Cheaper by the Dozen (2003)


Cheaper by the Dozen (2003)

The Bakers, a family of 14, move from small-town Illinois to the big city after Tom Baker gets his dream job to coach his alma mater's football team. Meanwhile, his wife also gets her dream of getting her book published. While she's away promoting the book, Tom has a hard time keeping the house in order while at the same time coaching his football team, as the once happy family starts falling apart.
IMDb   5.9 /10
Metacritic   46 %
TheMovieDb    6.3 /10
RottenTomatoes  6.6 /10
FilmAffinity   4.6 /10
Director Shawn Levy
Writer Frank B. Gilbreth Jr.
Writer Ernestine Gilbreth Carey
Writer Craig Titley
Release Date2003-12-24
Runtime1h 38min
GenreComedy, Family
Content RatingPG (PG)
AwardsAwards2 wins & 7 nominations
CompanyTwentieth Century Fox, Robert Simonds Productions
Tom Bakeras Tom Baker
Kate Bakeras Kate Baker
Lorraine Bakeras Lorraine Baker
Nora Bakeras Nora Baker
Charlie Bakeras Charlie Baker
Henry Bakeras Henry Baker
Sarah Bakeras Sarah Baker
Jake Bakeras Jake Baker
Jessica Bakeras Jessica Baker
Kim Bakeras Kim Baker
Mark Bakeras Mark Baker
Mike Bakeras Mike Baker
Nigel Bakeras Nigel Baker
Kyle Bakeras Kyle Baker
Tina Shenkas Tina Shenk
Dylan Shenkas Dylan Shenk
Bill Shenkas Bill Shenk
Shakeas Shake

Cheaper by the Dozen (2003 film)

Cheaper by the Dozen is a 2003 American family comedy film directed by Shawn Levy, and stars Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt. It is a remake of the 1950 film of the same name. The film was released on December 25, 2003, by 20th Century Fox and grossed $190.2 million worldwide against a $40 million budget. The Rotten Tomatoes critical consensus criticizes its lack of humor. A sequel, Cheaper by the Dozen 2, was released in the United States on December 21, 2005. Both films were inspired by the real life Gilbreth family and the semi-autobiographical account of their lives as written in Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank Bunker Gilbreth Jr. and his sister Ernestine Gilbreth Carey nee Ernestine Moller Gilbreth.


Tom Baker is a college football coach in Midland, Illinois, where he raised twelve children. His wife, Kate, has written her story in a book and hopes to send it to her friend to publish the book. One day, Tom unexpectedly receives an offer from his old friend and football teammate Shake McGuire to coach at his alma mater in his hometown of Evanston, Illinois. Tom accepts the offer even though the kids are against it and demand a vote on the matter. Tom agrees to the vote, but tells them in the end he will do what he thinks is best for the family, which angers the kids. Charlie is unwilling to leave his home and his girlfriend Beth, and the younger kids are also unwilling to leave friends they have in Midland. The atmosphere at the Bakers' new house is tense, and the situation at school is even worse as Mark and Charlie are both bullied.

When her book is ready to pick up for publication, Kate must embark on a national book tour to promote it. Tom decides to hire the family's eldest child, Nora, and her self-absorbed model/actor boyfriend, Hank, to help him look after the children. When Nora and Hank arrive, the children trip Hank into their kiddie pool full of dirty water. While Hank showers and waits for his clothes to be washed and dried, the children soak his underwear in meat. Later, when Hank joins everyone for lunch, the children unleash the family's dog, Gunner, onto him, prompting him to refuse to assist in babysitting. As a result, a frustrated Nora drives off with Hank, while Tom punishes the children for their prank.

After Kate departs for her book tour, Tom realizes that he cannot handle the children on his own after a chaotic night. As a result, Tom tries to hire a housekeeper, but no one is willing to work with a family as large as the Bakers, so Tom decides to bring the football players from work into the family's house for game practicing in the living room to prepare for the Saturday night football game as the children perform chores and their household games. However, the children start causing trouble at school, including the younger kids fighting Mark's bullies. After a frustrated and homesick Charlie gets kicked off the football team, he argues with his father, saying that the move was all about Tom and not the family. Tom then finds out Hank snuck in and slept over against the family's clear rules, and Hank admits that he does not want to have children and that he expects Nora to think the same, which upsets her. Kate overhears from the children about the chaos and cancels the book tour to take charge of the situation. Kate's publisher decides to create an additional promotion for her book by inviting Oprah Winfrey to tape a segment about the Bakers in their home instead.

Despite much coaching from Kate, the Bakers are not able to demonstrate the loving, strongly bonded family that Kate described in her book. When Mark becomes upset that his pet frog has died, a heated fight erupts moments before the segment starts, leading the cameramen to call Winfrey to cancel it. Mark runs away from home, prompting the Bakers to find him. When Hank refuses to help, Nora breaks up with him and joins the search, and reminds Tom how she used to run away from home as a child to Chicago, her favorite place in the world. Tom then indulges a hunch that Mark is trying to run back to the Bakers' old home, and eventually finds him on an Amtrak train departing from Chicago to Midland. Reuniting with the rest of their family, the Bakers begin to address their issues with each other, and Tom ultimately resigns from his position at his alma mater with Shake to spend more time at home with his family.



  • Steve Martin as Tom Baker, Kate's husband and the father of 12 children
  • Bonnie Hunt as Kate Baker, Tom's wife and the mother of 12 children
  • Piper Perabo as Nora Baker, Tom & Kate's oldest daughter
  • Tom Welling as Charlie Baker, Tom & Kate's oldest son
  • Hilary Duff as Lorraine Baker, Tom & Kate's daughter
  • Kevin G. Schmidt as Henry Baker, Tom & Kate's son
  • Alyson Stoner as Sarah Baker, Tom & Kate's daughter
  • Jacob Smith as Jake Baker, Tom & Kate's son
  • Forrest Landis as Mark Baker, Tom & Kate's son
  • Liliana Mumy as Jessica Baker, Tom & Kate's daughter, Kim's older fraternal twin sister
  • Morgan York as Kim Baker, Tom & Kate's youngest daughter, Jessica's younger fraternal twin sister
  • Blake Woodruff as Mike Baker, Tom & Kate's son
  • Brent Kinsman as Kyle Baker, Tom & Kate's son, Nigel's older identical twin brother
  • Shane Kinsman as Nigel Baker, Tom & Kate's youngest son, Kyle's younger identical twin brother


  • Paula Marshall and Alan Ruck as Tina and Bill Shenk, the Baker family’s new neighbors
  • Steven Anthony Lawrence as Dylan Shenk, Tina & Bill’s son
  • Richard Jenkins as Shake McGuire, Tom's colleague and friend
  • Ashton Kutcher as Hank, Nora's child-hating and lazy boyfriend (uncredited)
  • Tiffany Dupont as Beth, Charlie's girlfriend
  • Cody Linley as Quinn
  • Jared Padalecki as an unnamed bully (uncredited cameo)
  • Joel McCrary as Gil
  • Dax Shepard as Camera Crew Member
  • Regis Philbin as himself
  • Kelly Ripa as herself
  • Frank Welker as the voice of Gunner, the Bakers’ pet dog (uncredited)
  • Wayne Knight as Electrician (uncredited cameo)
  • Amy Hill as Miss Hozzie, Kyle and Nigel's Teacher (uncredited)

The film's director Shawn Levy makes a cameo as a reporter.


"Cheaper by the Dozen" Soundtrack
No.TitleWriter(s)Performed byLength
1."I'm Just a Kid"Simple PlanSimple Plan1:24
2."Help!"Lennon–McCartneyFountains Of Wayne1:12
3."In Too Deep"Sum 41Sum 412:46
4."What Christmas Should Be"Hilary DuffHilary Duff3:10
5."Life Is a Highway"Tom CochraneTom Cochrane4:26
6."These Are Days"10,000 Maniacs10,000 Maniacs3:39
7."Rockin' Robin"Leon RenéMichael Jackson2:33
8."Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree"Johnny MarksBrenda Lee2:06
Total length:21:16

Other compositions used in the movie are "Classical Gas" by Mason Williams and Carl Orff's "O Fortuna", among others.


Critical reception

The review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 24% approval rating based on reviews from 119 critics and an average score of 4.58/10. The site's consensus reads: "In this family of twelve children, much chaos ensues, but little hilarity." On Metacritic, which determines a normalized rating from mainstream critics, the film received a score of 46 out of 100 based on 30 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews." Despite initial reactions, the film was given "Two Thumbs Up" from Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper on their television show.

Box office

The film opened on Christmas Day 2003, and ranked at #2, grossing $27,557,647 in its opening weekend ($35,397,241 including its Thursday Christmas Day gross) and, despite being kept from the top spot by The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, went on to gross $190,212,113 worldwide. Ashton Kutcher was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor for his performance in this, Just Married and My Boss's Daughter but lost to Ben Affleck with Daredevil, Gigli and Paycheck.

Awards and nominations

Kid's Choice AwardsFavorite Male Movie StarAshton KutcherNominated
Teen Choice AwardsChoice Movie: BlushHilary DuffNominated
Choice Breakout Movie Star – MaleTom WellingNominated
Choice Movie LiplockPiper Perabo & Ashton KutcherNominated
Young Artist AwardsBest Young Ensemble CastCast (under 18)Won
Best Young Actor Age Ten or YoungerForrest LandisWon
Best Young Actress Age Ten or YoungerAlyson StonerNominated
Golden Raspberry AwardsWorst ActorAshton KutcherNominated

Home video

The film was released on VHS and DVD on April 6, 2004.