Night at the Museum
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: +3

Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Carla Gugino, Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney. Comedy/adventure. Directed by Shawn Levy.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Good-hearted dreamer Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) accepts what appears to be a menial job as a graveyard-shift night watchman at a museum of natural history. But during Larrys watch, something extraordinary happens: the museums exhibits magically come to life. A fearsome T-Rex insists on a game of fetch (with one of his own skeleton bones); Mayans, Roman gladiators, and cowboys emerge from their dioramas to wage epic battles; and a wax figure of Teddy Roosevelt gives Larry important advice while harboring a crush for an Indian princess. As things spiral out of control, Larry must find a way to manage the magic and stop a nefarious plot to steal that magic.

PREVIEW REVIEW: I kept thinking, this is a very strange movie. Not only do these people and creatures come to life at night, but they are wax figures. How do wax figures come to life? You see, while I try to keep my pragmatism in check when reviewing movies, that pragmatism only goes so far. Heres Teddy Roosevelt giving our put-upon hero life lessons, when suddenly he announces he was made in a wax works factory. So, its silly business. Then and I wont give it away but I dont get the thinking of the thieves. Their reasoning seemed too manufactured, too forced, much like a great deal of the films humor.

Okay, theres the Grinch side of me. Its not a film Id watch again, but I was listening to fellow film watchers as they exited and their reactions were positive. It was lighthearted, exciting, fresh and clean. It was a film parents could view with kids. And although it has lots of chase scenes, the filmmakers are careful to handle the material with a PG rating in mind. And Ill give you this: Mr. Stiller proves he can hold a comedy together without being crude or excessive. And Robin Williams makes a bully Teddy Roosevelt. He seems to even revere the 26th President. You think he knows that Roosevelt was a Republican?

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: 20th Century Fox

Crude Language: A pesky monkey pees on the lead and there are a couple of other crudities, but generally the filmmaker stays clear of such content.
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: None
Violence: A creepy looking monkey bites the leads nose. Brief scuffle between the lead and thieves. Lots of slapstick pratfalls and chase scenes, but the action is cartoonish rather than abusive. That said, a parent should be there to reassure little ones.
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: None
Other: None
Running Time: Unknown
Intended Audience: Family

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