Night at the Museum (2006)

night at the museum poster 2006 movie
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 7/10

Good cast, fun for kids

I think it looks a little CGI at points instead of natural, flimsy story

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Night at the Museum

Studio:  1492 Pictures

Genre(s):  Comedy/Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Family

Release Date(s):  December 22, 2006

MPAA Rating:  PG


Slapping the monkey in a museum…

Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) is a guy who can’t seem to get it together.  He is sharing his son with his ex-wife (Kim Raver) and his son Nick (Jake Cherry) admires his mother’s fiancé Don (Paul Rudd) more than his own father.  Desperate for a job, Larry takes the job of a night watchman at the American Museum of Natural History when Cecil (Dick Van Dyke), Gus (Mickey Rooney), and Reginald (Bill Cobbs) retire.  Larry is about to discover that there is magic in the museum and the Golden Tablet of Akhmenrah brings the inhabitants of the museum to life each night…and Larry finds keeping everything in the museum is more difficult than keeping it safe.


Dick Van Dyke still breaking it down after all these years

Directed by Shawn Levy, Night at the Museum is an adaptation of Milan Trenc’s 1993 children’s book The Night at the Museum.  The movie was a big box office draw but received mixed reviews from critics.

Night at the Museum is a kids’ movie and I have to always remind myself that when I’m watching a movie aimed at kids.  The line between movies for kids and adults has been blurred over the years and filmmakers seem to find it necessary to load kid movies with jokes to keep the adults paying for the picture entertained.  Night at the Museum does a better job at doing this subtly than other movies.


That’s how Octavius and Jedediah roll!

The plot of Night at the Museum is ok, but also based on rules as flimsy as the rules from Gremlins.  Do things turn to dust when hit by the sun or by sun rays?  If it is raining is it ok?  Why doesn’t it happen if they are in the museum?  It seems that the Golden Tablet of Akhmenrah has weird kind of undefined rules which just come up when plot points are needed (like it making Cecil, Gus, and Reginald strong).  In addition to that, the custody battle storyline is an old and tired cliché (I feel I saw this aspect of the story in The Santa Clause to name one of a handful of movies where this divorce story pops up).

The cast of the movie is strong.  Ben Stiller gets the humor of the movie and is backed up with great supporting characters.  It was good to see classic actors like Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney, and Bill Cobbs dusted off for the movie and exposed to a new generation along with popular younger casts like Owen Wilson and Steve Coogan.  Ricky Gervais is oddly subdued in the film and Robin Williams falls into one of his more calm characters as Theodore Roosevelt.  Paul Rudd has a small role as the fiancé and Brad Garrett provides the voice of the Easter Island Head.  I rather wish that Mizuo Peck wasn’t locked up for most of the picture because I enjoyed her Sacagawea part of the film.


Throw him a bone!

The visuals for the movie aren’t as good as they could be.  The movie feels a bit dated and it isn’t that old.  Things like Rexy look pretty fake and I wish it looked better to really bring out a sense of amazement that kids movies need.  It is fortunate however that the museum is loaded with fun exhibits to provide a large palette for the director and writers to work with.

As a kid, I would have loved Night at the Museum.  As an adult, it is light, fluffy fun.  I don’t think it is a bad movie, but the plot is kind of weak and it falls apart a bit at the end during the “exciting” chase sequences which don’t appeal as much to me as an adult.  Night at the Museum was followed by Night at the Museum:  Battle of the Smithsonian in 2009.

Related Links:

Night at the Museum:  Battle of the Smithsonian (2009)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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