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"MARMADUKE"
(2010) (voices of Owen Wilson, Emma Stone) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Mild Heavy Moderate Minor
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None Extreme Mild Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild None Moderate Heavy Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: A talking Great Dane tries to fit in with the pedigreed canines at the local dog park after his human owner moves the family from Kansas to Southern California and tries to impress his boss.
PLOT:
Phil Winslow (LEE PACE) has just received a fantastic job offer as marketing director for Bark Organics, a Southern California dog food manufacturer run by Don Twombly (WILLIAM H. MACY). The only problem is he and his family live in Kansas, but sensing this is their shot at the big time, he and his wife, Debbie (JUDY GREER), pack up their kids -- teenager Barbara (CAROLINE SUNSHINE), her younger brother Brian (FINLEY JACOBSEN) and their kid sister Sarah (MANDY & MILNA HAINES) -- along with their pets, Great Dane Marmaduke (voice of OWEN WILSON) and Carlos the cat (voice of GEORGE LOPEZ) -- and move into their new home.

While Phil tries to impress his boss and thus doesn't pay enough attention to his kids, such as Barbara liking fellow teenager Bodie (GLENN McCUEN), Marmaduke -- who can speak English like all other animals but can't be understood by humans -- tries to fit in. After being befriended by rescue dog Mazie (voice of EMMA STONE) and her two pals, nervous Giuseppe (voice of CHRISTOPHER MINTZ-PLASSE) and brainy Raisin (voice of STEVE COOGAN), Marmaduke soon learns there's a social pecking order at the local dog park. There's the bully leader Boscoe (voice of KIEFER SUTHERLAND), whose collie girlfriend, Jezebel (voice of STACY FERGUSON), has caught the Great Dane's eye, while former alpha dog Chupadogra (voice of SAM ELLIOT) lives on the outskirts and inspires fear in most of the dogs.

With Marmaduke absorbing Mazie's advice but not realizing she likes him, he uses that to best Boscoe and win over Jezebel. Yet, just like Phil, he ends up leading a misguided life and must then deal with the repercussions once he learns things aren't going as well as planned.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of the newspaper comic and/or talking animal movies, I'm guessing they'll definitely be interested.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For some rude humor and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • MARMADUKE is a gargantuan, rambunctious and somewhat clumsy Great Dane who speaks English (but can't be understood by humans) and moves with his family to California. There, he tries to fit in and ends up eventually abandoning Mazie and her friends (who were first to befriend him) in favor of his quest to win over Jezebel and thus dethrone Boscoe as the leader (although he's initially awkward and uncomfortable about doing so). He also occasionally has a thing for farting in his owners' bed for comedic effect.
  • MAZIE is a rescue dog who's the first to befriend and defend Marmaduke and ends up falling for him. Accordingly, she's put out with him when he falls for Jezebel and uses what Mazie taught him in order to win her over and replace Boscoe as the alpha dog.
  • CARLOS is the family cat and Marmaduke's best friend who ends up getting stepped on by the dog as he ascends the social canine ladder.
  • GIUSEPPE is Mazie's small and often nervous canine friend.
  • RAISIN is their other friend, the brainy one of the bunch.
  • BOSCOE is the leader of the dog park, a bully who reigns over all others and looks down on the "mutts" in favor of those with pedigrees like himself. Accordingly, he isn't happy with Marmaduke, especially when he takes liking to Boscoe's girlfriend, Jezebel.
  • JEZEBEL is that girlfriend, a pretty collie who's apparently drawn to strong ruler types.
  • CHUPADOGRA is the one-time alpha dog of the area, but who's now a feared and misunderstood outcast. He ends up helping Marmaduke.
  • LEE PACE plays Marmaduke's owner, a marketing pro who convinces Debbie to move their family from Kansas to Southern California so that he can pursue a better job in the "big leagues." While he tries to be supportive of his family, he's doing so in a distracted fashion and thus doesn't realize what they're really thinking or feeling. He also becomes put out with Marmaduke at various points in the film based on the dog's actions.
