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Movie Review

Marmaduke

MPAA Rating: PG for some rude humor and language.

Reviewed by: Patty Moliterno
CONTRIBUTOR

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Kids Family
Genre:
Family Comedy
Length:
1 hr. 27 min.
Year of Release:
2010
USA Release:
June 4, 2010 (wide)
DVD: August 31, 2010
Copyright, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation

Dogs in the Bible

Kid Explorers
Adventures in the rainforest! Learn about the Creator of the universe by exploring His marvelous creation. Fun for the whole family with games, activities, stories, answers to children’s questions, color pages, and more! One of the Web’s first and most popular Christian Web sites for children. Nonprofit, evangelical, nondenominational.
Featuring: Judy Greer (Debbie Winslow), Emma Stone (Mazie—voice), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Giuseppe—voice), Ron Perlman (Chupadogra—voice), Jeremy Piven (Bosco—voice), Kiefer Sutherland (Bosco—voice), Owen Wilson (Marmaduke—voice), Sam Elliott (Chupadogra—voice), Stacy Ferguson (Jezebel—voice), Lee Pace (Phil Winslow), William H. Macy (Don Twombly), Thomas F. Wilson (voice), Steve Coogan (Raisin—voice), Damon Wayans Jr. (Thunder—voice), George Lopez (Carlos—voice), Devon Werkheiser (Drama Dog), Ryan Devlin (Deuce—voice), Carlos Ponce, Damon Wayans Jr. (Thunder—voice), more »
Director: Tom Dey—“Shanghai Noon,” “Showtime,” “Failure to Launch”
Producer: Davis Entertainment, Intrigue, Regency Enterprises, more »
Distributor: Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation

“Live large”

Marmaduke (voice of Owen Wilson) is the beloved, clumsy, oversized Great Dane from the comics. He is the family pet of the Winslow’s. Phil Winslow (Lee Pace) decides to move his family from Kansas to Orange County, CA, to take a job as the marketing director for an organic dog food company, and no one, not even Marmaduke is happy. Phil is convinced that a bigger paycheck and a company car will make everyone happy.

Phil and his wife Debbie (Judy Greer) have 2 children. Barbara (Caroline Sunshine) is a typical teen who texts too much and believes her parents have ruined her life. Younger brother, Brian (Finley Jacobsen), doesn’t want to play soccer, but Dad has failed to listen before, during or after the move to anyone in his family. Phil is just too busy trying to impress his new boss Don Twombly (William Macy). Meanwhile Marmaduke is befriended by a pack of mutts led by Mazie (Emma Stone), but he only wants to impress Jezebel (Stacy Ferguson). Marmaduke forgets his true friends and deceives everyone to win the attention of the purebreds.

Of course, Marmaduke learns many valuable lessons—true friendship, being true to oneself, admitting your mistakes and not judging others based on what people tell you. Phil also learns to stand up for himself with his overly demanding boss and to put his family first.

There is some minor violence-Marmaduke ejects the cat from the couch and he goes flying through the air. He stages a fight with a cat to make himself look good.

Several times throughout the movie Marmaduke passes gas. Several times dogs are shown peeing. One time a dog pees in a man’s cup and later the person drinks from it.

There are also several references to drugs—Marmaduke and the family cat, Carlos, is given tranquilizers to fly. Dogs are seen dancing around magic mushrooms. The dogs are seen having a wild party and destroying the house. There are references to drinking too much drainpipe water.

There are some beach scenes and Barbara is seen in a bikini. Phil does tell his daughter to put some clothes on. Barbara is downright disrespectful to her parents with no consequences for her actions. There is a “date” scene with Marmaduke and Jezebel and the song “Let’s Get it On” is played.

God’s name is used in vain. There is also some crude language. The phrase, “Who’s licking butt now?” is used by a dog. Another dog talks about eating a human’s bones. The phrase, “suck at swimming” is used and also “payback is going to be a bee”. There is also some name calling.

Although there are several cute scenes where I found myself chuckling, there are way too many references to drugs, alcohol, and crude talk. Even though the dogs are performing most of this talk and behavior, I still feel children do not need to be exposed to the crude and immature storyline. I am saddened that I cannot recommend this movie, because many children will enjoy the talking dogs and seeing Marmaduke come alive from the comic strips.

