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Grade: C+ Rating: PG, 120 minutes In a Nutshell: This sugary-sweet family flick feels like a Hallmark card that blends reincarnation with one dog’s discovery about what his purpose is. We could all learn a lesson from him. Life lessons learned from a dog: • Have fun. Obviously. • Whenever possible, find someone to save and save them. • Lick the ones you love. • Don’t get all sad-faced about what happened and scrunchy-faced about what could; just be here now. Be. Here. Now. Things I liked: • Josh Gad’s voice is unmistakable and awesome. • Britt Robertson seems to be in every family-friendly movie lately. She’s adorable and so doggone likable. • Other likable cast members include Dennis Quaid, Peggy Lipton, KJ Apa, and Jon Ortiz. • It's a film version of W. Bruce Cameron's best-selling novel in 2010. • Puppies! * If you've ever lived with a dog, you'll be able to relate to many of the moments in the movie. Things I didn’t like: • It’s manipulative for sure, but you’ll still cry. • Children will enjoy it, but a lot of adults will mostly tolerate it on their kids’ behalf. • The trailer pretty much tells you the whole story. • You’ll feel sad about the times you didn’t play with your dog. • There are quite a few sad death scenes. • There are some dogs on the movie poster that are never shown in the movie. For example, the dog never becomes a pug. • PETA and TMZ have created a lot of stink about animals that may have been harmed in the making of this movie, but those involved in the film say their reports are inaccurate and misleading. • The dog reports on what he sees happening from a dog’s perspective, which is often amusing, but not funny enough to evoke actual laughter from the audience. Interesting lines: • “If I can get you licking and loving, I’ve served my purpose.” - dog (This line is in the trailer, but not in the actual movie.) • “Life’s a mystery.” - Ethan• Funny lines: • “I got a name. My name is Bailey, Bailey, Bailey, Bailey.” – Bailey Tips for parents: • Young children will probably like it, although the reincarnation aspect of the story will be confusing for them. You’ll need to decide if you’re going to affirm that as true doctrine or instead, teach the principle of resurrection. * You see Bailey die over and over again. * There are some dark story lines that include a gunshot death (with blood), domestic fights, drunkenness, kidnapping, a prank that burns a house down, and people who don't treat dogs well. * Clean language. * Kissing.February 28th, 2017 · Details
No matter what your feelings are about dogs (or reincarnation), don’t expect to view this film without shedding a few tears. The repeating emotional roller coaster of cute puppy, followed by life’s challenges and impending death leaves you feeling like you’ve watched four tearjerkers in one package. Young children, who will undoubtedly be attracted to this movie’s irresistible advertising, will be even more needy for a parent’s comfort. Unlike many other PG movies that are animated, the reality of the characters and events in this live-action production magnify the drama to a greater degree that may prove more frightening than expected for little ones. The depictions of unkind treatment of animals, a dog with a gunshot wound (that includes some blood effects), a child abductor, a cruel arson prank, domestic squabbles and characters struggling with addictions, all work to create frequent peril for humans and canines.Click here to read the full review
“A Dog’s Purpose” is a delightful movie! It is fun-filled, and it induces laughs, based on the behavior of dogs which dog owners and lovers will appreciate. There are four stories that are shared, and they are ultimately connected. The idea of “dog reincarnation” is used as a plot device, done so in the spirit of imagination, as the movie features a dog that speaks to the audience and in which we can hear his thoughts. He is first born as “Bailey,” and when he meets his human Ethan, he says, “I am going to really like this boy!” They play together, and Bailey learns to perform a few tricks for Ethan. Although Ethan’s dad is reluctant to let Ethan keep Bailey at first, Ethan’s mom squares it with Dad, and Bailey becomes an official member of the family. Dad is a traveling salesman, the top performer at his job, and although he would prefer to be at home more with his family, his company unfortunately wants him to continue traveling. This leads at times to Dad drinking and to having a few arguments with Mom.Click here to read the full review
Christian viewers might struggle with the concept of this gentle family film built around the notion that a dog can die repeatedly and be reincarnated as another dog over and over again. Whatever its charms, the film's underlying idea makes it hard to fully recommend. 2.5 out of 5Click here to read the full review
Pet lovers will revel in director Lasse Hallstrom's slight but charming screen version of W. Bruce Cameron's best-selling 2010 novel. And parents will be pleased to find the movie free of any genuinely objectionable elements -- albeit one brief scene may, or may not, imply that Maya and her boyfriend, Al (Pooch Hall), are living together. Grown guardians also will want to note that some sequences are too potentially frightening for the smallest pups. Those inclined to be cynical may balk at bucolic scenes vaguely reminiscent of a TV ad for hay fever medicine. Still, a good-hearted romantic wrap-up matching characters played by Dennis Quaid and Peggy Lipton succeeds in keeping things cuddly for all but the most jaundiced.Click here to read the full reviewJanuary 29th, 2017 · Details
There’s nothing subtle, surprising, or sophisticated about this story, which is as chewed over as a dog’s favorite bedroom slipper. But audiences will be won over by the unabashed affection for its subject and funny-only-after-the-fact incidents that will be only too familiar to anyone who has ever lived with a dog. Its belief in the deep connection between humans and the devoted dogs in their lives — and did I mention the puppies? — help it connect to us as well.Click here to read the full reviewJanuary 28th, 2017 · Details