A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Too silly and slapstick to offer any positive messages.
Positive Role Models
Josh is a smart, kind boy who wants to be like any other kid, in spite of his heart condition that prevents him from engaging in too much physical exercise.
Violence & Scariness
Slapstick/physical comedy. A dog bites a man in the groin area. A girl kicks a man in the crotch. While in pursuit of a runaway dog, a man steps on a rake, causing the handle to hit him in the face. Another man in pursuit of the dog runs into a tree. A father continually falls to the floor and ground, and is often knocked over while trying to take care of an adopted dog. Kids engage in pretend war activities while shooting Nerf guns at each other, later mimicking the action of a gun battle when they take on the bad guys. A father jumps in the line of fire of a Nerf gun fired by a bad guy, mimicking the action of "taking a bullet" for his son and dog.
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Products & Purchases
Nerf guns are featured prominently, as kids are shown staging fake battles with them and having fun.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Dogfather is a 2010 movie full of pratfalls and potty humor. The portrayals of Mafia guys veer dangerously close to stereotyping of Italian-Americans. Kids in the movie stage fake battles with Nerf guns, and in one scene, they attack bad guys while copying the behavior of war scenes, culminating in a father pretending to "take a bullet" for his son and dog when one of the bad guys shoots a giant Nerf gun at them. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Fans of Beethoven and its sequels will enjoy this slapstick dog comedy. It, too, finds much of its humor in rambunctious dog chases, constant pratfalls, and the less savory aspects of house-training a dog. The problem is that while there's a lot of goofiness to go around, it isn't enough to overcome the trite storyline and the attempts at parodying Mafia characters that veer a little too close to stereotyping Italian-Americans as a whole.
Not even the talents of Chris Parnell, and the cuteness of Sonny the bulldog can get past these shortcomings. Furthermore, for parents trying to get their families away from gun culture in all its forms, this movie instead shows kids having a lot of fun with Nerf guns while staging pretend battles and attacks.
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.