Night At The Museum (2006)

DVD Cover (Twentieth Century Fox)
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Overall Rating 62%
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Ranked #409
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Connections: Night At The Museum

Chaos reigns at the natural history museum when night watchman Larry Daley accidentally stirs up an ancient curse, awakening Attila the Hun, an army of gladiators, a Tyrannosaurus rex and other exhibits. Larry tries desperately to keep the museum under control, but he's fighting a losing battle until President Teddy Roosevelt comes to the rescue. --TMDb
Review by Chad
Added: May 18, 2007
Over the course of the last week, I've reviewed a zombie gorefest, an Asian ghost story, an indie thriller, a nice serving of softcore porn, and a cannibalism flick for good measure. What's the one thing I've overlooked here... hardcore porn? Nah, that's next week. The latest faux-snuff offering from August Underground? Nope, that's next week as well. Ahh, I've got it - a family movie! Yes, even I stray away from the horror genre every once in a while, and sometimes, these films warm my black little heart.

Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) is the star of the film, though the character is anything but a star. The man is a loser who has lost custody of his son Nick (Jake Cherry), can't hold a job, and to top it all off, he's about to get kicked out of his apartment. He decides to get his life together, and with that, he sets out to find a real job that he'll be able to hang on to. This leads him to the New York Museum of Natural History, where he takes a job as the night watchman. He's trained by the three retiring watchmen (Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney, and Bill Cobbs), but they sort of leave out one minor detail: everything inside this museum comes to life at night. The dinosaurs, the Neanderthals, the savages, the animals, and yes, even Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams) and Jedediah the cowboy (Owen Wilson) all run wild throughout this building from dusk till dawn, and it's up to Mr. Daley to keep some semblance of order in this place.

This movie, as if it wasn't blatantly obvious, is marketed towards children. Sure, there's some wink-wink moments in there for the parents (watch for the "monkey slapping" bit from Robin Williams), but it's all good clean fun. As such, most of the regular viewers of this site would probably turn their noses up at it without giving it a second thought, but I picked it up for my daughter and had no intentions of giving it any attention on this site. As I sat there watching it with her, it didn't take long before I realized that this was actually a fairly humorous movie, and unlike the vast majority of the children-friendly films that we watch together, I quickly got sucked in to the storyline.

What I particularly enjoyed about this was the way that the storyline was presented; on the one hand, it's somewhat educational (to the target audience) and will probably spark an interest in their minds which will make them want to pick up a book or visit a museum themselves, but on the other hand, it's simply an entertaining film that never goes overboard with the "learning is fun!" routine that so many other films do. There are also some genuinely funny moments in here; granted, my kid was laughing more than I was, but there were more than a couple of scenes that got a good laugh out of me as well, thanks in no small part to the interaction between Ben Stiller and Robin Williams as well as watching the old-timers (Dick Van Dyke and Mickey Rooney) let loose with some good material.

If you're looking for a movie that you can watch again and again with the little ones, this one is a surprisingly good pick. It may not do a whole lot for the adults in the audience who are looking for something a little more risqué, but if you think that it sounds like an interesting plot, give it a try: you may find that you're pleasantly surprised when the credits roll. 8/10.
Edd #1: Edd - added 05/18/2007, 08:09 AM
After all his "buddy" movies and regular schlock, Ben Stiller still has it. This movie was great. 10/10
doney #2: doney - added 05/18/2007, 09:37 AM
when i saw the previews for this film i thought it would be a pretty 1-dimentional affair, but got dragged along to it on Boxing Day, and enjoyed the hell out of it. 10/10 for me.
bluemeanie #3: bluemeanie - added 05/18/2007, 12:36 PM
Had the smallest of hopes for this film. Not a fan of Shawn Levy as a director and Ben Stiller has been getting on my nerves for a while now, but "Night At the Museum" had a lot going for it, and it worked. Ben Stiller was not as annoying as he can sometimes be; Robin Williams was hysterical as Teddy Roosevelt, one of his best comedic performances in a while; and Dick Van Dyke and Mickey Rooney were the highlights. Watching comedic greats like them go at it on screen in a mainstream picture like this was brilliance. "Night At the Museum" was so much better than it should have been, or I thought it would be. 8.5/10.
Tristan #4: Tristan - added 05/18/2007, 09:45 PM
The only reason I would even consider watching this is Ricky Gervais, and I've heard he has a 15 second part. So I'm going to pass on this, because I hate Ben Stiller with every inch of my being, and 15 seconds isn't enough to sit through this whole movie.
QuietMan #5: QuietMan - added 08/05/2007, 11:58 AM
I liked this it was fun and pretty much light hearted. Micky Rooney steals like every scene he's in, I'm not sure how much of his lines were written because they seem so natural it's like they were all ad-libs. 8/10
Luminaire #6: Luminaire - added 11/22/2007, 05:17 PM
This movie wasn't bad, it did not look appealing at all to me when i first heard about it, and it was a bit on the corny side. 6.8/10
Lucid Dreams #7: Lucid Dreams - added 07/17/2010, 03:22 PM
Better then I expected, but I still can't stand Ben Stiller. And like Chad said this is more for the family. 6/10
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