A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Hardship can cause people to do bad things. Home can be wherever you park yourself. Sometimes good people are unlucky and bad things can happen to them.
Positive Role Models
A homeless girl steals a dog for a reward, then returns it. She later admits her wrong-doing and says she is sorry. An overwhelmed single woman struggles to raise her two children without a place to live. A girl lies to save face.
Violence & Scariness
A homeless young girl who wants to raise money to buy a house steals the dog of a rich person for a reward. A police car chases a motorcycle driver through city streets, endangering pedestrians. Kids ask a man if he ate a dog. Motivated by a desire for money, a man plots to euthanize a dog.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
"Up yours," "damn," "heck."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults smoke cigarettes.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that How to Steal a Dog is a 2014 film that features an 8-year-old narrator who lives in a van with her hapless mother and younger brother. Although played mostly for comedy, many difficult issues are raised. The sadness and embarrassment of homelessness, the stress poverty puts on families, and the difficulty kids face when abandoned by a parent are among them. A homeless young girl who wants to raise money to buy a house steals the dog of a rich person for a reward. Kids ask a man if he ate a dog. Motivated by a desire for money, a man plots to euthanize a dog. Language includes "up yours," "damn," and "heck." Despite the serious themes and the fact that the movie is in Korean with English subtitles, kids will be the most appropriate audience but adults will also appreciate the sophistication and sensitivity of the story. This is adapted from Barbara O'Connor's 2007 children's novel. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This is a family movie that aspires to instill in kids empathy for those who struggle with hardships. Ji-so observes that people with homes probably don't appreciate how great it is to simply have a place to sleep at night. Kids are presented as observant and perceptive beings who may struggle to understand all things Grown Up, but they manage to comprehend certain universal truths about the difference between right and wrong and the importance of family. Lee Re and Hong Eun-suk are adorable as the homeless siblings and their sincerity and commitment carry the movie. Director Kim Sung-ho handles comedy and pathos equally well and intermingles them seamlessly.
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.