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4.4 out of 5 stars189
4.4 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 2 September 2007
It would be pretty easy to lay into a movie like this. It's derivitave (more of a sequel to Jumanji than Zaruthra, in spirit at least), it has stars being woefully underused (Robin Williams in twinkly eye mode instead of acting mode, Ricky Gervais playing the museum director just like his Office manager character) and a script which is painfully obvious at times.
Through necessity, Stiller takes a job as nightwatchman at the Museum, as the three older guards are being laid off - the museum is on hard times. However, thanks to an ancient bit of Egyptian mumbo jumbo, the exhibits all come to life at night - threatening to either wreak chaos on the city, or give Stiller his chance to shine and finally impress his son.. wonder which happens..?
But, let's admit it, I laughed at times, and stuck with it to the end. In fact, it actually took a few turns that did surprise me, and strung out a one line concept into a fairly enjoyable kids flick, with enough cameos bursting out of every scene to keep the adults fitfully amused. Effects are all passable to excellent, and Ben Stiller actually does just about enough to carry the movie through. Jake Cherry is a satisfyingly non-annoying child actor as Ben Stiller's son, I laughed at Gervais, and who knew Dick van Dyke and Mickey Rooney were still alive, never mind acting...
It's not an all time classic, but it will keep the kids amused....
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Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) is between jobs. Again. His brilliant inventions are either too far ahead of their time or already taken. This is wearing on his son Nick (Jake Cherry) who at ten years old is already developing a back up plan in case his first career choice doesn't pan out.

At the urging of his ex-wife (Kim Raver), Larry decides to get a steady job to help put stability into his son's life. The only job the employment agency thinks he is qualified for is night guard at the museum. There, he will be replacing three old guards (Dick van Dyke, Mickey Rooney, and Bill Cobbs) who are being downsized due to budget cutbacks.

His first night on the job, he's in for a surprise. Between dusk and dawn, the entire collection of the museum comes to life. Suddenly, he finds himself dealing with everything from a dinosaur skeleton that wants to play catch to Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams). The animals in the African display want to eat him or take his keys. And in the diorama room, it's not Cowboys verses Indians, but Cowboys verses Romans. Larry has no clue how to deal with all this nonsense. Will he find a way or will he quit when the going gets tough like he always does?

When the trailers started showing up for this movie this summer, I couldn't wait to see this film. Fortunately, I was rewarded with a fun flick. There's lots of humor from the premise and Larry's attempts to deal with things only makes things funnier. While there are a couple momentarily scare scenes, the majority of them are played for laughs, so only the most easily frightened will be scared by it.

Ben Stiller is perfect as Larry, and the rest of the cast is great as well. I especially liked seeing Dick van Dyke on the big screen again. Owen Wilson and Steve are perfect as the leaders of the Cowboys and Romans. They play off each other perfectly.

These days, we are used to great special effects, and this movie is no exception. Yet they are part of the story and never take over.

The movie's only flaw is the story. The themes are familiar, but since there are so many of them, they get short changed. Taking out one would have made for a stronger film since the rest of them would have been better developed. And there's a third act plot twist and needed a better set up earlier in the film. Still, these are minor complaints.

While the story could have been a little better, that's a minor quibble. For the most part, this is exactly what it sets out to be, fun entertainment the entire family will enjoy.
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on 22 April 2007
My dad saw this at the cinema, (He's 79!) and absolutely loved it. He said that I had to take my kids.

It really didn't appeal to me and after buying the book, it still didn't appeal.

I rented it though so I could see what my dad was on about. It was brilliant. We watched it with our kids and my mother-in-law, (who always falls asleep watching t.v. in the evening!) and we all loved it, especially my mother-in law who stayed awake throughout and that was a miracle!!!

It just had something that appealed to everybody. It was hilarious and touching.

Don't miss it. If you do, you'll always regret it.
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on 18 April 2007
Let the critics carp on. I came to this movie with knowledge of some iffy reviews and definately no children to counter-balance or predudice my opinion of this film.

This film is a little gem which manages to mix verbal and sight gags in continually entertaining proportions and also manages to spoof several movie genres in the process.

Ben Stiller as Larry plays it straight throughout and the elderly trio of crooks led by Dick Van Dyke are well observed.

In a way it is possibly best to avoid name-checking the big stars involved in the supporting cast and just sit back and enjoy the film.

The inclusion of Ricky Gervais seems to me to be just opportunistic next big UK star in Hollywood type casting, and his contribution to the overall feel of the movie is minimal.

