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NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM

"Self-Control and Courage Conquer Chaos and Instability"

Quality:
Content: -1 Discretion advised for older children.
NoneLightModerateHeavy
Language
Violence
Sex
Nudity

What You Need To Know:

NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM stars Ben Stiller as Larry Daley. Larry has a lot of dreams for success, but none of them pay off. His ex-wife complains that their young son, Nicky, is getting tired of his father’s instability. So, Larry takes a job as a security guard for the Museum of Natural History, which, due to lesser income, is retiring its three elderly guards, played by Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney and Bill Cobbs. Cecil, the lead guard, hands Larry a flashlight, keys and an instruction manual. That night, Larry watches in shock and disbelief as, one by one, the primeval beasts, historical icons and museum exhibits magically stir to life, including President Teddy Roosevelt riding a horse. That’s when the chaotic fun begins!

NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM is exciting, charming, tender, and amusing entertainment for the whole family. The story is well written, and the acting is filled with adventure, humor, warmth, and inspiring messages. Ben Stiller is perfectly cast, as is Robin Williams who plays Teddy Roosevelt with panache. There are also a few nifty twists in the final act. The movie teaches strong moral values like courage, responsibility, leadership, self-control, and the need for fathers to be strong role models for their sons. President Roosevelt imparts some wise advice to Ben Stiller’s character in NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM.

Content:

(Pa, BBB, C, H, Ev, P, L, V, N, M):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Light mixed pagan worldview (Pa) done in a light comical vein designed for families, with a magical plot device based on mythical Egyptology (Pa) (although there are hints to the historical likelihood that some ancient Egyptians probably believed in divine resurrection of created beings), very strong moral elements (BBB) promoting responsibility, heroic leadership, personal courage, self-control, order over chaos, being a strong father, and having a strong father-son relationship where son looks up to his father, some Christian and redemptive elements (C) including father is increasingly concerned about redeeming himself in the eyes of his impressionable son and a reference to the Mongols led by Attila the Hun attacking the Holy Roman Empire after it converted to Jesus Christ and Christianity, and some references to humanist evolution (H, Ev), including two jokes about human evolution and appearances in museum of the false evolutionary depictions of “cavemen” who try to make fire and are intrigued by fire, plus a generally positive view of Americans (P)

Foul Language:
no obscenities and three light profanities, one of which is said in a sense of wonder that could actually be a positive reference to God and, therefore, not a hard profanity

Violence:
Comical violence (but nothing super intense) includes sometimes scary dinosaur skeleton comes alive and wrecks a few museum objects, toy train rams into security guard’s head, security guard struck by tiny arrows and tiny poison darts, Mongols chase people, Civil War soldiers fire and shoot rifles at one another, miniature people fight, miniature’s body is stuck in a stock, toy vehicle apparently jumps over object and explodes behind the object (a puff of smoke is seen), museum glass broken, Mongol soldiers grab man by arms and legs and stretch him in a threatening way, and briefly but lightly scary pride of lions

Sex:
No sex, but divorced woman appears to live with her new fiancé

Nudity:
Upper male nudity on miniature Aztec or Mayan Indians, but seen from a distance Alcohol: No alcohol

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking or drugs; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
Stealing but rebuked and corrected, plus protagonist uses humanist pop psychology on Mongol leader wanting to kill him and an inside Hollywood joke about BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, but nothing salacious.

More Detail:

REVIEW: NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM provides exciting, charming, tender, uplifting, and amusing entertainment for the whole family. There are, however, a couple worldview problems that demand some caution for concerned parents and people of faith. Also, the light violence may be too much for most very young children.

The movie stars Ben Stiller as Larry Daley. Larry has a lot of dreams for success, but none of them pay off. His ex-wife complains that their young son, Nicky, is losing respect for his father and is getting tired of his father’s instability. So, Larry takes a job as a night security guard for the Museum of Natural History, which, due to lesser income, is retiring its three elderly guards, played by Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney and Bill Cobbs.

Cecil, the lead guard (Van Dyke), hands Larry a flashlight, keys and a dog-eared instruction manual. That night, Larry watches in shock, awe and disbelief as, one by one, the primeval beasts, historical icons and museum exhibits magically stir to life. That’s when the chaotic fun begins!

NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM is a delightful entertainment. The story is well-written and the acting, editing and cinematography are filled with adventure, humor, warmth, and inspiring messages. There are also a few nifty twists in the final act. Ben Stiller makes a good average-guy-type to play the important father role. It was also great to see such venerable actors as Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney and Bill Cobbs, as the three elderly security guards, strut their stuff.

Most importantly, the movie has some strong moral, redemptive elements. Most of those positive elements have to do with courage, taking responsibility, becoming a dynamic leader, controlling chaos, positive moral transformation, self-control, and the need for fathers to create a strong bond with their sons. The movie also shows that liberty can only truly occur within some kind of moral order and moral authority. This is an important conservative American value as well as a biblical one.

These positive qualities, however, are mixed with a few not-so-positive ones. For example, there are two jokes about human evolution that reinforce a humanist, evolutionary worldview. Going along with this are false evolutionary depictions of “cavemen,” the kind of old-fashioned depictions that you will find in such secular museums. Of course, in recent years, modern science has refuted such depictions of stupid-looking cavemen. For example, MOVIEGUIDE® has discovered that most of today’s best scientists now believe that the ape-like characteristics formerly given to such races as the “Neanderthal” race and even the “Homo Erectus” race are highly exaggerated and even downright false. Furthermore, some scientists have even begun to dispute the ancient dates given for these early human skeletons and cultures. Finally, as many Christian scientists have discovered, there is no historical, biological or evolutionary connection whatsoever between ancient monkey and ape species and the human race, including the Neanderthals and Homo Erectus. Thus, the human evolution mentioned in NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM is not science fact, but science fiction!

It should be noted that the filmmakers used the cooperation of the American Museum of Natural History. Such museums are notoriously secular, sometimes in ways that can be highly offensive and politically correct.

Primarily because of this problem, therefore, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution, especially for younger children. Parents should remind all their children, however (not to mention their friends and other family members), that there is very little or no scientific evidence that human beings evolved. There is also no evidence whatsoever that they evolved from monkeys, apes or any other non-human animal or creature. Thus, the only reason that the physical structure and biology of human beings may be somewhat similar to other, lesser creatures is because the same God of the Bible designed and made everything that exists in the universe. As the Gospel of John 1:3-5 says, “Through him [Jesus Christ, the Word of God] all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”

— Titus 2:11-14