We're the Millers (2013) by The Critical Movie Critics

Movie Review: We’re the Millers (2013)

We're the Millers (2013) by The Critical Movie Critics

The happy Miller family.

If the mind of “National Lampoon’s Vacation” director, Harold Ramis, was to morph with the unkempt, lewd intellect of Bob Saget or Louis C.K., you’d have the framework for We’re the Millers. It mixes harmless family humor with blandly offensive material, creating a slapstick comedy that, against what some may think is a good mix, garners a recommendation.

Those concerns are duly noted, however, a viewer will tell right from the get-go that We’re the Millers is a shallowly construed, nonsensical adventure, with a script that doesn’t ask anyone to think too profoundly. And by God, the unparalleled humor of Jason Sudeikis (“Hall Pass”) shines, along with that of Will Poulter (“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader), who now stands to become a notable comedy newcomer.

The raucous adventure begins when low-level marijuana dealer, David Clark (Sudeikis) gets robbed outside of his apartment building after attempting to break up a fight that’s erupted between a few back-alley punks and a runaway teenage girl named Casey Mathis (Emma Roberts, “The Art of Getting By”) and a quirky dweeb named Kenny Rossmore (Poulter). Unfortunately for David, the money lost belonged to his supplier, Brad Gurdlinger (Ed Helms, “The Hangover Part 3), and, well you know, shortchanging your dealer isn’t a good way to stay in business (or alive for that matter).

Ever the reasonable man though, the Orca-loving drug lord, “recommends” David to repay his debt by traveling to Mexico to retrieve a “smidge” of “mari-jew-wana.” Drug smuggling is a dangerous proposition (or so I’m told), so, to lessen the odds of getting busted, David decides to rent a family for the excursion. The “happy-to-be-on-vacation-Millers” are the two teens from the altercation that started this whole mess and mom Sarah “Rose” O’Reilly (Jennifer Aniston, “Horrible Bosses”), a stripper who lives in the same complex as David.

The laughs — and there are some very good ones — come quickly and usually at the expense of the newly minted “family” and their interactions but there are others to be had from external forces as well. As the gang begins to bond, they face dilemmas from: Border patrol, infuriated cartel members, the birds and the bees, and the Fitzgerald family — Don, Edie and Melissa (Nick Offerman, TV series “Parks and Recreation,” Kathryn Hahn, “Wanderlust” and Molly Quinn, TV series “Castle,” respectively).

We're the Millers (2013) by The Critical Movie Critics

“Mommy” at work.

Many of these asinine situations have been seen before in one form or another, but they generally feel fresh in the production. That’s due in part because, as mentioned, Sudeikis brings his A-game and Poulter (or should I call him “eyebrows?”) is delightfully awkward and enthusiastic. Director Rawson Marshall Thurber (“Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story”), gets some credit too as he stays out of the way and allows the humor to flow relatively steadily throughout. As for the rest of the cast, including the very shapely Jennifer Aniston, they’re good for at least a smile or two.

But even though We’re the Millers isn’t always the funniest or teeming with ingenuity (although it is the first movie that I’ve come away from having learned the words to the TLC song “Waterfalls”), it is still in the running for the year’s best adult-themed comedy. As Don Fitzgerald said in one of the movie’s funniest moments, “We’re looking to spice things up a bit.” Luckily, Thurber and team did just that.

Critical Movie Critic Rating:
3 Star Rating: Average


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The Critical Movie Critics

Dan is an author, film critic and media professional. He is a former staff writer for the N.Y. Daily News, where he served as a film/TV reviewer with a "Top Critic" designation on Rotten Tomatoes. His debut historical fiction novel, "Synod," was published by an independent press in Jan. 2018, receiving praise among indie book reviewers. His research interests include English, military and political history.

'Movie Review: We’re the Millers (2013)' have 10 comments

  1. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 9, 2013 @ 1:32 pm Bluematter

    I love the fact Ms. Aniston is showing that killer bod off. Getting dumped by Brad Pitt was the best thing to happen for the movie going public! Thank you Brad!!!

  2. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 9, 2013 @ 1:38 pm stableboy

    I’m still trying to understand how Jason Sudeikis broke into the movies. He wasn’t that funny on SNL and now here he is hooking up with Jennifer Aniston …

    • The Critical Movie Critics

      August 9, 2013 @ 5:59 pm trowel

      Lorne Michaels. He’s responsible for all the SNL breakouts and makes big bank from them.

  3. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 9, 2013 @ 2:44 pm IonEaston

    Best adult-themed comedy of the year? You sir are very accommodating with your praise.

  4. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 9, 2013 @ 3:29 pm AngelAsh

    When did “Virgin” become a character flaw as bad as “Stripper” or “Drug Dealer”?

  5. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 9, 2013 @ 6:15 pm BaconLounge

    Won’t see it. Commercials for it made it look really lame.

  6. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 9, 2013 @ 7:09 pm FredUp

    It had enough funny scenes to justify the cost of seeing it but if I had to do it over again I would probably wait for vod

  7. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 10, 2013 @ 6:29 am that guy

    Shame on me for knowing this firsthand – The Millers is mildly less bad than Grownups 2.

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