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Marmaduke Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Dogs. They love to wear sunglasses. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 2.0

    out of 100

    Generally unfavorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 30

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Luke Sader

    One thing Marmaduke does have in common with the earlier Disney titles is a blessed scarcity of crass bodily-function gags that often pass as family comedy.

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  • 42

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly

    An afterthought of a plot ships the family from Kansas to the O.C., offering SoCal set pieces -- like a doggie surfing contest -- to spackle the few gaps between big-dog-small-world jokes.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    If you like the comic strip, now in its 56th year, maybe you'll like it, maybe not. Marmaduke's personality isn't nearly as engaging as Garfield's. Then again, if personality is what you're in the market for, maybe you shouldn't be considering a lip-synched talking animal comedy in the first place.

    Read Full Review

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 8+

America's favorite Great Dane is more "O.C." than "Lassie."

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Marmaduke is mostly inoffensive, unless your family detests potty humor, in which case this isn't the movie for you. The main issue with any talking-animal flick is the degree to which the animals are stand-ins for humans, and in this case, the animals are made to seem like high-schoolers with all their accompanying social and romantic drama. There's a lot of romantic pining and even doggie dating and flirting, which may go over the heads of kids too young to understand the nuances of romance. Some subtle drug references pop up that will also bypass the kids' radar. The language is limited to insults like "freak," "stupid," and "loser," and mimics the bullying and teasing you'd find in a movie about unpopular students. For such a short movie, there are several positive messages about the importance of honest, unconditional friendship and family versus work time -- not that they'll necessarily get noticed with all the dog-fart jokes in the way.

  • Families can talk about the movie's message about growing up "different" than the "cool" crowd (in this case, the top dog and his pedigree crew). How is the dog park like school?
  • Marmaduke is often made fun of for his size. Kids: Does this happen to you or your friends? What's the movie's take on discrimination and bullying?
  • Why are talking-animal movies so compelling to kids? Is it funny when animals have the same issues and thoughts as their human counterparts, like dating drama? Do you think this movie would still be for young kids if the characters were human instead of canine?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: There are several positive messages in the movie, chief among them the importance of staying true to yourself and not lying just to impress others. The meaning of unconditional friendship and work-life balance are explored in the relationships Marmaduke has with his original friends and his owners.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Of all the characters, Mazie is the best role model. She befriends Marmaduke instantly, doesn't discriminate against anyone, and is a loyal, smart, and loving friend. But some of the other dog characters bully, are prejudicial, and make poor choices (though they're clearly the "bad" dogs).

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence: A mean Alpha Dog named Bosco, and a "notorious" rabid dog called the Chupadogra are menacing and growl. The dog park yells "fight, fight" when they think Marmaduke is going to challenge Bosco and vice-versa. Lots of Marmaduke-caused mishaps cause some property damage to his family's house. A broken water main puts Marmaduke, Mazie, and Phil in harm's way.

  • sex false2

    Sex: The dogs behave like teenagers in the way they flirt with each other and discuss the opposite sex (romance, dating, being with another dog). Marmaduke takes Jezebel on the "dream date" described to him by Mazie. Jezebel, a pedigree, talks about going for "the top dog." There are camera shots that make it look like the dogs are staring romantically at each other.

  • language false1

    Language: The "pedigree crowd" throws around a lot of insults and taunts like "donkey," "horse," "losers," "stupid mutts," "freak," "gargantuan spas," and more. Also, one or two uses of "God" as an exclamation.

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Brands featured include Apple's Macbook, the television show The O.C. and its theme song, and a Mini Cooper car.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: There's no actual alcohol or drug content in the movie, obviously, but one of the dog cliques is the "mushroom heads," which is a pretty overt reference to pot smokers (they're even wearing tie-dyed outfits). Later in the movie, the alpha dog's behavior is excused because he's been drinking water from a drain pipe and dogs drinking from a toilet are encouraged by a crowd yelling "Chug! Chug! Chug!"