Parents' Guide to

Dakota

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Underwhelming Marine dog drama lacks bite; peril.

Movie NR 2022 96 minutes
Dakota Movie Poster

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 2+

Based on 1 parent review

age 2+

good movie

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Dakota the dog can't quite fill the paw prints of Lassie, Benji, or Rin Tin Tin -- there's just not enough warm fuzzies in the fur of this Belgian Malinois. While the pooch finds creative means to perform rescues, he's the only one performing here. The direction, the editing, and the writing all fall short of compelling.

The story feels like a screenwriting exercise in which three clichés were picked out of a hat: "service dog," "corrupt cop," and "save the farm." With those three phrases, you know exactly what's going to happen and how it's going to play out. Cornish and Patrick Muldoon affect their best Georgia lilt, but it's not believable. (Credit to Muldoon for not embracing the temptation to go full Rosco P. Coltrane, although his deputy brother is definitely written in the same vein as The Dukes of Hazzard's earnest Enos.) At first glance, it appears that the movie's female main characters are going to be strong and independent: Kate is the volunteer fire chief and runs a farm, and Alex sets out to find a way to save their farm from foreclosure. But all of their victories are achieved with the help of either a man or a dog. Considering that this family drama is from a production company run by two women, that's doggone disappointing.

Movie Details

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