A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that a character throws a dog against a fence and threatens to beat it with a bat. The boys think they see two different dead bodies. Dara Lynn falls into a rushing river, and Marty goes in after her. Both kids, and little Shiloh, nearly drown. Escaped convicts chase after Marty and David, threatening to hurt them. Marty makes friends with a suspicious and dog-abusing old man.
What's the story?
In this conclusion to the Shiloh trilogy, based on the books by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Marty's (Jason Dolley) beloved beagle has been rescued from abusive Judd (Scott Wilson). The pair are inseparable, roaming the woods around his Midwestern home together. SAVING SHILOH branches out into five distinct storylines to reveal: a community learning to look at old Judd in a different way, the power of reaching out to wounded people and animals, a kid-detective story about finding a dead body, a family drama, and a parable about the proper care and feeding of the family pooch.
Is it any good?
Saving Shiloh is all heart with an unfortunately large helping of earnest platitudes, unrealistic language, and little plot to save it. While it would be an engaging children's book , there are too many after-school specials running amok here. None of the story lines get enough traction to develop drama or suspense, and the viewer is left confused about how he's supposed to feel and why he should care. The only exception is the final scene, which follows through on the promise of the title and manages to be heartwarming.
The saving grace of Saving Shiloh is the powerful and complex performance by Scott Wilson as the wounded Judd. Since many of the other characters are wooden and sanctimonious, the viewer grows to root for Judd simply because he's the most human. In the end, Saving Shiloh will be a treat for those hooked on the series' earlier installments. For all others, consider the first movie in this series for context and to see if your kids warm to the story.
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: May 1, 2006
- On DVD or streaming: August 22, 2006
- Cast: Ann Dowd, Gerald McRaney, Taylor Momsen
- Director: Sandy Tung
- Studio: Warner Home Video
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Book Characters, Friendship
- Run time: 90 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: thematic elements and mild peril
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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.