Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

Family movie night? There's an app for that

Download our new mobile app on iOS and Android.

Parents' Guide to


By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Peculiar, intriguing deadpan comedy has some dark material.

Movie R 2016 90 minutes
Wiener-Dog Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 18+

Based on 1 parent review

age 18+

Appalling - Cruel, Mean and Rotten

If you love animals - or if you rescue them, as I do - DO NOT see this movie. It is nothing but the journey of a cruelly mistreated dog at the hands of selfish, rotten and broken people. Whoever finds this movie to be a comedy has some serious issues. Even in the preview we are treated to a man jerking the collar of the little dog while screaming "Heel, Motherf*cker!, Heel!"...then, later in the movie (Spoiler!) as the poor dog is tossed between homes of despicable people while getting named "Cancer" and then getting run over multiple times in the road while the Director lingers on its lifeless body for impact before the dead dog is scraped up to be made in to an art piece at a gallery. Hilarious! What is wrong with people?! Take this movie and replace the dog with a 3 year old human toddler and tell me it would be acceptable. If this is what the "high-minded", "educated" set calls "art" the world is doomed.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (3 ):

Indie filmmaker Todd Solondz, best known for his morose 1990s films Welcome to the Dollhouse and Happiness, returns with this peculiar deadpan road movie, which is as aimless as it is fascinating. It vaguely recalls the great French film Au hasard Balthazar (1966), in which a donkey goes through several owners and affects their lives in interesting, spiritual ways. But the Wiener-Dog of this movie, on the other hand, seems to become less and less important, inspiring no spiritual awakening and very little hope.

Still, Solondz somehow injects these miserable characters with a weirdly appealing humanity, even if they rarely make us laugh out loud or evoke any sympathy. They're like skilled stick figure drawings, an offbeat representation of humanity. The almost random appearance of Dawn Wiener, the main character from Welcome to the Dollhouse -- now 21 years older and played by Gerwig -- adds to the overall atmosphere of puzzlement. It's as if something just outside the margins is intriguingly missing.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

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.

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.

See how we rate