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Night at the Museum Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… not all that hilarious … 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.

  • 40

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Michael Rechtshaffen

    Director Levy struggles to find a uniform pitch that would agreeably blend together the gags, the visual effects and the obligatory heart moments. In its absence, there's a stop-and-start hollowness that confuses noise and chaos for comic energy.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Though the premise is clever -- everything comes to life at night in New York City's Natural History Museum -- this movie doesn't make the best comic use of the concept.

    Read Full Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 7+

Cute adventure; OK for tweens, but a little scary for kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that kids will definitely want to see this much-hyped, effects-heavy adventure. The effects are good (the dinosaur skeleton is especially fun), but the plot is uneven and the action hectic, with some point-of-view camerawork that could potentially startle younger viewers. The movie features spastic, cartoonish violence by the museum exhibits that come to life. This includes shooting (Civil War soldiers), explosions (miniature cowboys and miners), poison dart-shooting (miniature Mayans), chasing and hunting (dinosaur skeleton, lions), fighting, and car-crashing. Weapons include arrows, swords, guns, catapults, spears, axes. There's a repeated joke about Attila the Hun's preference for ripping off victims' limbs. Larry has an antagonistic relationship with a monkey and repeatedly disappoints his son (who acts sad) -- until the end, when he's impressed by his father's quick decision-making.

  • Families can talk about the message behind all of the fancy effects. Why is it the important to pursue your dreams -- and to learn, read books, and discuss ideas as you do so?
  • How is Larry inspired by his new friends to go after his dreams?
  • Does Larry's relationship with his son seem realistic to you? Who seems more grown-up of the two? Does that change over the course of the movie?

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 true2

    Messages: Amid the potty humor and fast-paced antics is a message about going after your dreams -- Larry tries to inspire his son to pursue his dreams, and Larry eventually learns to try harder for what he wants, too.  Larry and his son have an uneven relationship, but it's clear that Larry means well and is ultimately a good dad.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Larry begins the movie as a fairly iffy role model -- he can't seem to hold a job, and his ex-wife laments his lack of focus and stability -- but over the course of the film, he learns some important things about himself and others. It's very clear that the "bad guys" have done something wrong, and justice eventually prevails.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence and scariness: Lots of comic crashes and falls. Repeated scenes in which soldiers and other warriors fight (shooting, explosions, fighting, swords), though none of these encounters leads to visible/lasting injuries (some charring following explosions). A little truck carrying two characters crashes and disappears in smoke and a teeny fire. Some scary moments, as when the dinosaur skeleton and Attila the Hun chase Larry. Larry and a monkey fight repeatedly: The monkey steals keys, pees on Larry, slaps Larry (who slaps back), etc. Characters with a bad motive kick and flip Larry.

  • sex false1

    Sexy stuff: Mild flirting between Larry and Rebecca; Teddy Roosevelt admires Sacajawea through his binoculars (prompting Larry to ask, "Are you checking her out?").

  • language false2

    Language: "Oh my god," "for god's sake," "don't be a kiss-ass," "screwed up." Gus calls Larry names ("weirdy," "cupcake," "hopscotch"); Jed calls him "gigantor," and they discuss name-calling.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue