Are We There Yet? (2005)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Road Movie, Domestic Comedy  |   Release Date - Jan 21, 2005 (USA)  |   Run Time - 94 min.  |   Countries - Canada, United States  |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Review by Derek Armstrong

It's fascinating to see how far Ice Cube has come since his days as a foul-mouthed rapper in N.W.A, a parent's worst nightmare. Sure, the PG-rated Are We There Yet? is having fun with the idea that Cube is a bit rough to be chaperoning children, but in truth, he's been on this road toward becoming Uncle Ice Cube, the family-friendly icon, for some time now. It's important that Cube gives such a pleasing performance because the actors are the only things to recommend Are We There Yet? Fortunately, this includes the two darling child actors, Aleisha Allen and Philip Daniel Bolden, who seem to instinctively understand that they shouldn't be either too precious or too bratty. The middle ground makes them real siblings, bickering yet loving, and darn appealing. Without the winning rapport of these three, the audience would feel like an unwitting passenger on this journey -- whining the frustrated question from the title -- almost from the start. As movie road trips go, it's not very epic, covering only the 300 miles between Portland and Vancouver. The obligatory disastrous set pieces are written indifferently, almost tacked on and unimportant. The script's one clever idea is to have a bobblehead doll of Satchel Paige serving as the conscience of Cube's Nick Persons, a memorabilia shop owner, talking to him from the dashboard of his new Escalade. But Tracy Morgan's vocal schtick in this role grows tiresome as well. Since the performers generally distract from the production's many shortcomings, Are We There Yet? is a cute enough family movie.