Parents' Guide to

Hotel for Dogs

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Young pet lovers will get a kick out of dog comedy.

Movie PG 2009 100 minutes
Hotel for Dogs Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 34 parent reviews

age 7+

All Dogs Are Welcome!

Perfect for canine lovers! Children will gush over the variety of dogs and probably laugh at the movies sometimes silly humour, but it will be inspiring for them to better their community. (Wait at the end of the movie, you'll see why) The five friends are a fantastic team. They have good morals and understand the consequences for harbouring stray dogs in a condemned hotel. Yet it's their empathy that drives their likeability towards mans best friend. The main siblings care deeply for each other and their dog. They respect their social worker and his willingness to provide a good home for the pair - in spite of their circumstances with their negligent foster parents. The cast is charming, the dogs are adorable and the story is wholesome, fun and values responsibility, kindness and friendship.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
age 6+

Whole hearted film!

The movie itself is very good, and is a huge part of my childhood! I feel like it's appropriate for children of all ages, as it gives you a lot of laughs with it's humor and jokes! The ending is wholesome, as it teaches viewers to never give up hope, and to leave no one behind.

This title has:

Great messages

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (34):
Kids say (56):

If Marley and Me is considered one of the most realistic -- and emotionally wrenching -- depictions of life with a dog, this is probably one of the least realistic (talking-canine flicks aside). Even if you go along with the concept that a boarded-up hotel would still be filled with furniture (even gym equipment!), it will be difficult for adults to believe that an 11-year-old could come up with all of Bruce's intricate inventions (a self-cleaning golden hydrant where the dogs can raise a leg, an automatic dog-bowl filler, a car-window ride simulator, etc.). That said, the kooky contraptions are probably the best part of the movie, and kids will get a kick out of the whole thing.

The movie's subplot is about whether the siblings will ever find a permanent home. When their bad-hair, rock-wannabe foster parents (played by Lisa Kudrow and Kevin Dillon) find out about the kids' antics, Andi and Bruce are forced to go to group homes. Luckily for them, their social worker, Bernie (Don Cheadle), is determined to find them a sanctuary -- just like they're intent on saving the city's endangered dogs. Predictably enough, there's a warm-and-fuzzy ending. Be warned, though: Young kids may want to go straight from the movie theater to rescue a dog at the pound.

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