User Score
6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 257 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 32 out of 257

Where To Watch

Stream On
Stream On
Stream On

Review this movie

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling

User Reviews

  1. MarkB.
    Feb 8, 2007
    3
    And a long, slow, boring and seemingly endless night it is, too...in short, everything that the Museum of Natural History absolutely is NOT. The partial premise, that this museum is losing money and needs to lay off employees, is flimsier than the footbridge in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, but it's only the beginning of the film's problems: they're compounded by an And a long, slow, boring and seemingly endless night it is, too...in short, everything that the Museum of Natural History absolutely is NOT. The partial premise, that this museum is losing money and needs to lay off employees, is flimsier than the footbridge in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, but it's only the beginning of the film's problems: they're compounded by an annoyingly witless, unimaginative script that assumes that merely assembling a cast consisting of Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Dick Van Dyke and Mickey Rooney will automatically grow the laughs and energy that it failed to provide in and of itself. Well, in Aerosmith's immortal words, dream on. Stiller's ineffectual, bumbling schlemiel schtick, which was actually funny once upon a time when he premiered it in There's Something About Mary and followed it up with Meet the Parents, got irreversibly old and tiresome around the time of Along Came Polly roughly 94 movies ago. (An early scene that Stiller shares here with his real-life mom, the legendary comedienne Anne Meara, fails to generate any comic sparks whatsoever because the punchline deals with an invention whose mere mention in a joke renders said joke only slightly less outdated than jokes about streaking or pet rocks. And speaking of lame material, didn't Brokeback Mountain gags die out the week after last year's Oscars...and even if not, what's one doing in what's supposed to be a family film?) Stiller plays a divorced, unemployed father attempting to regain his little boy's respect by taking a night watchman's position at the museum...but he gets more than he expected or prepared for when dinosaurs, cowboys, gladiators and Teddy Roosevelt routinely come to life after the lights go out. The inevitable special effects jamboree that ensues IS genuinely impressive and extremely well done, but since it's in the service of such lackluster material, the result is comparable to Halston or Oscar de la Renta costuming a corpse. And Shawn Levy's traffic-cop direction is forcing me to re-evaluate my long-held ranking of Michael Bay as the biggest hack currently working in Hollywood. Bay may be offensive and obnoxious, but at least he's got a distinctive style. Levy, on the other hand, has specialized almost exclusively in cannibalizing the past: he turned the fine old 1950 Clifton Webb-Myrna Loy period piece Cheaper by the Dozen into just another forgettable slapstick family sitcom that did nothing for Steve Martin except stuff his bank account, and earlier in 2006 he and Martin destroyed Inspector Clouseau for an entire generation. With Night at the Museum, Levy apparently endeavors to do the same for Jurassic Park, The Indian in the Cupboard, Ghostbusters and much, much more, so I guess the man is more ambitious than I initially thought. The real mystery is why America so enthusiastically embraced this thing, making it the Number One box office draw of the Christmas season (outperforming such infinitely superior family fare as Charlotte's Web and even Happy Feet). In contrast, the biggest moneymaker of the previous holiday season was the superb, truly magical fantasy-adventure drama The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; while that was a real diamond, Night at the Museum is a lump of...well, no, I can't say coal because coal at least has the POTENTIAL to eventually become a diamond. Decorum prevents me from going into too much further detail in describing just what it is that most of Night at the Museum constitutes a lump of, except to say that finding it in your Christmas stocking is especially unfortunate because in most parts of the country it's far too cold to open the door and air out the house. Expand
  2. Ray
    Jan 5, 2007
    3
    My daughters thought it was funny, but I though it was pretty awful. Ben Stiller is not funny, the "old guys" of movie were pathetic, Owen Wilson sounded like he was ad-libbing, and Robin Williams seemed as stiff as the wax figure. Yet another movie with a divorced, hapless dad tyring to impress his kid.
  3. WillH.
    Feb 3, 2007
    2
    Just not funny for anyone over the age of 10. Should have dumbed it down even more and made it G-rated.
  4. Fantasy
    Jan 19, 2007
    1
    Great movie if you checked your brains at the door, are under the age of ten, or recently had a lobotomy; otherwise it is moronic.
  5. JasonK
    Jan 8, 2007
    3
    Probably a great movie if you're younger than 12-years old. For anybody else, it was a dull 90 minutes. The jokes fell flat, Stiller's slapstick act was even worse, and the laughs were scarce. I might have chuckled a few times. Also disappointing was the poor use of CGI. This movie had lots of potential. It's too bad it was wasted.
  6. EricC.
    May 13, 2007
    2
    Bland, seen-it-before comedy could be forgivable if this movie spent more time simply running around the museum with its entertaining inhabitants. Unfortunately, most of the movie tries to develop a story, and a terrible one at that.
