Sox: A Family's Best Friend

Movie review by
Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media
Sox: A Family's Best Friend Movie Poster Image
Talking-dog movie about blended families is painfully dull.
  • NR
  • 2013
  • 85 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Some aspects of dog care and ownership, but given the dog in question talks, not entirely realistic.

Positive Messages

Working at friendship; getting along with siblings; the importance of working at merging blended families in ways that consider everyone's needs, especially children's

Positive Role Models & Representations

Parents are engaged and present and care about merging their family; siblings are realistic brothers who don't always get along but eventually work toward harmony.

Violence & Scariness

Woman slaps a man's face after he smells her dog's butt; dog hits a guy over the head with a frying pan.

Sexy Stuff

Man and woman kiss twice; a man sees hearts everywhere when he meets a woman he likes.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sox: A Family's Best Friend is a very family-friendly (though not particularly well-made) film about a newly married couple's effort to blend their families and children from previous marriages. The majority of the movie focuses on the new brothers' inability to get along, with a talking dog in the midst. There's an evil villain who's quite tame, even though the dog is kidnapped. There's very brief, minor violence when a woman slaps a man and a guy gets hit over the head with a frying pan, and tehre's a little bit of Christian evangelism when the dog imparts some knowledge about Jesus to one of the brothers.

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What's the story?

A blended family with two brothers struggling to get along finds a brief distraction when a new dog, Sox, shows up in their lives. When they discover he can talk, the brothers must work to convince their parents to let them keep the dog, which they think is too much of a hassle during so many changes. And when the local dog patrol, Nick (David Deluise), figures out there's a talking dog in town, he's determined to claim Sox for himself.

Is it any good?

SOX: A FAMILY'S BEST FRIEND proves that even a reliable premise, such as a new family with a talking dog, can fall flat. The characters don't come to life, the suspense is nonexistent, and the villain is boring and silly. All those things weigh down what could be a perfectly fine, family-friendly movie about a blended family, two brothers struggling to get along, a character who inexplicably, but hilariously, loves saying words that start with the letter P, and a strange love-at-first-sight subplot as a result.

There just isn't enough chemistry, and the bad guy is not bad enough, or interesting enough, to keep this going. Plus, Sox just isn't that compelling a talking dog. He really should have better advice. Could be hit or miss with talking-dog lovers, but even young kids could be too bored with these long sequences of bad-guy hostage talk and wooden acting. Lots better out there.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the movie's portrayal of blended families. Are you in a blended family, or do you know someone who is? Aside from the talking dog, does this seem like a realistic portrayal? Why, or why not?

  • Why do you think talking-dog films are so popular and numerous? If dogs could talk, what do you think they would really tell us?

  • How do you get along with someone you don't like?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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