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Unaccompanied Minors 2006

A group of unaccompanied minors bond while snowed in at the midwestern Hoover International Airport during the holiday season and ultimately create a makeshift holiday themselves...

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Let's face it, there is a subgenre of family films that prepubescents absolutely love, the one where the kids outsmart the evil, bumbling adults. Every generation has had them, from 'The Little Rascals' to one of my personal childhood favorites, 'The Goonies'. 'Unaccompanied Minors' is yet another entry into this subgenre, sure to excite children into being even more wild and uncontrollable as we approach this holiday season.

Part 'Home Alone', part 'The Great Escape', 'Unaccompanied Minors' mixes elements from the two, but puts them on the ultimate sugar rush......

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While not a classic, this is the best of the poorer holiday movies. Not good like Elf, but not bad like Santa Clause 3.

Where it falters is how stupid the adults are in this and how flawed it is. Let's chase kids on a kayak in snow. I guess actually catching them at their destination (since they know where they are going) is not in the playbook. Not to mention the airport feels the need to illegally detain kids. And BTW, no one over 18 should be playing with a slinky...except me of course.

Where it's good is it has the right element of holiday cheer to it. The formula just works, much to the same way it did with Home Alone...but this is actually Home Alone meets the Breakfast Club with a very little hint of Die Hard 2 (light) in it.
You're probably wondering why out of all the movies opening this week did I choose Unaccompanied Minors? Apocalypto was out of the question after the Mel Gibson fiasco. Apologize all you want for your comments Mel, but remember the old saying "only drunks and children tell the truth". You're anti-semetic at heart, and I forgave Michael Richards for his comments and I have yet to forgive you. As for Blood Diamond well I can only stomach Dicaprio in one movie a year, so that was eliminated.

I hope the FAA and homeland security was studying this movie closely as these children manage to outwit airport security and personel, left, right and centre. Stranded at an airport on Christmas Eve five unaccompanied minors decide to have a little fun which only gets them into trouble and seperated from the rest of the solo flying underage passengers. Yeah that's pretty much the premise of the movie, but one kid is determined to reunite with his sister and then after that bring Christmas cheer to stranded passengers.

The only real big name I recognize is Wilmer Valderrama, because who can forget Fez. Sadly, I think he will forever be typecast in that role as I had trouble believing his character in this film. Everyone else in this film is a bunch of nobodies. The only other face I recognized was Dyllan Chirstopher's, but he was most memorable for me as a corpse in CSI. Truth be known the kid has talent and outshines the rest of his co-stars. He will more then likely go places in Hollywood.

This film is more then likely going to be the Christmas themed film of the year. Although it may not reach the level of the original Miracle on 34th Street or It's a Wonderful Life it certainly is better then the Santa Clause sequels. Expect this film to be shown at least once or twice every holiday season when it hits the TV circuit.


Okay, right after I saw Apocalypto, I decided to get high on sugar and go see a double feature titled Unaccompanied Minors. Before seeing the film, I predicted that it was going to be a mixture of Spy Kids, Baby Geniuses, Christmas with the Kranks, and Home Alone. Well, I was half - right and half - wrong. My prediction of it being a mediocre kid flick was correct, but my prophecizing that it was going to be terrible movie was wrong. Believe it or not, I actually laughed a lot more than the kids and the adults combined together in the theater.


The film first introduces five children (or misfits to be more precise) who have to be left behind in an airport for family related reasons. Charlie ("Everybody Hates Chris" 's Tyler James Williams), Spencer, Timothy, Grace, and Donna are the five misfits that try to find ways to escape the airport and its Scrooge owner Oliver. Throughout we are given an obstacle course, in which the bunch of rugrats have as much fun as the audience does. It does occassionly have that six year old bathroom jokes, but the script switches smoothly to adult humor as quick as a flash.

Unaccompanied Minors may not exactly be the kind of thing you want to see by yourself, especially if your forty years old. Its more suitable towards the kids, and if you take them along, your most likely to have as much fun as they do. The themes, on the other hand, will either make you roll your eyes or except them as morals for your kids. But, however way you see it, the film is just plain funny.
Unaccompanied Minors

Initial Reaction: Why'd they leave them alone?



Main Characters

Oliver: He's an "airport official played by Lewis Black.

Zach Van Bourke: He's Oliver's assistant played by Wilmer Valerrama.

Spenser, Grace, Charlie and Donna: Four kids traveling alone played by Spencer Daveport, Gina Conrad, Tyler James Williams and Quinn Shepard



Plot Summary

It's Christmas Eve, and several kids are traveling through a Midwestern city via plane. However, a blizzard has canceled all flights, leaving the kids alone.

Enter Oliver and Zach. They put the kids in with the other "unaccompanied minors". However, Spenser, Grace, Charlie and Donna hate being in that room, so they break out and have fun -- at the airport's expense.

The security catches up with the foursome, and reel them in, but not before they haphazardly drive a cart around the concourse. Then the kids are sent back into the holding room they were in.

Will they stay there like good boys and girls? Of course not. They break out again and it's a game of cat and mouse between them and security (headed by Oliver.)



