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Hotel for Dogs
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Hotel for Dogs More at IMDbPro »

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40 out of 53 people found the following review useful:

The dogs were amusing, the people less so

6/10
Author: Jim T from United States
11 January 2009

I saw a preview of this film with kids 6, 7 and 12. We are a dog-loving family, so perhaps we were biased to enjoy the film. That said, we were split on our review. The adults and 12 year old were bored; the two youngsters were thrilled! Hence the score of 6.

Overall, this was a harmless movie featuring a few humans and many trained dogs. It was sugary and nice - there was no real threat anywhere in the film of something bad happening (thus it is kid-safe for very young kids). And they've reduced the idea of foster homes down to a concocted McNugget of a concept. My younger kids didn't even follow that theme at all.

What they did follow, and what I found most redeeming, were the numerous cutesy dog tricks and toys. The creators of the film did a nice job inventing clever ways to mechanize the caring for dogs (think the breakfast scene in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang). That was fun. And the dogs were cute.

For me the drawbacks were these: Slow start, unfunny 'comic' characters - like the foster parents and dog catchers, and a lame plot.

But ultimately - we had a nice outing, and you will too. And you will emerge from the film MORE likely to go get a dog of your own.

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54 out of 82 people found the following review useful:

Not a Dog :-)

8/10
Author: brdcstdvd
19 December 2008

Saw a preview of Hotel For Dogs with my wife and kids (4&7 year old boys) last weekend and I have to say we all thoroughly enjoyed this film. In fact I would have to say it is the best live-action kids film I've seen in years. Sure, as an adult you'll be able to see predictable plot devices coming at you from around every corner, but the movie is so likable, well acted and well directed that you just don't care. There are holes in the story and the whole movie is one big implausibility but it just doesn't matter. Hotel for Dogs will be the first big hit of 2009. It's a great family film that 4-12 year olds are just going to eat up.

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35 out of 52 people found the following review useful:

very good family film - enjoyed it thoroughly!

9/10
Author: pmcguireumc from United States
17 January 2009

Saw this movie opening night. Took 5 kids and my wife and sis-in-law. all of us enjoyed it. very clean. enjoyable. hilarious at times and well written.

I normally hate child actors, but for once i was not annoyed. Emma Roberts is gorgeous. at 23, she looks young, but has moments in which she gives a glimpse of wisdom. her younger brother in the movie was very tolerable, and in fact delivered some excellent subtlety. neither over acted.

the social worker couple were very good while Lisa kudrow continues to amaze me that she even has a career. OK, now the part that matters: the dogs were hilarious, likable, and intriguing. the plot was very well done and for the first time in years, i am intrigued and eagerly anticipating the "making of" documentary on the DVD. excellent direction, pacing, and scripting.

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14 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

a plausible children movie ..

Author: petit76 from United States
5 February 2009

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 rock stars (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 trouble making 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.Evren Buyruk,Tx

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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

I'm 20 & I'm honestly surprised that I liked 'Hotel For Dogs'..!

6/10
Author: Girish Gowda from BengaLuru, Karnataka
6 April 2010

Usually, I don't like films which have real dogs in them. But, Hotel For Dogs came as a real surprise to me. Of course, the plot is predictable, but the actors & the adorable dogs brought this movie some heart. I don't understand the low rating. This movie was made for kids, not for adults, so you shouldn't have expected anything more than the predictable dialogues & happy ending.

Andi (Emma Roberts) & Bruce (Jake. T. Austin) are two siblings who have lost their parents & are living in foster homes & the adults in that home are very annoying. One day their dog, Friday goes into an abandoned old hotel & it spends the night there. Somehow, the kids want a real family & they start rescuing dogs from all over the place to help the dogs avoid the pound with the help of their friends, Dave, Heather & Mark. They get into all kinds of trouble with the law.

