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Overall Rating
3.67

Awesome: 2.78%
Worth A Look66.67%
Average: 25%
Pretty Bad: 5.56%
Total Crap: 0%

5 reviews, 6 user ratings


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Unaccompanied Minors
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by Doug Bentin

"Lewis Black conquers the world"
4 stars

2006 will surely go down in the film history as The Year of Lewis Black. One of stand-up comedy’s favorite Angry Old Men scored three film roles this year—he was in “Man of the Year” and “Accepted,” and now he’s back, playing essentially the same character, in “Unaccompanied Minors,” the heart warming tale of kids stuck in a Midwestern airport due to a blizzard on Christmas Eve.

Every kid is a horror of bad manners, bullying, and ravening locustism—a walking weapon of mass destruction—except five of varying generic personality types who band together to escape the “UM” (hence the film’s title) ghetto, a concrete bunker formerly used to interrogate terrorists.

Airport security chief Black and his assistant Zach (Wilmer Valderrama), already overwhelmed by meteorological bad news, just want to round them back up again and haul them back to the gulag.

The unofficial leader of the pack is Spencer (Dyllan Christopher), who has been separated from his little sister. She’s gone to a nearby lodge to spend the night with most of the other kids. Spencer wants to find her and leave her a doll so she won’t think that Santa Claus couldn’t find her. Isn’t that sweet?

So his gang of fellow-escapees decide to help him. They are the nerdy-goofball black kid (Tyler James Williams), the hardened gal with the heart of gold (Gina Mantegna), the chubby kid who carries his Aqua Man action figure everywhere he goes (Brett Kelly, from “Bad Santa”), and the hot former nerd rich girl whose parents neglect her (Quinn Shephard. Watch, too, for cameos from Jessica Walter, David Koechner, Al Roker, and an uncredited Teri Garr.

Okay, so far that’s all been the bad news. The good news is that “Unaccompanied Minors” actually tries to be watchable. Director Paul Feig and screenwriters Jacob Mesaros and Mya Stark, while not presenting much that’s new, at least go easy on the old. For instance, there’s only one fart joke, and while it is, as it were, in your face, it isn’t belabored.

The kid actors are all tolerable for an adult audience, and although they sometimes come up with spur of the moment gadgetry that would impress MacGyver, for the most part they behave realistically.

More so, in fact, than the guys behind the camera. The unclaimed luggage warehouse—that’s what they call it—is as vast as the place the lost ark is stored at the end of “Raiders.” I’ve seen Sam’s Clubs that had fewer items in them. This allows the director to indulge in a montage of the kids poking around to find stuff with which they can act silly. Someone has watched too many episodes of “The Monkees” on Nick at Night.

Sometimes—more often than you’d like—in this movie reviewing racket you just have to settle. If you want to take your kids to see a Christmas-themed comedy—peace on Earth, good will to man, and all that stuff--“Unaccompanied Minors” is far superior to “Deck the Halls, and assuming your tolerance for slapstick and last reel conversions to a belief in the brotherhood of man and brat has been winterized, you can sit through this picture and maybe even laugh a little. Or cry a little. After all, what would a movie about pre-teens be without a generous helping of self-pity?

Besides, when it comes to adult comics selling out to seasonal family fare, it’s nice to see someone other than Steve Martin do it.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=15292&reviewer=405
originally posted: 12/19/06 06:06:35
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User Comments

8/21/07 prasanthan greates flim in the world!! I saw it 9 times in 3 days 5 stars
5/19/07 David Pollastrini not great, not terrible 3 stars
4/18/07 David Pollastrini some funny bits here and there 3 stars
3/09/07 Marcia Zarwetten-Grassi Lame to minimally entertaining; I expected ti to be among "Bottom five movies in release" 3 stars
1/16/07 Jeff Anderson Not that terrible, but awfully bland. Paul Feig's genius is nowhere in sight here AT ALL!!! 2 stars
12/25/06 orpy r u kidding? Horrible, boring, pathetic! 2 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  08-Dec-2006 (PG)
  DVD: 07-Aug-2007

UK
  15-Dec-2006

Australia
  30-Nov-2006




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