Main Characters

Oliver is an average guy doing his job -- yet the first half of the movie, he's portrayed as some sort of villain. I don't get it.

I also don't get the kids. Don't they understand that stealing, reckless driving and abusing property is bad? That made it hard for me to root for our heroes. SCORE: 4



Supporting Cast

A couple of dimwitted guard and several parents who are annoying. SCORE: 2



Plot

This movie would've been easier to take if it weren't for the fact the kids broke the law and won't take their punishment for breaking the law. SCORE: 4



Originality

It's a twist on your average family holiday film -- where the family has to get together for the holidays. SCORE: 7



Violence Factor

It's not bad -- except there are too many scenes where men -- or boys -- get punched you know where by a girl. SCORE: 7



Other Moral Issues

This is supposed to be about family, but this "family" needs to teach its kids some discipline and accountability. SCORE: 5



Final Score (out of 60): 29 % Score: 48.33%

This film had some promise, but it shouldn't put kids above the law.
Nice movie for family but not great.
Unaccompanied Minors Review

Rating: 6.8/10
Rated: PG
Starring: Wilmer Valderrama, Dyllan Christopher, Tyler James Williams, and Lewis Black
Genre: Comedy/Holidays

This simple little film is a very pleasent surprise, I expected a loud, obnoxious, unfunny mess that used the excuse of the holidays to get people in seats, much like the terrible crapfest "Deck the Halls." While "Unaccompanied Minors" is a typical formulaic film that is way too much like "Big Fat Liar", its so much fun and has heart to go along on the wild ride. The plot is something that would be dreamt by a kid, kids stuck at the airpot during Christmas Eve... who let themselves loose, and come together to keep the Holiday Spirit alive for a little girl. It's simple and it works... and when the kids are hatching plans, riding down a snowy hills in canoes, and running rampant in the airport, you can't help but enjoy the family film. When it doesn't work is when the movie plods around in its uninteresting and annoying subplots, instead of focusing itself on the group of highly endearing kids. All of the adult actors are second-rate and only there to give the kids adversaries, its truly the irresistable four main kids that make the film shine. The Kid from "Bad Santa" is in this film too, but he's the most annoying character of them all and should've been cut from the film altogether. The movie really has no bad guys, just adults doing their jobs and doing what they feel is right... and that makes the film a little more realistic. Even though most of the adults besides Lewis Black's and Wilmer Vallderama's characters are ridiculously dumb, they aren't as over-the-top or distracting as the guards in "Catch that Kid" or other family films that are kind of like this one. It's not a perfect film as it has alot of flaws, but those flaws aren't distracting enough to ruin the film. I can't see anyone over the age of 18 truly enjoying this movie, but its a film that kids and teenagers can relate to and have fun with before Christmas rolls along.

Concensus: "Unaccompanied Minors" is no Christmas Classic, but its fun, at times hilarious, it surprisingly has a whole ton of heart, and captures the spirit of the Holidays way better than any Christmas-Film this year.


My Grade: C+
:fresh: I'm letting my 7yo son write this so here goes... This movie is fantastic! I can't pick a favorite part because it's all funny. The main girl is kooky and the boy who does the Star Wars move is hilarious. I want to go again with my mom.:)
First visit to the movie theater this year... I have this crazy tradition that says the first movie of the year must be a bad movie (or at least a crappy one), and, because I already saw Eragon, Van Wilder 2 only had showings at night and A Night At The Museum only opens next friday, I tought I might check Unaccompanied Minors. Usually, I love stupid tween comedies, like New York Minute, and this was no exception. I admit it's terrible, but it's also somehow quite entertaining, in that sort of embarassed way.

The dialogue is creepy, REALLY creepy, tough. There was more than one moment when I stared at the screen in horror! I also don't understand why they make a movie about "rebellious" kids (soft-rebellion rules, Ferris Bueller is the proof!), but whose only real motivation is to make sure the sister of one of them will have her dreamy Christmas gift. There's a good message behind it, but I'd be a lot happier if the movie didn't try so hard to make you understand it.

Plus, the movie copied at least 50 things from Breakfast Club. At a point, I was entertained only by finding "influences" from that John Hughes classic. For example, the kids in the movie are exact copies from the ones in TBC. We have the brain (Anthony Michael Hall in TBC - Tyler James Williams in UM), the princess (Molly Ringwald in TBC - Gina Mategna in UM), the nice guy (Emilio Estevez in TBC - Dyllan Christopher in UM), the basket case (Ally Sheedy in TBC - Brett Kelly in UM) and, my favorite, Quinn Shepperd plays Donna Mallone, the counterpart for Judd Nelson's maniac, rebel character in The Breakfast Club. These kids are great, with lots of enthusiasm and charisma, but the grown-ups, like Wilmer Valderrama and Lewis Black, are overacting and uninteresting.

Even tought Unaccompanied Minors have little braind and little script, and copies most of it's 90 minutes from a John Hugues movie, I liked every single moment of it. I also liked New York Minute, a movie with even less script and originality, so you can't really trust me on this one. I can't help if, inside, I'm still a 10-year-old...




"Unaccompanied Minors" looks like "The Terminal" + "Home Alone" , but as a comedy , the film is not fun enough....

Grade : B-
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