Marking its territory in the mind-boggling
middle ground between Schindler's List and Beverly Hills Chihuahua, the cartoonish kid pic Hotel for Dogs turns out to be a weirdly oblivious Holocaust parable.
Adam Markovitz - Entertainment Weekly
Loaded with enough stupid pet and human tricks to satisfy David Letterman for years to come.
Stephen Holden - New York Times
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.
Cath Clarke - Guardian [UK]
The human dramas are less involving [than the dogs'], and a pair of teen romances feel like something on the Disney Channel.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
Friendly, formulaic, completely harmless.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
The crisp look director Thor Freudenthal brings to the visuals isn't matched in its story or its characters, all of whom, including the dogs, lack a special zip.
Joe Neumaier - New York Daily News
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.
Joe Morgenstern - Wall Street Journal
Hotel for Dogs is a sweet, innocent family movie about stray dogs that seem as well-trained as Olympic champions.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
The dogs include a fine three-legged fellow who reminded me of my in-law's old dog, Buddy, and that's the sort of movie we have here. You use it to think about dogs you once knew, or the ones whose company you're enjoying at present.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
By movie's end, I had whiplash from the movie's lurches between frivolity and seriousness.
Carrie Rickey - Philadelphia Inquirer
You'd probably be just as entertained chasing your own tail.
Daniel Getahun - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Although younger children will doubtless love it, Hotel for Dogs is too often cute for its own sake to really entertain anyone else.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
A chihuahua-sized concept served up in a doggy bag of contrivances and shtick.
John Anderson - Variety
Kyle Smith - New York Post
A laughless, gadget-geared and poop-obsessed kid comedy based on a Lois Duncan book, it will sorely test any parent hoping to have a few laughs with the kids and make it home without a side trip to the Humane Society.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
Plot and character development are pretty much irrelevant in the sunshiny fantasy world of this movie.
Bruce Demara - Toronto Star
It's like flipping through five years of dog calendars.
Stephen Cole - Globe and Mail
The dogs in Hotel For Dogs perform breathtaking stunts, touching love scenes, heart-breaking soliloquies with their eyes and clever, clever tricks. The human actors get upstaged at every turn.
Kirk Honeycutt - Hollywood Reporter
A clever concept that quickly runs out of room to roam.
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
All in all it's a very pleasant way to spend the afternoon with a bunch of kids.
Betsy Sharkey - Los Angeles Times
Brent Simon - Shared Darkness
Undemanding tykes will gets their giggles flowing with the Rube Goldberg-style contraptions invented for the dogs.
Phil Hall - EDGE Boston
...unapologetically geared towards younger viewers...
David Nusair - 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.
Kam Williams - NewsBlaze
Not bad. It is funny and touching at times, even though the premise is pretty close to impossible.
Robert Roten - 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.
David Cornelius - 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.
Tom Meek - Boston Phoenix
So, never work with children and animals, eh?
Simon Weaving - Screenwize
Ate mesmo Cheadle e Kudrow, dois interpretes normalmente confiaveis, parecem estar no piloto automatico nesta producao que tem, como unico atrativo, os truques de seu elenco de quatro patas.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
Anodyne family fare, Hotel is awash with all-American sentimentality but the many cute canines might just make it bearable for younger viewers.
Allan Hunter - Daily Express
Accompanying adults will be disappointed to see the talents of Lisa Kudrow wasted.
Philip French - Observer [UK]
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.
Peter Whittle - Times [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.
Christopher Tookey - Daily Mail [UK]
Kids could do worse than check in at the two- star Hotel For Dogs this half-term.
Dean Essner - Sun Online
Neil Smith - thelondonpaper
The premise is sound but the script is rather clunky and the film suffers from an uncertainty of tone.
Karl French - Financial Times
At the start, Kudrow's character tells the time-wasting kids, "You owe me 30 seconds of my life." I'm owed rather more.
Charlotte O'Sullivan - This is London
Inventive and endearing in places but ultimately an unsatisfying mix of slow plotting and superficial characterisation.
Anna Smith - Empire Magazine
Cute, silly family fare from Nickelodeon.
Charles Gant - Heat Magazine
Full of cute mutts and daft ideas, you might as well call it 101 Dumb Notions.
Elliott Noble - Sky Movies
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.
Mark Adams - Sunday Mirror [UK]
Whilst not as funny as it could have been, Hotel For Dogs gets by on sheer charm, thanks to a likeable cast, a decent script, pacey direction and a high cuteness factor.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
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.
