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Hotel for Dogs (2009)

tomatometer

45

Average Rating: 5.3/10
Reviews Counted: 117
Fresh: 53 | Rotten: 64

Hotel for Dogs may appeal to children and dog lovers, but it's ultimately contrived, predictable, and simplistic.

39

Average Rating: 5/10
Critic Reviews: 28
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 17

Hotel for Dogs may appeal to children and dog lovers, but it's ultimately contrived, predictable, and simplistic.

audience

56

liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 164,897

My Rating

Movie Info

Adapted from author Lois Duncan's 1971 children's book of the same name, director Thor Freudenthal's Hotel for Dogs follows two mischievous orphans as they attempt to hide dozens of stray dogs in an abandoned hotel. Disheartened by their new guardians' announcement that pets are strictly forbidden, 16-year-old Andi (Emma Roberts) and her younger brother, Bruce (Jake T. Austin), race to find a home for their loyal dog Friday. Fortunately for Friday, there's an abandoned hotel just around the

PG,

Action & Adventure, Kids & Family, Comedy

Jeff Lowell

Apr 28, 2009

$73.0M

Dreamworks Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (118) | Top Critics (28) | Fresh (53) | Rotten (64) | DVD (9)

True, there's only the merest suggestion of an education system for these juveniles, but credibility's secondary when you've got lots of dogs doing cute stuff.

February 12, 2009 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

All in all it's a very pleasant way to spend the afternoon with a bunch of kids.

January 22, 2009 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Will the kids like it? Yeah, probably. Will the parents tolerate it or enjoy it? Probably not.

January 20, 2009 Full Review Source: At the Movies
At the Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Dog people will like it.

January 20, 2009 Full Review Source: At the Movies | Comment (1)
At the Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's sad to see a promising fantasy turn into yet another industrial-scale fantasy-delivery system that beats up on its audience with mindless intensity and undercuts its own humanity.

January 16, 2009 Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The human dramas are less involving [than the dogs'], and a pair of teen romances feel like something on the Disney Channel.

January 16, 2009 Full Review Source: USA Today | Comments (2)
USA Today
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Undemanding tykes will gets their giggles flowing with the Rube Goldberg-style contraptions invented for the dogs.

December 13, 2009 Full Review Source: EDGE Boston
EDGE Boston

...unapologetically geared towards younger viewers...

July 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

All that matters is that the loose ends of this sweet, kids-outsmart-the-adults fable are ultimately tied together nicely in a fashion certain to satisfy the average five year-old by the time the closing credits roll.

May 8, 2009 Full Review Source: NewsBlaze
NewsBlaze

Not bad. It is funny and touching at times, even though the premise is pretty close to impossible.

May 7, 2009 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

You'll admire the doggie tricks and tolerate the rest, which is both the best and worst thing that can be said about it.

May 4, 2009 Full Review Source: DVDTalk.com
DVDTalk.com

In Thor Freudenthal's heartwarming wag based on Lois Duncan's book, the strays aren't your usual mangy curs but well-groomed pedigreed show dogs who're aw-shucks cute.

April 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

So, never work with children and animals, eh?

March 25, 2009 Full Review Source: Screenwize
Screenwize

Até mesmo Cheadle e Kudrow, dois intérpretes normalmente confiáveis, parecem estar no piloto automático nesta produção que tem, como único atrativo, os truques de seu elenco de quatro patas.

March 1, 2009
Cinema em Cena

The dogs are never quite as entertaining as they should be for the kids in the audience, and the hypercutesiness and speechifying at the end will lead to much tightening of adult sphincters.

February 19, 2009 Full Review Source: Times [UK]
Times [UK]

Accompanying adults will be disappointed to see the talents of Lisa Kudrow wasted.

February 19, 2009 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

Anodyne family fare, Hotel is awash with all-American sentimentality but the many cute canines might just make it bearable for younger viewers.

February 19, 2009 Full Review Source: Daily Express | Comments (2)
Daily Express

Cheerful family-com.

February 13, 2009 Full Review Source: thelondonpaper
thelondonpaper

Everyone needs love and a home, whether kids or animals, is the cheesy but entirely heartfelt message of this fairly predictable and old-fashioned kids' movie.

February 13, 2009
Daily Record [UK]

The schmaltz is laid on thick, but kids love this sort of stuff and, refreshingly, the dog bits are done the old-fashioned, fun way: with animal trainers rather than CGI.

February 13, 2009 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

Despite all these reservations, many children will enjoy this picture, and it's the best-crafted, most entertaining Hollywood product of a very bad week.

February 13, 2009 Full Review Source: Daily Mail [UK]
Daily Mail [UK]

Kids could do worse than check in at the two- star Hotel For Dogs this half-term.

February 13, 2009 Full Review Source: Sun Online
Sun Online

It is a nice blend of slapstick fun, a little family pathos and a whole bunch of dogs of all shapes and sizes and is likely to be a popular draw for harassed parents looking for a little respite from the youngsters.

February 12, 2009 Full Review Source: Sunday Mirror [UK]
Sunday Mirror [UK]

Inventive and endearing in places but ultimately an unsatisfying mix of slow plotting and superficial characterisation.

February 12, 2009 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

All the innocence of the Beethoven film series but with more dogs.

February 12, 2009 Full Review Source: Film4 | Comment (1)

Audience Reviews for Hotel for Dogs

Bienvenue aux chiens perdus! (Welcome to the lost dogs!)

Good family movie! For all you dog lover's out there this movie will satisfy your thirst. Decent story with some funny moments and a happy ending.

Siblings Andi (Emma Roberts) and Bruce (Jake T. Austin) are orphans, and they live with wannabe rock-star foster parents Lois and Carl Scudder (Lisa Kudrow and Kevin Dillon). Due to the foster parents awful treatment, the kids and their beloved dog Friday (who is hidden from the foster parents) spend their days on the streets. To get money for food for themselves and the dog they deceive a pawn shop, but are caught. Their social worker Bernie (Don Cheadle) reprimands them, but helps them to minimize the damage.

One day while out on the streets as usual, they witness a store being robbed. The police seeing the two kids standing nearby accuse them as being the robbers and here starts a silly chase all over town. The kids eventually hide in an old abandoned hotel but are spooked when they here footsteps and chairs falling over. Come to find out the hotel is occupied by two dogs.

The following day the kids gather up all the food from their foster parents pantry and refrigerator and secretly take the food to the hotel for the dogs. That's when they get the idea to turn the hotel into a home for the three dogs and any other strays they can find. They are joined by a boy named Dave (Johnny Simmons), a girl named Heather (Kyla Pratt), (both of whom work at a pet store). And later joined by a kid who lives nearby named Mark (Troy Gentile).

The kids rescue about 20 or so dogs. Bruce invents and constructs many ingenious machines using parts he steals from his foster parents, to help feed the dogs and provide sanitary facilities, exercise and entertainment for them. The dogs are quick in learning how to use the machines.

Later on Bernie announces to them they can move from the foster home they hate to a new one that is a few hours away. Even though this may be their last chance to be placed in a foster home together, they decline as they care too much about the dogs to abandon them, but they cannot tell Bernie this reason because they might be forbidden to continue their care for the dogs.

One night while Andi and Dave are at a party (which turns into a disaster when Andi ends up getting punch on her dress, causing her to leave the party in tears) and Bruce is at his foster parents being reprimanded for a hair dryer he stole from them, the machines fail and the dogs go wild and cause so much noise that the police are called. The dogs are taken to a pound and Bruce and Andi's foster parents kick them out for stealing. As predicted, they are sent to separate foster homes. The pound prepares to euthanize the dogs, but Friday escapes and finds Dave. The two reunite all of the kids and they decide to save the dogs despite the fact that they are going to get in big trouble. They break the dogs out of the pound and try to lead them over the county line (Bruce tempting them to follow the van with sausages) to an animal shelter that has a no kill policy, but as the dogs get close to the hotel, they make a bee line there instead as that is their 'home'. The kids and a massive crowd of people follow.

The police call Animal Control who tries to take them back,. Bernie having seen what the kids did, makes a speech in favor of the dogs for the kids rescued so many strays and gave them a home which is something he had been trying to do with the kids he dealt with. (When he introduces the two twin dogs, Viola and Sebastian, this makes reference to the play, "Twelfth Night". The characters Viola and Sebastian are twins in the play. And the dogs Romeo and Juliette are mates)

With donations from the people of the city, the hotel is fixed up and turned into an actual hotel for dogs. The kids all work there. Lois and Carl Scudder are 'howling' good entertainment for the dogs in the lounge and Bernie and his wife end up adopting Andi, Bruce, and Friday.
May 23, 2011
MANUGINO
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

Harmless but forgettable fluff designed to make every child feel as though they are worth something. Roberts plays a young girl thrown from foster home to foster home with her brother. Needless to say, they soon meet a load of dogs that also can't find a family. Soon they're running a Hotel for Dogs to escape the misery of their lives. All this would be easier to swallow if Roberts and Austin were relatable. They commit crimes to make money. Who cares if their parents are dead, there are plenty of law abiding orphans out there. Cheadle is a surprise turn out in this paint by numbers fluff. It can be entertaining, but the dog handlers deserve the biggest congratulations.
February 26, 2011
kiriyamakazou

Super Reviewer

All the innocence of the Beethoven film series but with more dogs.
July 26, 2009
roygutteridge

Super Reviewer

Wonderful and sweet family movie with really great performances - and yes, I'm also referring to these of the dogs because I love them as I have one.
June 22, 2009
deano
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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Foreign Titles

  • Das Hundehotel (DE)
  • Palace pour chiens (FR)
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