A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Dog are mistreated, although it's clear that this behavior is not acceptable.
Violence & Scariness
A man is abusive to his family and dogs. Men with tranquilizer guns chase dogs and a dog is held at gunpoint. Dogs are in constant peril and kept in horrible conditions.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Reference to beer.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is a cute movie, and young dog lovers will definitely want to see it. However, sensitive kids may be alarmed by the mistreatment of dogs here -- the dogs are in constant peril and kept in horrible conditions. They are chased by men with tranquilizer guns and held at gunpoint. Also, the family featured here isn't exactly The Partridge Family: the stepfather is abusive both to his family and the dogs he keeps in his backyard puppy mill, and the mother is a weak woman who stays with her abusive husband because "two parents are better than one" and "we have to eat". Parents should also know that the movie has some mild epithets and insults ("jeez," "why the devil," "idiot," "pansy". A strength of the movie is the portrayal of African-American characters of integrity and dedication. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The dogs are cute, the intentions are good, and there's a refreshing absence of potty humor. But that's about the best that can be said about the fifth movie about loveable mutt Benji from writer/director Joe Camp. Kids will love the clever and loyal little dogs, especially when they outsmart Hatchett and the dogcatchers. But the movie seems caught in a 1970s time warp, and kids may find the story slow going and amateurish.
Some viewers may be upset by Hatchett's harsh behavior toward Colby and the dogs, and by Colby's mother's failure to protect him, and the movie seems more concerned about the abuse of the animals than about the abuse of Colby and his mother. Also, the "happy" ending may not feel too happy to some children. Camp's website has a message about the importance of making movies with genuine family values, but the final message of this film seems to be that fame is better than love and home. The only person likely to find that happiest of endings is Camp himself, glad to be back at the helm of another Benji movie.
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Our Editors Recommend
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