Trevor Johnston - Time Out
Although it's not quite as consistently engaging or funny as it could be, this doggy adventure has moments that grab the imagination
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
It needs something quite special to save this film from toxic splurges of sentiment. Lisa Kudrow and Kevin Dillon duly oblige as a pair of fabulously awful foster parents.
James Christopher - Times [UK]
The real stars of this movie are not the notice-me dogs or the notice-me-more kids. The stellar pair are failed rock singer Carl Scudder (Kevin Dillon) and his sidekick chick Lois (Lisa Kudrow).
Victor Olliver - Teletext
If you lapped up Beverly Hills Chihuahua, this canine caper about two siblings who turn a derelict hotel into a refuge for stray pooches will no doubt be the mutt's nuts.
Neil Smith - Total Film
All the innocence of the Beethoven film series but with more dogs.
Holly Grigg-Spall - Film4
Corny and silly...with a brisk pace and lively soundtrack.
Avi Offer - NYC Movie Guru
Christopher Smith - Bangor Daily News (Maine)
Well, it's just so doggone cute.
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
The images are cluttered and murky, the comic rhythms falter, and the adult humans in the cast, including Lisa Kudrow and Don Cheadle, seem resigned to being upstaged by the kids and dogs.
Jake Wilson - The Age (Australia)
Hotel for Dogs" is naturally attractive because of the sheer number of dogs in the film, suitable for any dog lover such as myself...
Rory L. Aronsky - Film Threat
I was really hoping there'd been some misunderstanding about the title and this would turn out to be Eli Roth's Hostel for Dogs.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
The animal side of the movie is great; the human side not so great.
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
Dog people will like it.
Ben Lyons - At the Movies
Will the kids like it? Yeah, probably. Will the parents tolerate it or enjoy it? Probably not.
Ben Mankiewicz - At the Movies
never feels more than surface, more than flash.
Keith Breese - Filmcritic.com
Grownup audience members may fidget more than their kids.
Jette Kernion - Cinematical
Could have used another rewrite and a tighter edit, but the kindness-promoting message (think of the 'Shelter Stories' interludes in the newspaper comic strip 'Mutts') is welcome.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Canine charmers fill the screen in 'Hotel for Dogs,' but the heartwarming relationship between a brother and sister gives this movie its greatest appeal
Betty Jo Tucker - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Plot rehash aside, it's hard not to like 30 highly trained stunt dogs. You won't be howling with laughter or at the moon or anything else, but the movie is surprisingly sweet.
Gary Wolcott - Tri-City Herald
You can predict the end of the film in the first five minutes but I will say that the dogs and the gadgets were pretty fun to watch.
Kevin McCarthy - WJFK-FM (CBS Radio)
One comedy that will have you begging for more. A motley group of talented canines outperform the humans.
Pete Hammond - Hollywood.com
In the end, the message is what prevails. The movie's political and moral points -- and theme about creating family however you can find it -- elevate it above the average kids movie.
Paula Nechak - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Parental Content Review
Jim Judy - Screen It!
Jennie Kermode - Eye for Film
It may not be Hotel Rwanda, but Don Cheadle does bring a nice dose of compassion to Hotel for Dogs.
Josh Larsen - LarsenOnFilm
"Hotel for Dogs" gets 4 paws way up!
Jolene Mendez - Entertainment Spectrum
A well-made, slightly old-fashioned adventure with a few fantasy elements and a modern, ironic sense of humor.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
It's no great shakes as a film, but its combination of mild comedy, slapstick, pathos, many photogenic canines and a positive message will make it irresistible to families.
Walter V. Addiego - San Francisco Chronicle
There really is no good reason for Don Cheadle to be in Hotel for Dogs, unless perhaps he's somehow contractually obliged to appear in every movie that features the word "hotel" in its title.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Some of this stuff is fun, but some of it is crushingly routine.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
James Verniere - Boston Herald
[The filmmakers] can handle cheap gags and visuals, but story, character, dialogue, even a consistent tone are entirely out of their grasp.
Loey Lockerby - Kansas City Star
A sweet reminder of the importance of family and community, human and canine alike.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
Dave White - Movies.com
Beverly Hills Chihuahua may not be comic gold, but it at least tried to throw in some entertainment for the adults in the crowd.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Ultimately a tribute to the Power of Cute Pooches; despite all the film's shortcomings, the dogs deliver genuine laughs and prove to be thoroughly engaging protagonists.
Carolyn Arends - Christianity Today
Marjorie Baumgarten - Austin Chronicle
Dean Essner - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Dean Essner - Bullz-Eye.com
Adults will see the huge plot holes that pepper Hotel for Dogs but the filmmakers know that the real audience, the youngsters, won't care.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Dean Essner - National Post
It's all silly but remarkably fun and should wring smiles from even the grouchiest cat lover.