  7. B.O.
    Jan 11, 2007
    2
    Man this movie had potential, but the last 30 mins were so lame that it brought down the whole movie; what a joke!
  8. KevinD.
    Jan 17, 2007
    3
    I was instantly put off by the movie from the opnening scene after being surrounded by classes full of kindergardeners through the previews. This movie could have been a clear cut laugh out loud comedy. But tried to hard. Not only with the jokes, of which a few were funny, but the movie's concept was not. In fact, the concept of the movie made me feel like a three-year-old. It I was instantly put off by the movie from the opnening scene after being surrounded by classes full of kindergardeners through the previews. This movie could have been a clear cut laugh out loud comedy. But tried to hard. Not only with the jokes, of which a few were funny, but the movie's concept was not. In fact, the concept of the movie made me feel like a three-year-old. It attempts at being touching made me sick to my stomach. Stiller makes a bad move, Williams continues to spiral, and Mickey Rooney gives the only half solid performance in his minor role. The ending of the film was ridiculously lame. Overall, it was depressing. Expand
  9. DuWayneB
    Jan 5, 2007
    3
    Going in, I knew this was geared to kids and families. This does not mean that it doesn't need to have some form of educational value. This would have been a real way to give some meaning to the movie outside of the stale "role of males" stereotypes crap. Not clever or engaging, unless you really don't get out much.
  10. ChadS.
    Mar 13, 2007
    1
    If you thought the remake of "The Stepford Wives" was severely flawed at the conceptual stage(were they humans or androids?), "Night at the Museum" manages to be even more befuddling as to the nature of such fantastical beings. Why are some museum pieces aware of their true selves(Teddy Roosevelt as played by Robin Williams), while other seem to believe that they're actual historical If you thought the remake of "The Stepford Wives" was severely flawed at the conceptual stage(were they humans or androids?), "Night at the Museum" manages to be even more befuddling as to the nature of such fantastical beings. Why are some museum pieces aware of their true selves(Teddy Roosevelt as played by Robin Williams), while other seem to believe that they're actual historical figures(or animals)? It's just a comedy, I know, but you need to establish some rules and abide by them. Take the mummy for instance; he either should have a face that indicates it's of very, very, very, very mature vintage(if the mummy is genuine), or possess no face whatsoever; just a blank slate of a visage(if the mummy is merely a wax display, why bother with a face at all underneath those bandages?). These lapses in logic would be forgivable if "Night at the Museum" was entertaining. It's not. There's no awe factor that these inanimate objects are injected with life. Worst of all, the film doesn't build any suspense in leading up to Larry's supposed-to-be-grand-discovery. "A Night at the Museum" shoots its load too early by stupidly going jurassic on us as a way of introduction. It also rips off "Field of Dreams"(people do indeed come), and "Cocoon"(Dick Van Dyke & Mickey Rooney remind me of the Orbitz ads with Wink Martindale; they're old men so old, you would believe that a magic tablet revived them). And no self-proclaimed history geek alive writing a nine-hundred page book on an "Indian" princess looks like Carla Gugino. When she's ready to interview Sacajawea(Mizuo Peck), you wonder(well, you should wonder) how a wax body learned about its representational self. "Night at the Museum" has got to be a candidate for worst film to ever gross more than two-hundred million dollars at the box office. It should've tanked. Expand
  11. AshleyB.
    Jan 29, 2007
    3
    I came into the movie thinking it was going to be really funny and it was very disappointing. There were some funny parts but over all it sucked.
  12. KevinS.
    Dec 26, 2006
    3
    A film that squanders its many good comic talents deserves to be locked up in a vault in the museum basement. This is the kind of lazy screenwriting and witless direction that has become prevalent in many big hollywood films these days. Having grown up on far superior films like the Indiana Jones series, ET and I daresay Batteries Not Included and The Goonies, I don't think it's A film that squanders its many good comic talents deserves to be locked up in a vault in the museum basement. This is the kind of lazy screenwriting and witless direction that has become prevalent in many big hollywood films these days. Having grown up on far superior films like the Indiana Jones series, ET and I daresay Batteries Not Included and The Goonies, I don't think it's much to expect, that in the age of CGI, films should only get better. Very disappointing. Expand
Metascore
48

Mixed or average reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 28
  2. Negative: 4 out of 28
  1. 50
    The first half-hour's too slow; the last half-hour's too manic, as if to compensate. But at least it entertains, thanks in large measure to the buddy-pic relationship between Owen Wilson's miniature cowpoke and his Roman pal Steve Coogan.
  2. This season's answer to "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas," it's an overstuffed grab bag in which lumps of coal are glued together with melted candy.
  3. 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.