Like a few other reviwers I agree that there might have been space to develop the Cowboy & Roman sub-plot, but I expect that we may have to wait for "Night in the Museum 2" for this to happen.
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on 19 September 2007
Sat with the kids, who had seen the film at the cinema without me originally. I expected to make my excuses and go and mow the grass or do the ironing. 2 hours later i was a happy man. What a great film !!

Content for adults and kids alike. The story is original and keeps your interest throughout. Recommended by a middle aged saddie !!
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Entertaining. Know what you're getting before you watch this and you'll enjoy it!
An ex-husband, down on his luck and badly needing a job to prove his worth, lands night watchman at the museum. Due to a mummy's spell, the museum exhibits come to life at night. The plot revolves around this and the watchman's initial reluctance and then valour, as crooks try to rip off the museum. Very silly, but good family entertainment.
Watch out for cameo roles by some very good/famous actors.
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on 17 April 2007
I rented this DVD via Amazon with no kids in sight and despite the obvious kiddy fun and sickly American morality about divorced parents etc., on the whole it was really funny. Ben Stiller is hysterical in parts and with Owen Wilson bringing back the Zoolanders days accompanied by none-other than Alan Partridge and Ricky Gervaise, I really enjoyed the film. A good old family fun film.
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on 10 July 2007
I'd just like to say i though this film was absolutly fantastic - it's full of humourous moments and keeps you guessing at what is going to happen next. For all you adults who enjoy a "feel good film" i'd deffinitly reccomend this one and if you have kids, even better as they'll love it too.
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on 19 June 2009
I only saw this film recently and straight away I was bowled over by its many qualities. Ben Stiller, playing frustrated inventor Larry Daley, is really on form as the central character and father to Nicky. It seems that everything in life is against Larry Daley as the film starts with a parking ticket and missing his son's school event. I must admit that the introductory section of the film does drag a little, but the fun really kicks off when Larry goes to the museum about a job, which he desperately needs. Little does Larry know what happens at night within the walls of the museum.

You will find a lot of stars in this film, some neatly tucked away with minor roles, but they still shine. Robin Williams is great playing a waxwork version of President Teddy Roosevelt. Whereas most films with genius Robin Williams in them seem over the top and sickly sweet, in Night At The Museum Robin Williams plays things just right making his role a superb cameo.

The CGI is first class and brings everything to life perfectly. Watch out for the T-Rex and the neat twist to it's character, the dioramas with the little people all at war with everything and the Egyptian area full of mystery and magic. Everyone's favourite character though is Dexter, a cheeky monkey, who often steals the show, much to Larry's annoyance - "There's a storm coming!" One of my favourite scenes of the film involves monkey slapping.

The picture on the Blu-ray version is 1080p. On a large LCD television it really looks stunning with vibrant colours and a nice sharp image. One thing I was disappointed about are the limited special features. These days I would expect more than just a trailer and commentary. Maybe they are saving it for the Blu-ray special edition??

So, if you want a perfect evening's entertainment look no further. This is great fun for all the family.
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on 16 August 2007
"Night at the Museum," the newest comedy from director Shawn Levy (Cheaper by the Dozen, The Pink Panther) driven by funnyman Ben Stiller, is a children's movie made for children and children alone. Basically, the movie put me to sleep. I won't say it was bad. I just felt it was too derivative. It was Jumanji remade to take place in a museum except it was missing any interesting plot dynamics. This is yet another movie about divorced parents fighting over their kids.

The effects were fine. The T-Rex motions looked like some were reused from Jurassic Park. I got the impression that a lot of the effects also involved reusing old Jumanji graphics. Some looked better, some didn't. The movie was busy enough that any flaws in the effects didn't matter. The problem with this movie is that the euphoria is too forced. It isn't inspired by the writing or the plot. Ben Stiller is an often dependable comic actor, but he's forced to squeeze laughs out of a dreadfully unfunny script, and fails miserably. He simply comes off as obnoxious and annoying throughout the film. Usually his kinetic comic style works, but usually he works with good scripts. The talents of several other actors are wasted as well, including Owen Wilson and Robin Williams (who seems almost humiliated to be involved in this film). The trio of old security guards (Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney, Bill Cobbs) were impressively spry, considering they're all in their 80s. They looked like they were enjoying themselves and had else to do.

The kids love the non-stop wild antics of pretty much everything, and the extremely cute, slightly evil, capuchin monkey. My little quibble is how the film doesn't slow down, but when Owen Wilson comes on the screen it makes everything better. Overall, the movie was exactly what the trailer reveals and very little more. A false sense of hurray and hoopla is forced out onto the viewer. Beside that "Night at the Museum," has a very good message as well, about the importance of family, responsibility, and living up to one's potential. These points may be missed by many who only watch for the surface content, but I was impressed by the message.
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