chain of multiple newspapers. Rachel pushes in her investigation but cannot find any rivals. Only gradually does she stumble across an email correspondence with a Dave Stringer, who’d threatened Ross if he didn’t take down a piece. But Dave has an alibi. Rachel strikes up a blossoming relationship with a police detective, Jack Quinn (Brendan Penny), who isn’t initially enthusiastic but slowly finds merit in her digging.

When the autopsy reveals Ross was poisoned, Rachel is abundantly relieved to have her suspicions confirmed. She is all the more bolstered to conduct her inquiries. But this implies she is treading a path of danger. She becomes so invested in finding the truth that she displays recklessness. She looks around to see who benefits from the death. Initially, she learns Meredith and Leonard have an upscale life.

The latter is quite devoted to his adoration of his brother, so she doesn’t think they are behind it. She discovers Ross has a biological son, Danny, who had recently been in touch with him. Neither Meredith nor Leonard claims to have had the knowledge of Danny’s existence. Danny has had some criminal records, which arouses Rachel’s curiosity. But he is soon found murdered before Rachel or the cops can get to him. Meanwhile, there’s an attempt to murder Rachel, which she narrowly escapes. But she makes a note of the car. Dave is brought in for questioning.

Family Practice Mysteries: Coming Home (2024) Movie Ending Explained:

Who killed Ross?

It is much later that Ross’s accountant confides in Rachel that Meredith and Leonard’s business ventures have tanked recently. Meredith had approached Ross for a loan, which Ross promptly turned down. Plus, he didn’t want to get entangled in any venture which he couldn’t trust at all. The extent to which Meredith and Leonard’s finances had crashed becomes known to Rachel very late in her quest. Since in the event of Ross’s death and his not having his own child, his will declares all his possessions would come into the hands of his brother and sister-in-law. Who stands to benefit from Ross’s death?

The urgency of this question assumes sharpening importance and appeal, which harks to Rachel the answer she had been looking for. She realizes Meredith and her brother, Phil, are behind the murder. Leonard is shocked at what’s unfolding as Meredith and Phil plan to kill off Rachel. He had no clue what the two plotted and that they were behind the killing of his brother. When Meredith insists she did it for their good, he is aghast, questioning her about the price of her actions. He is absolutely horrified at the bursting forth of the devastating knowledge of his wife’s complicity. Ultimately, no harm comes to Rachel as the cops, led by Jack, arrive in due time and detain the guilty duo. Things turn out to be all rosy for Rachel as she gets closure and the possibility of romance re-enters her life.

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Trailer:

Family Practice Mysteries: Coming Home (2024) Movie Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes
The Cast of Family Practice Mysteries: Coming Home (2024) Movie: Amanda Schull, Brendan Penny, Gerard Plunkett
Family Practice Mysteries: Coming Home (2024) Movie Genre: Mystery & Thriller | Runtime: 1h 30m
Where to watch Family Practice Mysteries: Coming Home

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