  • JUDY GREER plays his wife who goes along with the move and generally is supportive, but isn't pleased that he seems to have put his family on the back burner in favor of his new job.
  • CAROLINE SUNSHINE plays their teenage daughter who isn't happy that they moved from Kansas to Southern California or that her dad seems oblivious to her needs and wants. That said, she takes a liking to Bodie.
  • FINLEY JACOBSEN plays her younger brother who's been lying to his dad about going to soccer practice (because he has no interest in that, but can't bring himself to tell his dad).
  • MANDY & MILNA HAINES play their younger sibling.
  • WILLIAM H. MACY plays Phil's demanding boss who often isn't pleased with Phil or his large and disruptive dog. When Phil can't show up for work, Don fires him, but then wants him back when it looks like he'll help sell their product.
  • GLENN MCCUEN plays a local boy who takes a liking to Barbara.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick look at the content found in this PG-rated comedy aimed at young kids. There's no profanity, but a few religious and more plentiful colorful phrases are uttered. A song has a non-explicit but sexually related connotation, while a teen is seen in a bikini and her mom shows some cleavage in her swimsuit. Some brief kissing (by a married couple) also occurs.

    Some slapstick style material is present, while a few scenes might be unsettling, suspenseful and/or scary to younger kids who might not realize everything will turn out okay.

    Some "altered state" material and comments are present, as are various instances of crude humor. Potentially imitative behavior is present, as is tense family material, while human and dog characters have bad attitudes.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, varying amounts of camera movement occur in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • In pet crates on a plane, Marmaduke says he feels weird (from an unseen pet sedative), with Carlos holding up his paws and asking (while acting "high") if Marmaduke has ever looked at his paws, adding that he means really looking at them.
  • Mazie labels the various dogs in the dog park as being akin to high school cliques, including a few who are "mushroom heads" (we see them by real mushrooms in the ground).
  • Marmaduke throws a party in his house when the humans are away, and we see one dog drinking from the toilet while others repeatedly chant "Chug it!" (No alcohol is involved, but that's a common drinking chant).
  • About Marmaduke's fall from grace, one of his old friends states, "Not to rub margarita salt in the wound, but you deserved it."
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • As Phil and Debbie start to kiss in bed (clothed), Marmaduke says "Wait for it. Wait for it" and then lets out a loud fart, prompting the humans to react adversely to the smell.
  • We see a hairball on the floor and Carlos says he just "hacked that thing up."
  • About his new lawn, Marmaduke states it's the best bathroom he ever had and then puts his paw over the camera, blocking our view as he asks for some privacy.
  • One animal asks, "Who's licking butt now?" (a riff on "kissing butt").
  • One dog purposefully pees in a distracted human's cup in the park, with the man then apparently drinking from that (not seen, but we hear his angry reaction).
  • When Mazie mentions her dream date being taken to the junkyard, Marmaduke comments on lots of old stuff there to pee on.
  • Rather than go surfing, Marmaduke says he'd rather be running through a meadow, peeing on everything.
  • A dog pees on Phil's car.
  • A dog refers to Marmaduke as "Marmapuke."
  • One dog complains to Marmaduke, "You don't give a steaming pile about us anymore."
  • We see a dog dragging its butt on the carpet, while another pees on the sofa.
  • Marmaduke farts in Phil and Debbie's bed (stating that never gets old) and they react to the smell.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • A miscellaneous student is knocked down at school and other students laugh at him.
  • Boscoe is the leader of the pedigree dogs who look down on the "mutts" (he derogatorily refers to them as that as well as "losers"). He also tells Marmaduke that if he even looks at Jezebel (among other things) "You're dead." His minions also make fun of Marmaduke.
  • Although he half-heartedly tries to be engaged in his kids' lives, Phil puts his job ahead of them (although he's doing so in hopes of making a better life for all of them).
  • Some teen girls make fun of Barbara for not having a "purse dog."
