Turner & Hooch

Movie review by
Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media
Turner & Hooch Movie Poster Image
Dog-buddy comedy has lots of slobber and some violence.
  • PG
  • 1989
  • 99 minutes

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Turner & Hooch offers positive messages about loyalty, doing the right thing, and sticking with something, even though it seems hard or futile.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Scott Turner is an upstanding, honest, organized individual with strong ethics and a commitment to doing the right thing and treating people decently. Other adults in the film are simplistically good or bad.

Violence

A man is stabbed in the back with a knife and dies. A dog is shot, with a close-up shot of pierced skin and bleeding, and later dies. A man is shot at but not hit. A man shoots another man at close range, and he dies. Men pull knives or guns on other men in a number of instances, or guns are pulled but not fired while police investigate potential crime scenes. In a few scenes, men wrestle with guns or shots are fired. There are several slow-motion shots of a dog charging humans, in some instances pushing them down and then holding them by clamping its jaws on their throats. A man drives a car into a cement wall on purpose, sending the passenger through the glass and onto the street, bleeding.

Sex

A man is shown naked except for his underwear in multiple scenes. A man jokes to another man that he "needs to get laid." A man and woman discuss whether he has thought about doing "it," and he describes imagining getting his hand up her blouse; she says she imagined more than that. A man and woman kiss. Later, a man and woman are shown in robes and underwear, as if after intercourse, and rub against each other suggestively and kiss.

Language

Minor profanity throughout, such as "damn," "what the hell," "it's your ass on the line," and "bastard," and a man yells "shut up" numerous times to a dog that's barking loudly. Men refer to other men as "ladies" to insult them.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A dog is fed a can of beer. Later, a dog steals three cans of beer from a refrigerator and drinks them. A major plot point involves a drug-smuggling ring.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Turner & Hooch is a mostly lighthearted '80s dog-cop buddy movie that involves the stabbing of a man and his death and (SPOILER) a dog's shooting and subsequent death. There are guns and knives present a terrifyingly large, barky, excessively slobbery dog to be trained, a lot of yelling at the dog, and some minor suggestive material (a man jokes to another man that he "needs to get laid," and a man and woman discuss whether he's thought about having sex and it's implied that they sleep together). That said, compared to most films today, the level of violence, sexuality, and murder here seem absolutely tame.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byCJ B. November 23, 2017
Its amazing! Its good for children and has positive messages that children must understand which is when you have a pet and he/she passes away then you have to... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byMelBrooksFan June 4, 2016

Funny film for dog lovers

Let me tell you, if you love dogs, cop movies, buddy-buddy comedies, and/or Tom Hanks, you will enjoy this movie a lot. The jokes are pretty funny, and the movi... Continue reading

What's the story?

Scott Turner (Tom Hanks) is an investigator in a small town where nothing ever happens. That changes when a source is murdered, leaving behind Hooch, an aggressive French mastiff with a lot of slobber who happens to be the only witness to the crime. Now Turner must solve the crime without much help from his boss, Chief Hyde (Craig T. Nelson), while training an unruly companion who turns his organized life to shambles but may also lead him to love with local veterinarian Dr. Carson (Mare Winningham).

Is it any good?

TURNER & HOOCH is a well-intentioned but fairly cheesy buddy picture whose appeal hinges on your tolerance for slobbering dogs and extended scenes of loud barking. But it has a certain charm as a genre film from an era that seemed to churn them out like clockwork. That said, there's enough violence to concern parents -- multiple murders and a dog's death, shown in teary-eyed close-up -- though still nothing on the level of most action movies today.

For children of a certain age group, though, the excessive slobber and destruction of prized possessions committed by the dog may be worth the price of admission alone. For parents, it will be a funny reminder of Hanks' early Big-era work, even if it's not his best.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the ethical treatment of animals. Do you think Hooch was treated fairly in the film? Would a movie today involve so much yelling at a dog? Here, it plays for comedy, but in real life how are dogs typically trained when they're loud or aggressive?

  • How did Turner and Hooch affect each other? Was it a positive relationship for both of them? Why, or why not?

  • How does the violence in this film compare to that in more contemporary movies? Is it more or less realistic?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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