Johnson Family Vacation (2004)



Critic Consensus: The poorly crafted Johnson Family Vacation squanders its talented cast in a bland family road comedy that draws unfavorable comparisons to Chevy Chase's Vacation movies.

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Movie Info

Comedian Cedric the Entertainer serves as both producer and star of this comedy about a family who discovers just how much can go wrong en route to a family get-together. When Nate Johnson (Cedric the Entertainer) is invited to a big family reunion in Missouri, he sees it as an opportunity to reconnect with his estranged wife and growing children, as well as a chance to show up his wealthier know-it-all brother, Mack (Steve Harvey). Nate takes delivery on an expensive new SUV, persuades his recently separated wife, Dorothy (Vanessa L. Williams), to tag along, and packs up his three kids -- nubile teenager Nikki (Solange Knowles), under-age wannabe rapper D.J. (Bow Wow), and precocious seven-year-old Destiny (Gabby Soleil) -- for what he imagines will be a leisurely drive from Los Angeles to St. Louis. However, between his wary wife, arguing kids, angry police officers, bizarre hitchhikers, bad diner food, and an unfortunate run-in with a cement mixer, getting from point A to point B proves to be just short of a nightmare. Johnson Family Vacation was the first feature film for director Christopher Erskin, who previously distinguished himself directing music videos for the likes of Missy Elliot, TLC, and Boyz II Men.
PG-13 (adult situations)
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Cedric the Entertainer
as Nate Johnson/Uncle Earl
Vanessa L. Williams
as Dorothy Johnson
Bow Wow
as D.J. Johnson
Steve Harvey
as Mack Johnson
Solange Knowles
as Nikki Johnson
Gabby Soleil
as Destiny Johnson
Shannon Elizabeth
as Chrishelle
Aloma Wright
as Glorietta Johnson
Shari Headley
as Jacqueline
Rodney B. Perry
as Cousin Lump
Rodney Perry
as Cousin Lump
Lorna Scott
as Gladys
Kevin P. Farley
as Stall Guy
Lee Garlington
as Betty Sue
Jason Momoa
as Navarro
DeRay Davis
as Jamaican Stoner
Jonathan Joss
as Casino Host
as Motorcycle Cop
as Kurupt
as Theta No.1
Chana Ylahne Orr
as Theta No.2
Chris Hardwick
as Arson Investigator
Gabriel Corbin
as Dancer #1/"Mack Johnson"
Tanjareen Martin
as Tangerine
Tracie Burton
as Dancer #2/"Jacqueline"
Katerina Graham
as Dancer #3/"Jill"
Jamil Morgan
as Dancer#4/"Mack Jr."
Lichelli Lazar-Lea
as Navi Computer Voice
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News & Interviews for Johnson Family Vacation

Critic Reviews for Johnson Family Vacation

All Critics (90) | Top Critics (33)

This is a real mess, with out-of-focus shots and continuity lapses that suggest a production in chaos.

Full Review… | March 6, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Packing all the tired trappings of the raunchy road-trip genre, this loutish comedy plays out as a loosely threaded collection of shrill jokes and cliched sight gags.

March 6, 2007
Associated Press
Top Critic

The direction on Johnson Family Vacation is numbingly slack; the synapses between the scenes don't spark effortlessly, as they should, and the whole enterprise feels dragged-down and belabored.

Full Review… | April 17, 2004
Top Critic

Big disappointment.

April 12, 2004
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

Single-handedly saving a movie may be a tall order for a short-legged clown, but Cedric the Entertainer is the best (and probably only) reason to take this Vacation.

April 9, 2004
Washington Post
Top Critic

This family vacation runs out of gas long before its destination.

Full Review… | April 9, 2004
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Johnson Family Vacation

With cliche characters, poor acting, stale script, and painfully outdated slapstick gags, this comedy fails to deliver anything original or remotely funny.

Parker Richmond
Parker Richmond

Fun movie...but still like National Lampoon's Vacation a whole lot better. Instead of going to Wally World...the Johnson family heads to a family reunion in Missouri. Of course, the road trip runs into many obstacles and pot holes. Cedric the Entertainer always makes me laugh. Bow Wow was decent. And yes...Solange Knowles totally looks like Beyonce. Vanessa Williams still gets me going!

George Kiriyama
George Kiriyama

Super Reviewer


Leo L
Leo L

Super Reviewer

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