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Hotel for Dogs (2009)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Family  |  16 January 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 15,151 users   Metascore: 51/100
Reviews: 54 user | 107 critic | 25 from

Two kids secretly take in stray dogs at a vacant hotel.



(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Bob Schooley) , 2 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Officer Mike (as Maximiliano Hernandez)


Animals are strictly forbidden at Andi and her little brother Bruce's foster home. But for Friday, the adorable dog they secretly care for, they're ready to risk everything. They finally find him an ideal shelter, a huge abandoned hotel that Bruce transforms thanks to his engineering genius. In what has become an incredible paradise for dogs, Friday is soon joined by all kinds of furry friends, so many in fact that their barks alert the neighbors...and the local pound, who can't understand the disappearance of all the stray dogs. Andi and Bruce will have to call on all their friends and all their imagination to stop the hotel's secret from being discovered. Written by Happy_Evil_Dude

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Who let the dogs in? See more »


Comedy | Family

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for brief mild thematic elements, language and some crude humor | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

16 January 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hotel para perros  »

Box Office


$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$17,012,212 (USA) (16 January 2009)


$73,023,275 (USA) (22 May 2009)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Nearly eighty boys auditioned for the role of Bruce before Jake T. Austin was chosen. See more »


(at around 1 minute) Heather is trying to coax the three legged dog onto the ramp, she then praises him saying "good boy". Then at the end (at around 1h 22 minutes) Bernie calls her "Chelsea". See more »


Andi: You know, I think we might be in a little over our heads.
Dave: It's four-six; we're out dogged.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits are accompanied by clips and stills of the cast and crew with their pets (mostly dogs, but at least one cat and a snake). See more »


Referenced in Hotel for Dogs: K-9 Casting (2009) See more »


Who Who Who
Written by Ali Dee
Performed by Lisa Kudrow and Kevin Dillon
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Hotel for Dogs Movie Review from The Massie Twins
15 January 2009 | by ( – See all my reviews

Hotel for Dogs plays it very safe and sticks to a tried-and-true children's movie formula. For a great many viewers the best thing about the film will be the cute and cuddly dogs that perform various tricks – their training is easily more impressive than the humdrum story, based on a hopefully more consequential Lois Duncan book. The dialogue lacks flair, the acting is expectedly simple, and the characters provide only modest entertainment in comparison to their canine costars. Adults will probably find it difficult to withstand the sickeningly sweet conclusion or the impossibly artificial mechanics behind the inner workings of the dog hotel, but the target audience is likely to be pleased.

16-year-old Andi (Emma Roberts) and her 11-year-old brother Bruce (Jake Austin) have bounced back and forth between orphanages and foster parents (five in the last three years) without finding comfort or satisfaction. Bernie (Don Cheadle), the kindly social worker who governs their placements tries to reason with the children, who aren't content with their newest family of quiver-inducing wannabe rockstars (Lisa Kudrow and Kevin Dillon) who conduct obnoxious band practice in their apartment nonstop, and compulsively lock up the cupboards and cabinets in their home. The brother and sister team have also been secretly keeping a pet dog, Friday, who uses automated gadgets constructed by the mechanically inclined Bruce to get food and to remain hidden.

Before school starts up, the troublemaking duo (they get money for dog food by pawning fraudulent goods) comes across an abandoned hotel with several canine occupants. Deciding to look after their newfound family of dogs, Andi and Bruce join forces with two employees from the nearby pet store (Johnny Simmons and Kyla Pratt) along with nosey Mark (Troy Gentile), to build an elaborate self-maintained shelter for unwanted, abandoned and stray dogs. Initially it seems they've bitten off more than they can chew, especially when cruel dog pound troops, nagging foster parents and pesky cops begin to take notice of the incredibly large gathering of dogs at the dilapidated old building.

The target audience probably won't be asking the questions that popped into my mind: How can an 11-year-old kid build such intricate mechanical contraptions? Is it really that easy to train dozens of dogs to use said electrical gadgets? Is it simply luck that none of the dogs need medical attention? Is it really okay for children to commit crimes such as breaking and entering, trespassing, and even assault, as long as it's done with the intent of saving stray animals? Clearly this film wasn't designed for me, but the trite dialogue (Kevin Dillon mutters the stale line, "We're in deep doo doo," after falling into an enormous animal waste bin), the predictability of Bernie's role, the sappy ending and the Kill Bill music montage (Tomoyasu Hotei's instantly recognizable "Battle Without Honor or Humanity") are huge distractions – especially when one just wants to see some adorable dogs running amok.

  • Mike Massie

19 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Being in REAL animal rescue.... luvtrav
Why, Don Cheadle? Why?! georgejamesgatwick
Which dog(s) in the movie were your faves? lorireece1
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