Hotel for Dogs (2009)



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

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Movie Info

When their new guardians forbid 16-year old Andi and her younger brother, Bruce to have a pet, Andi has to use her quick wit to help find a new home for their dog, Friday. The resourceful kids stumble upon an abandoned hotel and using Bruce's talents as a mechanical genius, transform it into a magical dog-paradise for Friday--and eventually for all Friday's friends. When barking dogs make the neighbors suspicious, Andi and Bruce use every invention they have to avoid anyone discovering "who let the dogs in."
PG (for brief mild thematic elements, language and some crude humor)
Action & Adventure , Comedy , Kids & Family
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
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Don Cheadle
as Bernie
Kyla Pratt
as Heather
Kevin Dillon
as Carl Scudder
Lisa Kudrow
as Lois Scudder
Ajay Naidu
as ACO Jake
Eric Edelstein
as ACO Max
Robinne Lee
as Carol
Yvette Nicole Brown
as Ms. Camwell
Andre Ware
as Officer Jeff
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News & Interviews for Hotel for Dogs

Critic Reviews for Hotel for Dogs

All Critics (117) | Top Critics (30)

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.

Full Review… | February 11, 2009
Time Out
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | January 22, 2009
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

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

January 20, 2009
At the Movies
Top Critic

Dog people will like it.

Full Review… | January 20, 2009
At the Movies
Top 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.

Full Review… | January 16, 2009
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | January 16, 2009
USA Today
Top Critic

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.

Manu Gino
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.

Luke Baldock
Luke Baldock

Super Reviewer

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

Roy Gutteridge
Roy Gutteridge

Super Reviewer

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