Film, Action and adventure
  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
0 Love It
Save it

A bomb-sniffing dog with PTSD is taken in by an all-American family in this cheesy, clumsy melodrama

This deeply old-fashioned tale of a US Marine dog adjusting to life back in the civilian world isn’t as flag-wavingly cheesy as it might have been – but that doesn’t make it a good film. When his handler is killed in a Taliban ambush, Max the Belgian Malinois (nope, me neither, but apparently it’s similar to an Alsatian) is shipped home and adopted by the dead man’s family in North Carolina. Younger brother Justin (Josh Wiggins) is a teenage delinquent in the making, fighting with his dad (Thomas Haden Church) and hacking video games on the sly for a gang of local hoodlums. Will Max’s arrival help to knit the family together, and teach this troubled kid what it means to be a man? What do you think?

Chucking in Mexican gun-runners, BMX chases, Rottweiler attacks and the least convincing teenage romance in film history, this is a busy, moderately entertaining slice of family-friendly fluff. It’s flatly directed and functionally acted – as just Justin, Wiggins is just this side of obnoxious, while Church is outperformed by his own moustache as the dad – and the story never really goes anywhere interesting.

For British audiences, however, there’ll be one striking moment of cultural disconnect, as a Fourth of July parade sequence features a military marching band playing a stirring, brassy version of ‘Tubthumping’ by anarchist crusties Chumbawamba. Weird.

By: Tom Huddleston


Release details

Release date: Friday August 7 2015
Duration: 111 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Boaz Yakin
Screenwriter: Boaz Yakin, Sheldon Lettich
Cast: Lauren Graham
Robbie Amell
Thomas Haden Church

Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening
Joshua S

I loved this movie.  It isn't very original, but they worked hard to make it a great movie and they succeeded.  The bind shown between dog and handler is what I believe to be true, especially after reading "Sergeant Rex" by Lance Corporal Mike Dowling (USMC Ret.) and having a dog of my own.  You become emotionally attached to this dog, and if anything happens to him, that lovable doggie smile draws you into the movie even more, hoping that he will be okay and what will happen next.  Although this movie does use that adorable smile as a crutch sometimes, it is otherwise an amazing movie and is one of the best I have seen.  Semper Fido, Max.