We’re the Millers: Review


“We’re the Millers” movie poster

Note: Please consult your parents before watching a rated-R movie.

Trust me, I really wanted to dislike We’re the Millers. The main plotline revolves around a man’s journey to Mexico and back, travelling with a fake family to smuggle a copious amount of marijuana so that he can have a payday—this is the stuff that eye-rolling was invented for. Yet, for all the built-up spite and dismissiveness in me, I simply could not bring myself to the conclusion that We’re the Millers was sincerely a “bad movie”. Because, frankly, it isn’t.

We’re the Millers stars an ensemble cast of comedy stars and outside of the very solid titular Miller family, there are some surprising cameo appearances from comedy stalwarts that will amuse the attentive viewer. Recently departed Saturday Night Live performer Jason Sudeikis plays protagonist David Clark, who poses as patriarch “David Miller” in the drug heist of the movie. He is joined by Jennifer Aniston (who plays, let’s say… a nightclub dancer?) and two fresh-faced youngsters acting as the children. The real gem, without question, is British actor Will Poulter, who is laugh-out-loud as an 18-year old, socially awkward teenager who knows TLC’s “Waterfalls” way too well. Ed Helms has a few scenes as drug dealing sociopath Brad Gurdlinger and the “awkward other couple” is played superbly by Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn.

The overall execution of the storyline is no better or worse than you would expect from a shameless drug comedy, but to judge We’re the Millers based on Sorkinesque writing, artistic cinematography and an avant-garde director’s lens would be not only disingenuous but also quite ludicrous. Director Rawson Marshall delivers exactly what the film advertises—a silly heist lampoon with an extraordinarily high laugh-per-minute ratio. There is no forced sentimentality or mawkish morals and any hint of such is quickly dispelled by some flippant remark or vulgar joke. The ending is happy but not a shove-in-your-face catharsis—even after the fake Millers family unites in a suburban house under “witness protection”, the camera pans out to see marijuana plants growing in their backyard. The film sticks to its guns while being humorous and topical, three qualities that simultaneously occur in few comedies.

If you’re looking for Oscar-worthy fare, We’re the Millers is not for you, but you probably already knew that. Sometimes, however, it’s nice to unwind with a movie that doesn’t require quite as much thinking yet is well-made and genuinely funny. We’re the Millers is exactly that and it won’t disappoint.