I was babysitting the other day & my little cousin wanted to watch this as soon as he heard it had dogs in them (he's 8 & very cute) & so I had to watch it along with him as no one else wanted to spend time on this with him & I like him (he has two elder sisters & they wouldn't see this, nor babysit him). This is a very fun family film. The acting was good, the dogs were awesome & the contraptions to help the dogs enjoy was cool. Seeing this as he enjoyed really made it good for me. The plot had lot of holes in it; like where did they get the money to feed so many dogs when they couldn't even pay for food for their first dog? And how could they build the hotel for the dogs without the owner's permission & is it really OK to break the law as long as you do it for the cute dogs? This is a kids fantasy after all & I let go of these problems.

Lisa Kudrow (from the awesome show 'Friends') really didn't do much in this. Then again, the kids & dogs are the main attraction. Emma Roberts is a girl I loved in Nancy Drew (I was a huge fan of Hardy Boys & Nancy Drew during my teens, still am I suppose) & here also I liked her. The other kids were also OK. I'm a huge fan of Prison Break & did anyone notice Mark was eerily similar with his dialogue delivery & personality to a character in the TV show? If he is not his son, then its weird.

6/10

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

A good laugh for the kids

5/10
Author: Pascal Zinken (LazySod) from Maastricht, The Netherlands
2 March 2009

A brother and sister live with their umpteenth set of foster parents. They hide their pet - a small dog - because the foster parents don't want to know about it. When the dog runs away they follow it and find their way into an old abandoned building. To their surprise it is not completely abandoned but actually lived in by a number of dogs. Soon after that an idea comes to life.

And from there the story rolls on in a typical Disney style children's film where evil is evil and good is good and anything else is easily forgotten. As as adult I wasn't overly impressed with the film but the kid I took to see it loved it - and that's good. The target audience for the film must be kids in the age range 6 to 12 or so. The things that happen are fun to watch (at least the very most of the time) and although the acting capabilities of the younger players leaves something to be desired it is not bad enough to turn the film into a complete waste of tape.

All in all, it features a good number of laughs, a few tear drops and surely a lot of hard work - and a cast that is clearly liking to play the roles they were cast for.

5 out of 10 dogs barking in the night

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

The dogs were more interesting than the human characters

6/10
Author: Claudia McCarey from Australia
18 March 2009

Despite how I did like Hotel for dogs,the human characters were boring.I only liked Andi(Emma Roberts)because she was smart and likable in a mature way,but that was it. The dogs were the show stealers because the scenes with the trick performing and how they lived in a hotel were clever and well performed. What I have gotton tired of is the potty humour because it's been done in so many kids films before that I find it gross and unfunny(for example,a scene with the parents that fell into a dumpster with dog poo by saying "we're in deep doo doo.").

6 stars for the dogs and the female character Andi,but the rest were a waste of time.

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18 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Hotel For Dogs is Fun for EVERYONE!

9/10
Author: beetlejuice1987 from United States
26 January 2009

I'm obsessed with these dogs. They seriously are so fun and adorable and I loved seeing this movie. I went and saw it with my cousin and she was freaking out...couldn't wait to go see it and she loved every second of it. Friday, the main dog, was her favorite. Anytime he did something fiesty she would laugh hysterically. I loved the bulldog, cooper. The scene where he has a vending machine full of old shoes is genius. I really liked all the smart and quirky inventions that were used. This was a great family film...really honest, fun, enjoyable and totally entertaining. I would definitely recommend this film to someone who wants an easy, carefree, good time!

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10 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

The Dogs are the Stars

5/10
Author: LAKERS34 from Los Angeles
16 January 2009

Hotel for Dogs is strictly a fairy tale... Fun for the wee ones and those who need an escape. The story plods along like a ship in a storm, bouncing here and there with little regard for rationale or plausibility. Don Cheadle does a fine job playing the only reasonable character in the mix, with Emma Roberts and Jake Austin cute (no, too cute) as our main protagonists. Sad to see Lisa Kudrow, Kevin Dillon, and a host of others as contrived stereotypes with less personality than the dogs, who really are the stars of this thing. First time director Thor Freudenthal plays it safe with the story; You can't go wrong with so many talented canines in the mix! My 5 and 7 year old children loved it, while my 11 year old niece gave it "2.5 stars"...Same here.

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20 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

Hotel for Dogs Movie Review from The Massie Twins

3/10
Author: GoneWithTheTwins from www.GoneWithTheTwins.com
15 January 2009

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

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