Connie Ogle - Miami Herald
There are movies that work for children and there are movies that work for all ages, and while I, as a grownup, prefer the latter, I'll have to admit that the kids in my screening of Hotel for Dogs liked it just fine.
Robert Davis - Paste Magazine
Young pet lovers will get a kick out of dog comedy.
Sandie Angulo Chen - Common Sense Media
[C]harmingly silly, sincerely sweet... feels much more like the classic, gentle family films of the 1970s we grew up with than the slapstick grossouts that pass for kids' films today...
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
A movie like Hotel For Dogs is so carefully demographically targeted, it takes the guesswork out of deciding whether to go. It is not a movie that kids and adults will enjoy equally.
Jim Slotek - Jam! Movies
The dogs carry the film appropriately, perhaps even outacting their human costars. Especially Cheadle, who should really have a long conversation with his agent about his future in worthwhile film roles.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
Hotel for Dogs gives the mutts plenty of personality, but every so often, the story has to fling back into the lives of the kids. That's when I'd lose interest.
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
A fetching and funny family film with special appeal to dog lovers.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
Look, I love dogs. But this film tried my patience almost beyond endurance.
Chris Kaltenbach - Baltimore Sun
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
Even the normally reliable Kudrow can barely disguise her contempt for the material.
Luke Y. Thompson - E! Online
In the department of small mercies, the dogs don't talk, but the human dialogue is as stale as the characters bathing in love-the-family-you're-with pathos.
Ella Taylor - L.A. Weekly
Cute and rambunctious and not a little old-fashioned--it's like an old Disney live-action comedy from the 1960s, but with better effects.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
The film goes to the dogs. They don't steal the scenes, they are the scenes. They bring so much personality that it's hard for any of the actors to compete, even the kids.
Kent Turner - School Library Journal
Comparatively, a movie about a hotel for hogs, logs or frogs might have had a chance.
Matt Pais - Metromix.com
It's harmless junk for small kids -- but no matter how harmless, it's still junk.
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
Hotel for Dogs sends out a positive message about animals in need.
Rebecca Murray - About.com
Hotel for Dogs is light entertainment with plenty of dog action for adults an kids alike.
Jonathan W. Hickman - Entertainment Insiders
Expect canine-loving crowds to book repeat reservations for this lively, if entirely predictable, family comedy.
Ethan Alter - Film Journal International
Don Cheadle stars in Hotel for Dogs. Did he lose some sort of bet to Clooney and Pitt?
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
Unpolished, undernourished and inconsequential, Hotel for Dogs is mediocre, at best. You watch it, you wait for it to be over, and you go about your day without giving it another thought.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
The dogs, nearly 100 of them, don't talk or shop or show the sentience to take a Mexican vacation. In fact, they leave all the acting to the humans
Amy Nicholson - I.E. Weekly
Cute kids cuter dogs = one doggone cute movie.
Nell Minow - Beliefnet
Hotel for Dogs reminds me -- in a good way -- of the Disney live-action classics of the '60s.
Cathy Jakicic - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
There isn't a malicious bone in the film's body.
Ed Gonzalez - Slant Magazine
There's no disguising fluff this fluffy.
Keith Phipps - AV Club
While it is not uncommon for Serious Actors to lighten up and make a film their kids can see, it is nonetheless jarring to see someone on the level of Don Cheadle turn up in a January-released, kiddie animal programmer.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
The film would've been better served if the maudlin human struggles and teenybopper romance had been cut and replaced with a bunch of Shiba Inu puppies rolling around the hotel lobby.
Drew Toal - Time Out New York
Funny, sometimes moving and supremely imaginative, time will tell if this is the kids' classic that it certainly appears to be.
Annette Basile - FILMINK (Australia)
It's not a TV remake, with pooches playing the parts made famous by James Brolin, Anne Baxter, and Connie Sellecca. Damn.
Peter Canavese - Groucho Reviews
Oh yeah, there are some people in it, and they're perfectly OK. But it's not their movie.
Alonso Duralde - MSNBC
Whimsical and at times a bit formulaic, but never overly sentimental, the movie benefits from a strongly sketched collective adolescent point-of-view, letting its kid stars drive the action in a world full of mostly buffoonish adults.
Brent Simon - Screen International
Adapted from Lois Duncan's popular children's book, it's doggie-thumbs up to this fresh and breezy family-friendly film that not only tells its delightfully inventive story well, but is ultra cute to boot
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile