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We're the Millers

New Line // R // November 19, 2013 // Region 0
List Price: $35.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Adam Tyner | posted November 20, 2013 | E-mail the Author
See? That's what happens when you stick your neck out for someone. ...or, well, that's what happens when you stick your neck out for someone who's sticking his neck out for someone.

Wait, let me start again. Kenny (Will Poulter) swoops in to save the day when he sees a bunch of thugs ganging up on a homeless, teenaged gutterpunk (Emma Roberts). It's just,
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y'know, that a gangly, doofy eighteen year old isn't all that intimidating. David (Jason Sudeikis) groans and stomps across the street to pull his downstairs neighbor's ass out of the fryer. It, uh, doesn't go well. It goes even less well when Kenny starts bragging about what a cool drug dealer his buddy David is. The good news...? They stop beating up Casey, who slinks away like nothing had happened. The bad news...? Yeah. Those pricks pummel the holy hell out of David, tear his apartment down just about to the studs, and run off with the dude's entire life savings and a small fortune in pot.

David may not work in an office with a suit and tie or whatever, but this small-time weed slinger's still got a boss...a boss who's now out forty grand and change. Pot kingpin Brad Gurdlinger (Ed Helms) gives his old college pal a chance to dig his way outta this, though. All he's gotta do is truck down to Mexico and bring a smidge of marijuana back across the border. Smidge and a half. No big deal. It's just that David looks like the kinda guy who'd smuggle weed outta Mexico, and he'd be on the wrong side of the border patrol's billy clubs before they could ask if he has anything to declare. 'Course, if David were some dopey dad in an RV with his white bread family, they'd wave him on through without a second look. They're The Millers, if anyone asks, and underneath all those wide-eyed smiles and cotton-poly blends are a drug dealer dad, a stripper mom (Jennifer Aniston), a virginal dope of an eldest son, and his underage runaway kid sister. Not only do four people who can't really stomach the sight of one other have to pass themselves off as a wholesome, all-American family, but it turns out that they're smuggling a skooch more than a smidge, a bunch of Mexican drug lords are out for their blood, and maybe palling around with the Flanders-esFitzgeralds (Nick Offerman, Kathryn Hahn, and Molly Quinn) in that other RV over there could come back to bite them in the keister too.

I'll save you the trouble of clicking around on the IMDb. Between its director and small army of writers, you've got filmmakers with stuff like Sex Drive, Hot Tub Time Machine, Wedding Crashers, Easy A, and Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story on their résumés, and that might as well be a list of all my favorite comedies from the past ten years or so. Even better, We're The Millers has a cast that knows how to riff, skilled enough at improvisation to elevate the good stuff on the page into something even better. The end result is something that I guess I'm going to spend the next couple of paragraphs gushing on and on about 'cause I loved the hell out of We're the Millers.

We're the Millers delivers pretty much everything I could want in a comedy. Its sense of humor is right in my wheelhouse, swiftly unleashing a razor-sharp wit, racy without careening over into gross-out territory, and is just about wall-to-wall hysterical. The movie has enough confidence in its comedy to just be funny too, not punctuating everything with bug-eyed facial expressions or a loopy carnival score. When I watch movies like this by myself, I'm the sort of person who looks on quietly and occasionally thinks "oh, that was great!". I'm a social laugher, I guess. Not the case here, 'cause I was cracking up for
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closing in on two hours straight. There's an actual movie here too, not just some thinly-sketched premise to string together a couple hundred different jokes. The more emotional stuff is woven in really deftly, with We're The Millers not screeching to a halt 'cause it's time to talk about feelings and get all teary-eyed. Even though you know some of what's coming -- will these four lonely people pretending to be a family learn to become a real one? -- the execution still makes it feel rewarding and wholly earned. Heck, even the telegraphed gags...Rose and David's mistaken motivation for sneaking into the Fitzgeralds' tent in the wee hours of the morning, Kenny's Kissing 101 lab getting interrupted...still scored a laugh from me. There are so many surprises and unexpected turns along the way that the more predictable bits could never be a drag. I mean, tarantula balls and Luis Guzman extorting a barely legal blowjob and what's lurking in that glove compartment...? Love it, love it, love it. We're the Millers is teeming with personality and characters that dig their hooks into you in the best possible way, and it's pretty much perfectly cast. I think I'm also supposed to say how in awe I am of Jennifer Aniston's striptease, still having it and then some even in her mid-40s. It's a nice change of pace from her girl-next-door rom-com persona, something she's been exploring recently in the likes of Horrible Bosses as well.

