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Hotel for Dogs | 2009 | PG | - 1.3.4

A boy and his sister (Emma Roberts and Jake T. Austin) in foster care after the death of their parents, struggle each day with trying to remain positive about their situation. When they decide to secretly take over an abandoned hotel and make it a safe haven for stray dogs they feel they have a mission that will keep their minds off their own troubled lives. Also with Don Cheadle, Johnny Simmons, Lisa Kudrow, Kevin Dillon, Eric Edelstein, Kyla Pratt and Troy Gentile. Directed by Thor Freudenthal. [1:40]

SEX/NUDITY 1 - A teenage boy and a teenage girl kiss. A husband and his wife kiss on the cheek. A teenage girl kisses a teenage boy on the cheek. Two dogs kiss in several scenes.
 A teenage boy says he wants to massage a girl's shoulders. A teenage boy remarks about how beautiful a teenage girl looks. A teenage boy seems interested in a teenage girl. A teenage boy talks about two teenage girls as being "fine looking hot women" and asks another teenage boy which one he has dibs on. A dog whimpers and shakes while looking at another dog. A teenage boy describes his work vehicle as a "chick magnet."
 A teenage girl wears a low-cut top that reveals cleavage. We see a sweaty man with low-slung pants that reveal buttock cleavage.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 3 - We hear that dogs are scheduled for euthanasia. Dogs are shown locked in cages in a dog pound in several scenes and are also shown being handled roughly by animal control staff. Dogs are taken out of a hotel by animal control and police and a boy struggles to get his own dog back (the boy is taken away by police).
 A boy kicks a man in the crotch. We see a dog pinned under a fence (he is pulled out and is OK). A teenage boy is struck in the head by a wooden spoon and he falls to the floor. A dog falls off a board and onto the floor (no injuries).
 A teenage girl and a boy hide in an abandoned hotel, they hear deep groaning and noises coming from the shadows, and they see two dogs (they are friendly).
 A dog barks and snarls at a man who backs into a cage and locks the door. A man and a woman are frightened by a mechanized sheep with glowing red eyes that approaches them in a dark hallway. Several dogs chase another dog that is holding a bone in its mouth, and the dog is thrown through the air and ends up locked in a phone booth.
 A girl pawns a sealed box with a stone inside as a cell phone and gets money for it (she's caught by police). There is a constant tension and the threat of young people getting caught by authorities. A teenage girl and a boy see people stealing from an apartment, and they run away when police arrive, fearing they will be blamed.
 A teenage girl walks into someone carrying drinks and the drinks spill on her. Dogs are shown tearing a place apart when their food is not served. A woman accidentally pours coffee on a man (he is not harmed).
 A man and a woman fall down a chute and into a dumpster that is filled with dog feces. We see dogs defecating into plastic bags (we see the bags filling up), which then fall down a chute and into a dumpster. Several people step in dog feces and we hear squishing. A girl pulls a long hair out of her mouth from a plate of unappetizing food that she is eating and gags. We see dogs urinating on the floor in several scenes. We see dogs urinating in a urinal in a couple of scenes.
 A dog begs from a man who teases him, the man looks away and the dog snatches his food from his hand. A dog pulls out of his collar and follows the smell of food along a busy city street. A dog chews up a feather pillow and we are told that he eats everything (even a license plate).


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LANGUAGE 4 - 7 scatological terms (6 mild), name-calling (idiot, mangy), 5 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - None.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Death of parents, foster families, adoption, separation of siblings for adoption, dog pounds, euthanasia, dreams, opportunities, lying, breaking laws, bending rules.

MESSAGE - Don't give up, make your own path. Make a family wherever you are and with whomever you are.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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