  • Boscoe tells Marmaduke, "I don't care how freakishly huge you are, donkey boy" and then tells Mazie "Watch it, tomboy" when she calls him a jerk.
  • Carlos agrees to help Marmaduke look like a tough dog in front of the other canines in the dog park, but Marmaduke takes that too far, verbally and then physically abusing his friend, including hitting and throwing him around (the latter leaving Carlos with no hair on part of his tail).
  • When Bodie comes up to talk to Barbara at the beach, Phil tells him, "Beat it, Hasselhoff."
  • Brian tells Marmaduke that he's been lying to his dad about going to soccer practice (when he hasn't).
  • When Mazie complains about Marmaduke taking Jezebel on her (Mazie's) dream date, others mock her, saying things such as "What did they put in your Kibbles this morning?" and "Bitter, party of one."
  • Marmaduke tells his former friends, "I don't hang out with mutts anymore."
  • Marmaduke throws a party in his house when the humans are away, and the various dogs end up trashing the place.
  • Don is ultra-demanding of and ultimately fires Phil (when the latter can't show up for work), but then wants him back when it looks like he'll help sell their product.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Giuseppe and the others see a partially silhouetted view of Chupadogra, with comments that the latter was once the ultimate alpha dog who got rabies, killed his owner, and sleeps in bones (none of which is true).
  • As Marmaduke and Boscoe surf in the ocean, a rogue wave comes up behind them. Marmaduke then accidentally bumps into Boscoe and is scared by the wave, but then rides it expertly in an adventurous fashion.
  • Marmaduke wanders about in a thunderstorm at night and encounters Chupadogra in that dog's makeshift den. Initially menacing, Chupadogra turns out to give helpful advice to Marmaduke. A dog catcher then shows up, Marmaduke flees, and Chupadogra charges at the man who runs away in fright.
  • As Marmaduke and Mazie are reunited downtown, the pavement starts to crumble and then collapse, with Jezebel sliding down the pavement and then into the rushing water below. Marmaduke then jumps in to rescue her and they end up in the sewer system on the edge of a big drop-off, with Marmaduke barely catching Mazie as she goes over the side. A human rescuer is then lowered down to save them, and Mazie jumps to him, but a huge rush of water then blasts Marmaduke toward them. When they're pulled up, the rescuer says he couldn't save Marmaduke. Phil then sprints toward the aqueduct that's filled with floodwaters. When he spots Marmaduke in the water, Phil jumps in and both are swept downstream. They end up grabbing something, but Phil goes under the water for a few moments and then finally resurfaces. He then reaches out for Marmaduke to let go and come to him, so Marmaduke does, with Phil barely grabbing him (both are then rescued).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • We briefly see lasers fired in a video game played by Brian.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "You're totally hosed," "Hold your horses," "Let's meet the fam," "The two-leggers," "Doctor no," "Sucker," "Shut up," "I hocked that thing up," "Oh, she's fine," "Shake a leg," "We're burning daylight," "Get your bark on," "Who's licking butt now?" "Channel your inner canine," an incomplete "What the..?" "Egg-head," "Brad is H-O-T," "Mutts," "Hello, losers," "A classic O.C. rager," "What a gargantuan spaz," "As if," "You knucklehead," "Don't be a wiener dog," "My bad," "Are you crazy?" "Boscoe smoshcoe," "This party is off the leash," "Let's get your bark on," "Oh, broner," "Zip it," "I don't care how freakishly huge you are, donkey boy," "Jerk," "Watch yourself, tomboy," "I'm just a gigantor freak," "I'd be a bone-ionaire," "I'm all ears," "Noted and filed," "Listen up, barkanova," "Refreshingly minty," "I'd cream your furry little butt," "You little Fancy Feast eating freak," "You good for nothing little fur ball," "Cowabarka," "Beat it, Hasselhoff," "Marmapuke," "You don't give a steaming pile about us anymore," "What did they put in your Kibbles this morning?" "Bitter, party of one," "I don't hang out with mutts anymore," "Chug it," "We suck at swimming," "Marmafake," "Not to rub margarita salt in the wound, but you deserved it," "I worked my butt off," "Screwed it up," "That big doofus," "I'm one sick puppy," "Now you're talking, amigo," "Dude," "Sweat," "'Sup?" "Payback's gonna be a b..." "Looking good in the pink" and "I'm just spit-balling here."