The pacing is dead-on throughout We're the Millers, even in the extended (but not unrated!) version that clocks in nine minutes longer than what made the rounds in theaters. For sure, the end credit gag reel, the aftermath of the testicular tarantula, and the, um, French lessons are extended. It looks like there's more with Casey's double-digit IQ carnie fling, and I'm pretty sure a heart-to-heart between David and Nick Offerman's white bread dad wasn't in the theatrical version. I'm too lazy to do an exhaustive comparison, but I'm sure it's all good stuff. Never slows to a crawl or feels like I'm watching Apocalypse Now as sometimes happens with the Apatow crowd.

Anyway, I had a blast with We're the Millers. No snark, no "except.."s, no "but..."s, no nothin'. Of course, a movie that raked in more than a quarter of a billion dollars in theaters doesn't need me to cheerlead it, but I'm glad to say that We're the Miller is a really terrific comedy that deserves its success. Highly Recommended.

C'mon, it's a shiny, new studio comedy; how do you think this part of the review is gonna go? The digital photography is consistently crisp and clean throughout, boasting bright, vivid colors whenever it has half a chance. Clarity and detail leave no room for complaint. There aren't any sputters or stutters in the AVC encode, and no heavy-handed digital noise reduction
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has been heaped on. Exactly what it oughtta be.

We're the Millers uses seamless branching to accommodate both versions of the movie and still get the most out of this dual-layer Blu-ray disc. Everything about it really is seamless, with no visual cues that there's anything different between the two cuts. Oh, and both versions are presented at an aspect ratio of 2.39:1, the same as We're the Millers was screened in theaters.

We're the Millers is rockin' a six-channel, 16-bit DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. Nothing that'll redefine the way you perceive the spectrum of sound or anything, but it's a solid effort just the same. Dialogue is consistently rendered cleanly and clearly throughout, and every line is balanced perfectly in the mix. The surrounds are mostly used for atmospherics and reinforcing music, but they make their presence known when it counts with hard screeching brakes and a couple bouts of gunplay. Bass response is respectable as well. Exactly what a comedy with spurts of action like this needs.

Both cuts of We're the Millers serve up subtitles in English (SDH), Quebeçois-French, Spanish, and Portuguese. The extended version is limited to the lossless English track only, while the theatrical version dishes out Dolby Digital 5.1 (640kbps) dubs in Quebeçois-French, Spanish, and Portuguese.

I don't know if you count this Blu-ray disc delivering both the theatrical and extended versions of We're the Millers to be some kind of extra, but if you do, then...well, there you go.
  • Outtakes (11 min.; HD): First up to the plate is "Millers Unleashed - Outtakes Overload" (8 min.), a featurette
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    about the improvisational bent to We're the Millers. The real highlights aren't all the talking head interviews but the line-o-rama onslaught, and just about every last one of the improvs here are straight-up genius. If you can't get enough, there's a separate three minute outtake/gag reel, although it doesn't stack up to the best bits from "Millers Unleashed".

  • Deleted Scenes (16 min.; HD): You get a few different versions of the South of the Border blowjob bargaining, some post-not-coital squabbling, Kenny getting checked out of the hospital, and some more of Mr. Ben Folds on the piano doing an old favorite.

  • Behind the Scenes (25 min.; HD): There are nine micro-featurettes scattered around different headings on this Blu-ray disc too, among them crafting the ultimate Orca-obsessed douchebag, making over the Millers into an all-American family, a Spartacus riff, everything you'd want to know about shooting a comedy in an RV for months on end but were afraid to ask, shooting with real tarantulas and a fake testicle the size of a pineapple, and those nasty rumors that We're the Millers was a front to smuggle bales of actual weed all the way to Los Angeles. Nothing really amazing but decent enough all around.

We're The Millers is a combo pack that has a DVD tagging along for the ride, although it's the shorter, theatrical cut of the movie only. There's an UltraViolet digital copy code tucked away in here too. The whole thing arrives in a slipcover with lenticular animation showcasing the Jekyll/Hyde/Miller duality thingie.

The Final Word
I have no ragrets saying that We're the Millers might be my favorite comedy from the class of 2013, y'know what I'm sayin'? Hell of a Blu-ray disc too. Highly Recommended.
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Highly Recommended

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