Parents' Guide to

The Art of Racing in the Rain

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Weepy wisdom dispensed in dog drama about life and loss.

Movie PG 2019 109 minutes
The Art of Racing in the Rain Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 7 parent reviews

age 6+

Entertaining and Meaningful

Kevin Costner nails the voice of Enzo the golden retriever in this heartwarming film about commitment, love, loss, and friendship. It feels like a movie you would see in the 90s. Really sweet and worth the time.

This title has:

Great messages
age 11+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (7):
Kids say (27):

This movie doesn't change the increasingly familiar formula of dogs + drama + death, but (spoiler alert!) it does wrap up with one of the greatest feel-good endings of all time. Similarly to A Dog's Purpose, a dog narrates the story in The Art of Racing in the Rain, but he's not naive: Enzo is a wise sage who understands everything. In fact, the film is one long narration by the pooch, and Costner's soothing, gravel-edged voice comes off like a beloved grandparent. He envelops viewers like a comfortable blanket but at the same time shells out advice using 50-cent words and sports references -- just like a lecture some grandpas might give.

"Old dog" Enzo also lacks energy -- and so does the film. But it certainly doesn't lack sweetness (or, as the more cynical might put it, sappiness). Denny is a great guy, his friends are supportive, and Eve is so adorably wonderful that you'll want to go follow Seyfried on Instagram to bask in her glow regularly. These are people you'll likely want to be your friends. The only villains here are Eve's wealthy, pragmatic Baby Boomer parents, who will do anything to prove their point. Kathy Baker shines as Eve's conflicted mother, demonstrating relatability that many viewers will appreciate in a situation that seems too cruel to be believable. The screenplay doesn't do Stein's book justice, the advice may not linger after the credits roll, and the story is so sad that it will turn off as many families as it attracts -- but the final moments make your heart overflow with happiness as you realize that's where the whole ride has been taking you.

Movie Details

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