Parents' Guide to

Benji (2018)

By Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Updated dog tale has realistic peril and violence.

Movie NR 2018 87 minutes
Benji (2018) Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 22 parent reviews

age 10+

What the heck Netflix

Ooook so we chose this for our family movie night with our 5 yr olds. You see / hear Benji, you think of the old classic family friendly Benji. This, however, is NOT that. The kids get kidnapped after about half an hour. And I’m not talking some doofy criminals but instead think of the bad guys from HBOs True Detective. Sadistic. NOT for a family movie. A big what the heck to Netflix bc this was scarring and not what Benji should have turned into.
age 12+

Traumatizing for smaller kids

My kids were both crying hysterically. I couldn't decide what was better - turning the movie off or having it play out so they could see it's a happy ending. Dead father, emotionally neglected children, realistic kidnapping by men in terrifying masks who plan to kill the children when they no longer need them, animal cruelty, several montages of terribly sad children and animals, including one where Benji "dies". The movie itself isn't terrible so I gave it 3 stars, but I do not recommend your kids watching this.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (22 ):
Kids say (14 ):

If a super-delightful dog can be upstaged by super-delightful kids, it almost happens here in this remake, which has been made with care, conviction, and artistry. The original film had viewers besotted with the dog and the pastoral countryside that he inhabited; Benji's antics and his smarts took up much of the screen time. Benji (2018) has more story and more suspense and takes advantage of a vibrant New Orleans setting. Gabriel Bateman and Darby Camp are two gifted child actors who bring both realism and heart to their roles. Benji, the dog, is a miracle of personality, highly skilled editing, and great camerawork. Of course, there are still the requisite corny moments, which the music serves to enhance. And Camp seems to have a genuine knack for sentiment, so prepare to have your heart tugged, and often. Only appropriate for kids who won't be disturbed by some convincing suspense and danger to both the kids and the pup.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate