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Night at the Museum

nightatthemuseumos.jpgRelease Date: December 22, 2006 (conventional theaters & IMAX)
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Director: Shawn Levy
Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon
Starring: Ben Stiller, Carla Gugino, Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney, Bill Cobbs, Ricky Gervais, Kim Raver, Robin Williams
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
MPAA Rating: PG (for mild action, language and brief rude humor)
Official Website:

Plot Summary: The hallowed halls of the Natural History Museum are lined with the most amazing things – wild-eyed prehistoric creatures, fierce ancient warriors, long lost tribes, African animals and history's legendary heroes – all frozen forever in time. Or... are they? In the action-adventure-comedy, "Night at the Museum," the brand new night guard at the Natural History Museum is about to discover that when the visitors go home at the end of the day, the real adventure begins – as the museum's stuffed, waxed and well-preserved residents come out to play.

The fantastical adventure kicks off when Larry Daley (Ben Stiller), a down-and-out dreamer whose imaginative ideas have never paid off, finds himself in desperate need of a job. Larry has always believed he was destined for big things. But he has no idea just how literally gargantuan and hairy a challenge he will face when he grudgingly accepts the supposedly menial graveyard shift as a security guard at the Natural History Museum. On his very first night on the job, Larry is handed an over-sized flashlight and a dog-eared instruction manual, then left all alone in the eerily quiet, cavernous museum. At least, he thinks he's alone.

But wait, what's that noise? To his utter astonishment and disbelief, Larry watches in shock and awe as, one by one, the primeval beasts and storied icons that surround him stir magically to life – and total havoc ensues. Now, as Tyrannosaurus Rex and Attila The Hun carve a swath of destruction through the marble corridors, and lions and monkeys prowl the fragile exhibits, Larry is at a loss as to how to get the museum back under control. At his wit's end, Larry must recruit the help of historical heavyweight Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams) just to survive the night. Facing the possibility of losing his job and letting down his son Nick yet again, Larry must wage an incredible battle to save the museum, hoping to become at last the bold, adventurous dad he's always wanted to be. The man who's been forever waiting for his moment of greatness – just found it.

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An enjoyable blockbuster special effects comedy with a good cast.
Peter Veugelaers:

 Night at the Museum contains the usual trappings; divorced Dad Larry (played by Ben Stiller) needs to bolster his reputation with his son (Jake Cherry) and get a meaningful job, which he does get at the Museum of Natural History in New York as a night watch man.

 On his first night there, he doesn’t read the instructions the head security guard gives him, and the quietness of the night allows Stiller’s character to showcase the performer’s comedic quality. If he had read the instructions he might have had an easier time fending off the wiles about to unleash. Larry’s got to take responsibility.

 For most of the movie Larry is busy finding ways to control herds of beats, Roman guards, Old West heroes, Attila the Hun, and others, who come alive because of a tablet brought in to the museum from the Nile. They all go about fighting each other as energised miniatures and life-size replicas bar a few which includes a famous and serene American Indian woman. There’s a lesson therein.

 The lesson of the movie is quite serious, and well-worn, considering it’s a lightweight, special effects heavy comedy. It is a lesson which Larry should learn, has implications for his marriage, and which the audience will get easily enough.

 All pretty elementary but well-made all the same for the type of movie it is: an enjoyable blockbuster special effects comedy with a good cast, including Robin Williams, Mickey Rooney and Dick Van Dyke, which tells its story simply and clearly enough with skill.

"Night at the Museum" never feels like more than an excuse to show off the latest CGI advancements
Justin Chang: Variety
Rarely has so much production value yielded so little in terms of audience engagement....more

When the lights go out. The fun begins.
Michael Booth: Denver Post
Though far less ambitious than Jurassic Park, Night at the Museum is also far less terrifying than Jumanji. It is happy where it is, and the audience I saw it with seemed to appreciate that...more

Loud, overlong and thoroughly exhausting  
Ken Fox:
TV Guide
Ploddingly directed by Shawn Levy (the man behind 2006's terrible Pink Panther remake), it's so devoid of enchantment that one can't help but coldly notice the implausibilities...more

We would love to know what you think, sound off on the movie message boards and let us know how you liked the movie!
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