Night at the Museum

Rated 3.0

A divorced father (Ben Stiller) takes a job as night watchman at New York’s Museum of Natural History so he can keep sharing custody of his 10-year-old son. But dad gets more than he bargained for when he learns that all the exhibits—the statues, the dioramas, even the stuffed animals and the T-Rex skeleton—come to life at night when the museum is closed. The script by Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon (from Milan Trenc’s book) is lightweight, with silliness about a magic Egyptian tablet and a subplot involving three elderly museum guards. But what the heck, it keeps the story moving and the three guards are played by Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney and Bill Cobbs, so even the movie’s shortcomings are pleasant and likeable. Throw in the terrific visual effects and it makes for a winning family trifle.