  • We briefly see a high school girl dressed like a Goth.
  • As Phil and Debbie start to kiss in bed (clothed), Marmaduke says "Wait for it. Wait for it" and then lets out a loud fart, prompting the humans to react adversely to the smell.
  • Marmaduke causes a recliner to flip Carlos across the room.
  • Marmaduke squeezes a tube of toothpaste that accidentally squirts onto Carlos.
  • Carlos belches.
  • Various humans have their dogs surfing on surfboards.
  • Marmaduke throws a party in his house when the humans are away, and we see one dog drinking from the toilet while others repeatedly chant "Chug it!"
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of suspenseful and ominous music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • As Marmaduke takes Jezebel on a date, we hear the song, "Let's Get It On" (with that lyric) playing.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 use each of "God" and "Oh my God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • When Phil mentions moving to California would put them in the big leagues (of his vocation), Debbie says that those already in that world take steroids and cheat with supermodels.
  • As Phil and Debbie start to kiss in bed (clothed), Marmaduke says "Wait for it. Wait for it" and then lets out a loud fart, prompting the humans to react adversely to the smell.
  • Seeing a human woman on a TV show, Carlos states, "Oh, she's fine."
  • We briefly see Barbara in a bikini at the beach, her mom in a bikini top that shows cleavage, and some distant miscellaneous bikini views.
  • As Marmaduke takes Jezebel on a date, we hear the song, "Let's Get It On" (with that lyric) playing.
  • Phil and Debbie do some brief, clothed kissing while standing.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Barbara is upset with her dad about them moving to Los Angeles, and that continues throughout much of the movie.
  • Brian tells Marmaduke that he's been lying to his dad about going to soccer practice (when he hasn't).
  • About Phil losing touch with his family, including being mad at Marmaduke, Debbie tells him he can sleep on the sofa, so he does. The next morning, when Marmaduke is missing and the family is worried, Phil says he has to go to work, thus disappointing them again, but he changes his mind.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Marmaduke losing both his old and new friends when he fakes being important to get in with the "in crowd," only to be ousted as a fake.
  • What animals think about and what the different sounds they make might actually mean.
  • Adapting a one-panel newspaper comic into a full-length, live-action film.
  • Dealing with bullies.
  • VIOLENCE
  • A miscellaneous student is knocked down at school and other students laugh at him.
  • Marmaduke causes a recliner to flip Carlos across the room.
  • Marmaduke causes Phil to fall from his bed to the floor.
  • While running from a bee in the park, Marmaduke accidentally runs over Don in one pass, and then flips him over (including an accidental blow to the crotch) in the second quick pass.
  • While dancing, Marmaduke accidentally breaks the game machine controlling the music.
  • Carlos agrees to help Marmaduke look like a tough dog in front of the other canines in the dog park, but Marmaduke takes that too far, verbally and then physically abusing his friend, including hitting and throwing him around (the latter leaving Carlos with no hair on part of his tail).
  • As Marmaduke and Boscoe surf in the ocean, a rogue wave comes up behind them. Marmaduke then accidentally bumps into Boscoe.
  • Items are knocked around and aside as Boscoe chases after Marmaduke at an event.
  • Marmaduke pulls on a bench to which he's leashed, flipping Phil off and over.
  • Marmaduke throws a party in his house when the humans are away, and the various dogs end up trashing the place.
  • Phil slips and his laptop falls into the swimming pool and sinks to the bottom.



  • Reviewed June 1, 2010 / Posted June 4, 2010

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