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Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian Review Critics


Dave White Profile

A losing battle. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Resembles an enthusiastic but undisciplined child running amok through an exhibit.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Beware of idiocy's charms.

    Read Full Review

  • 60

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Michael Rechtshaffen

    Some of that frenetic running around has been replaced by inspired effects sequences and amusing riffs by the talented cast, especially new arrivals Hank Azaria and Amy Adams.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    Nothing elegant about Adams here, but she's terrific -- a sparkling screen presence. Her Earhart hoists this big-budget sequel above the routine.

    Read Full Review

  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Battle of the Smithsonian has plenty of life. But it's Adams who gives it zing.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 7+

Fun, fast-paced sequel is more upbeat than the original.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this follow up to the smash hit Night at the Museum is very similar in content to the original movie -- so if your kids liked that one, they'll get a kick out of this one, too. Expect lots of generally lighthearted, effects-heavy chaos and action, with slapstick chases and confrontations and some moments of peril and danger (including scenes in which a somewhat scary giant octopus wreaks havoc and others involving creepy soldiers from the Egyptian underworld). Main characters get into fights and are threatened with weapons (guns, spears, swords) and words, but no one is seriously injured. One thing that's "missing" is the uneven father-son relationship from the first movie -- this one skips the family angst in favor of a more romantic subplot that helps keep things more upbeat overall. There's a little language and some kissing, but no drinking or smoking.

  • Families can talk about the message behind all of the fancy effects. Why is it important to do what makes you happy?

  • How is Larry inspired to go after his dreams? How have his dreams changed since the first movie?

  • Families can also discuss the historical figures and events that the movie touches on. How could you learn more about Amelia Earhart, the Tuskegee Airmen, and other characters featured in the movie? Parents: Channel kids' excitement about the movie into a library trip or online history session.

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true1

    Educational value: Kids will pick up a few bits and pieces about historical characters and eras -- though much of it isn't exactly textbook accurate.

  • message true3

    Messages: The movie has a strong positive message about being true to yourself and doing what you love in order to be happy. Some rude behavior (especially on the part of a monkey), but less potty humor than in the first movie.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Larry is mildly self involved at the start of the movie but ends up helping his friends when they need him. His enemies are cartoonishly villainous and not meant to be taken seriously as role models. Amelia Earhart is a spunky, independent woman who's a strong role model for girls.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence and scariness: Larry and his friends are frequently chased and threatened -- both verbally and with weapons (spears, lances, swords, guns) -- by Kahmunrah and his flunkies (which include Egyptian soldiers, '30s gangsters, Ivan the Terrible and his Russian hordes, and more), but no one is seriously hurt. Some fighting. Plenty of action and peril, but most of it comes with a lighthearted, adventurous tone. A giant octopus wreaks havoc in some scenes, which scare younger kids -- as could a creepy sequence involving a gate to the Egyptian underworld. Larry gets in a slapping match with a pair of monkeys.

  • sex false2

    Sexy stuff: Some flirting, a few kisses (a couple fairly passionate), and a couple of innuendoes (the latter will likely go right over kids' head). A few naked/scantily clad statues, but nothing sensitive is shown.

  • language false2

    Language: Pretty mild -- only a few uses of words like "dammit," "suck," "fanny," "stupid," "oh my God," and "shut up." Amelia uses lots of old-fashioned slang, like "jimmyjacked" and "moxie."

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: Wal-Mart is mentioned by name a few times, an obvious Microsoft Virtual Earth brand/label pops up on a computer screen in an early scene, Motorola and Apple products are used, and Larry discusses flashlight brands with another guard.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not applicable