Parents' Guide to

Owd Bob

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Tearjerker dog movie confronts death and grieving.

Movie NR 2010 92 minutes
Owd Bob Poster Image

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While the shots of the Isle of Man in OWD BOB are certainly beautiful, and the acting is, on the whole, quite good, the difficulties with the movie lie in trying to do too much with the story. Is this a "dog movie," as the film's title implies, or is it a "coming-of-age" movie about an orphaned teenager trying to start anew, or is it about an embittered grandfather who must learn to set aside grudges and past tragedies? There's so much death, dying, and grieving -- and villagers in the middle of this trying to put the blame on the mauling of their sheep on the two main dogs in the film -- that the story feels muddled.

For younger viewers, this steady talk of death and scenes of funerals will be too much to handle. This isn't for families looking for a more light-hearted dog movie. Nonetheless, for all the times the story feels forced and overwhelming, the "heavy" subject matter isn't as heavy-handed as it could have been, and the scenes of the sheepdogs practicing and performing in competitions will be entertaining for dog lovers.

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