Violence: Mild / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: Mild

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—It’s good! I think it’s okay for kids, but like most movies of modern families, the father’s choices are always questioned and disapproved of! I understand that it is hard to move, but when our parents decide to move, we except it. They’re not going to change their plans because of our selfish feelings. Our parents know what’s best for us, better than we do!

And if the members of the family don’t talk to each other (especially to dad), how can they help or change? Yes, they should take the time to pay attention, but they are not God, and they can’t read minds, so TALK!!! So many movies are like this, causing children viewing them, to challenge not only the parents in the movie, but, also, their own. So, make sure your children do not pick up this bad habit, and maybe discuss this movie with them when it is done.

But otherwise, enjoy the many good lessons in this movie and the many laughs!!! GOD BLESS!!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Maureen O’Hara, age 19 (USA)
Neutral
Neutral—I’m going to call this “neutrally positive”. I “personally” liked the movie from a grown-up perspective. I really did. It was hilarious to *me*. HOWEVER! I saw the movie with my 4 year old after reading a review on another Christian site telling me the movie was perfectly fine for children. That review was WRONG! This is NOT a children’s movie, if you’re as conservative in your thinking as I am. Thankfully, my son is only 4. He was clueless to most of the immoral references in the movie (those stated above).

If he were 6 or 8 or 10, I would’ve considered walking out (or at least having a long talk with him after the movie was over). The first 5 minutes of the movie make it clear that it’s meant to be for high schoolers (although middle schoolers would understand most or all of what is presented). My son is too young and too sheltered to know about drugs, alcohol, or disguised profanity (like “payback’s a beeeee!” mentioned above). I think for him, the only two things he old was old enough to pick up on were the immodest dress and the disrespect shown to authority (by dogs or children), especially since it wasn’t corrected by the parents/owners. It’s an odd coincidence that we just discussed yesterday about not allowing anyone except family or doctors to see you in your underwear, yet on the big screen, there sat a young lady in a bikini… which is just “underwear” in the mind of a 4 year old boy. How confusing!

We have two dogs at home, so it’s not anything new to hear gas-passing in a movie. That was innocently humorous. The other things were what I found objectionable. If you take children to this movie, you should discuss these things either immediately before or immediately after the movie so that they understand God’s stance on sin. In God’s eyes, sin is sin, no matter how big or small man tries to make it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Chrystal, age 33 (USA)
Negative
Negative—Oh my, we started to watch this movie, and it just bored the life out of us; if you have a brain in your skull, I recommend not even trying to watch this stupid and dumb MESS of a MOVIE
My Ratings: Moral rating: / Moviemaking quality:
—Chris, age 22 (USA)
Negative— I’m glad I read these reviews after watching with my 23 month old. It was one of those movies that seemed decent but raised a few questions about morality. For one, I (personally) find the name Jezebel distasteful due to the fact that it is a name that an immoral queen chose to call herself in honor of the false god Baal. I’m sorry if anyone carries this name, I do not mean for offense. I just feel that things like that in a movie should matter. I wasn’t sure if I were being too legalistic about it, so I’ve kept it a few days in order to research and see how my conscience settled. Maybe it is one of those things that each person needs to be true to his/her own conscience, like eating and drinking or abstaining according to one’s faith.

As others mentioned there were other subtle things slipped in that appear to be innocent, but, in fact, Satan comes disguised as an angel of light, and this could open the door for our children to be desensitized to drugs and disrespect to authority. One thing I felt was extremely inappropriate was the song referring to making “my bed rock.” My son is too young to understand what that means in adult world, and, if he were older, I would have turned it off immediately. With that in mind, I will be removing it from my home, because if it is not appropriate for an older child; why would I want my toddler’s spirit to be filled with it now? At what age would you decide that these things are no longer appropriate because they are at an age of understanding? You can’t really know, because children soak things up like a sponge and immorality should not be allowed to seep in slowly so that a taste is acquired. Pluck the weeds and plant flowers.

There are plenty of other decent movies to pick from. My son really likes this movie because of the talking animals. This is unfortunate because if it did not have these off color references, it would be a cute movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Cilla Ashby, age 31 (USA)
Comments from young people

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