Remember those film critics who rambled on and on about the alleged political overtones of The Incredibles? The ones who interpreted Pixar's brilliant superhero-comedy as some sort of right-wing propaganda? Well, I propose that we not let those critics see Night at the Museum. In the Christmas season's biggest, most-hyped adventure-comedy, Ben Stiller enters a world of chaos and anarchy and brings peace and order to a war-torn region plagued by a long history of cultural and ideological rifts. The comparisons to contemporary world events practically write themselves. (Except maybe the "peace and order" part.)

Thankfully, most people probably won't see it that way. Parents will simply cherish the film as a rare comedy that is simultaneously smart, funny, and, save for a couple of mildly crass moments, almost completely family-friendly, without the smug condescension or nauseatingly hip pop culture references and fart jokes that tend to mar so-called children's movies as of late. Kids—and older movie buffs with a taste for adventure and spirited frivolity—will savor the movie's wit and its high-speed adventure. And anyone who remembers the big-budget action-comedies of the 1980s—gloriously silly movies like Ghostbusters—will wonder what the heck is going on.

Indeed, Night at the Museum is a breed of film that's all too rare these days. Though it draws some comparisons to Pirates of the Caribbean and especially Elf, it's still a noticeable abnormality—a big-budget, live-action concoction of comedy and adventure that makes no pretense of being anything other than a two-hour romp through goofy humor, history-buff in-jokes, kooky physical comedy, and high-speed chase scenes. They just don't make 'em ...

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Night at the Museum
Our Rating
3 Stars - Good
Average Rating
 
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Mpaa Rating
PG (for mild action, language, and brief rude humor)
Directed By
Shawn Levy
Run Time
1 hour 48 minutes
Cast
Ben Stiller, Carla Gugino, Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney
Theatre Release
December 22, 2006 by 20th Century Fox
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