Cheaper by the Dozen (2022) review – a needless cash-in remake that is low on laughs

By Adam Lock
Published: March 18, 2022 (Last updated: December 16, 2023)
Disney+ film Cheaper by the Dozen (2022)


An unfunny and irritating remake that is just as exhausting as living with nine children probably is.

This review of the Disney+ film Cheaper by the Dozen (2022) does not contain spoilers.

Disney continues their unending mission to remake its entire back catalogue of films with this needless offering. Zach Braff stars as Paul Baker, an all-day breakfast restaurateur and the father to a family of nine children. This hectic household juggle work at the family diner and a busy school schedule, yet their dad has bigger dreams.

Right from the off, this comedy has all the clichéd trappings of countless other Disney family films. You have the poppy soundtrack, lazy voiceovers and sassy kids galore. The opening credits introduce the Bakers via a family album slideshow, with Beyoncé playing in the background. Then Zach Braff talks us through the nine kids and their unique dreams. This categorisation means the characters don’t need any further development or actual personality. For example, you have a comic book nerd, a punk in a band and the basketball protégé, etcetera.

The lazy writing continues with the embarrassing humour or lack thereof. This comedy delivers an onslaught of jokes, with most barely raising the smallest twitch of a smile. The children are paraded around like comic geniuses, supplying quick-witted remarks at every turn, as though they’re wise beyond their years. This shtick is really wearing thin and adds to the film’s dated quality. Every ‘bad’ joke should probably end with a comedic drum sting or they might as well just go ahead and add in a laughter track. Yes, it is that unfunny.

With the family behind on rent, Paul pitches his incredible new business idea to twin investors Melanie and Michele. The idea involves a sauce that can be hot, sweet or savoury depending on the food it goes with. Lost, let’s just go with it, OK? The presentation is a hit and the family instantaneously moves into a new mansion and a snobbish school. A change of scenery allows for some fresh tension. Throw in a bullying subplot, dating woes, some other college clichés and a troubled cousin, who comes to stay with the gang as well.

The film trundles on with its lacklustre jokes and predictable plotting for nigh on two hours. It makes for a torturous watch. The movie is loud and obnoxious, with poor attempts at addressing racism and coming of age issues, which pales in comparison with the likes of Pixar’s Turning Red. In conclusion, this is a skippable remake that does not warrant a second of your precious time.

What did you think of the Disney+ film Cheaper by the Dozen (2022)? Comment below. 

You can watch this film with a subscription to Disney+. 

Disney+, Movie Reviews, Streaming Service