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Laughs on exhibit

Night at the Museum should keep both parents and kids entertained.

By CHASE SHIFLET
Published December 25, 2006


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If you plan on seeing the new movie Night at the Museum, go buy your ticket now. This is one of the funniest movies I have seen all year.

Ben Stiller plays Larry Daley, a loser who can never hold a steady job. After he gets an opportunity to replace the three old night guards at the Museum of Natural History (Dick Van Dyke, Bill Cobbs and Mickey Rooney), strange things begin to happen at night. Everything in the museum comes to life, including Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams), Attila the Hun (Patrick Gallagher) and a Tyrannosaurus rex!

Night at the Museum is one of those rare nonanimated movies that both kids and adults can enjoy. Stiller is excellent as Daly in a part that seems made for him. Co-stars Owen Wilson and Steve Coogan are terrific as a cowboy and a Roman emperor, respectively, who are in a turf war in adjoining dioramas. They team up with Stiller for some great jokes.

My favorite scene happens when Stiller picks up the miniature cowboy and emperor and attempts to settle their differences.

And Ricky Gervais is great as the museum director. Personally, I have always been a fan of the British version of The Office, in which Gervais starred, and he is hilarious in Night at the Museum as well.

At 109 minutes, this movie might make some younger kids a little restless. The filmmakers could have cut out the scenes involving the new boyfriend of Larry's ex to trim some time off. Those scenes were unnecessary and annoying.

But if you look past that, Night at the Museum is one of the funniest movies out now for kids and adults.

Chase Shiflet, 13, is in eighth grade at Rampello Downtown Partnership School in Tampa.

. fast facts

Night at the Museum

Grade: B+

Cast: Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan, Carla Gugino, Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney, Bill Cobbs, Jake Cherry, Ricky Gervais

Screenplay: Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon, based on the book by Milan Trenc

Rating: PG; mild peril, brief crude humor

[Last modified December 24, 2006, 21:44:12]


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