Christian Living


A Dog’s Purpose: Movie Review

A Dog
Star Rating
Movie Info


PG for thematic elements and some peril


Adventure, Comedy, Drama


January 27, 2017


Josh Gad (voice), Dennis Quaid, Peggy Lipton, K.J. Apa, Bryce Gheisar, Juliet Rylance, Luke Kirby, John Ortiz, Britt Robertson 


Lasse Hallström


Universal Pictures

More on this movie at IMDb.com

CBN is not endorsing the films or TV shows CBN.com reviews. Our goal is to provide information about the latest in entertainment, both the good and the bad, so you may make an informed decision as to what is appropriate for you and your families.

A movie about a dog dying over and over and over again? Hmmm.

That's what you might be thinking after watching the trailer for Universal Pictures' A Dog's Purpose.

Then again, you might be thinking about the controversy PETA brought to light last week regarding the treatment of a German Shepherd on the set of the film.

After a screening of the final cut, three things are clear -- the puppies are adorable, some of the jokes are quite funny, but the script lacks.

A Dog's Purpose tells the life stories of a spunky and purpose-seeking dog named Bailey, who dies and is reborn again and again as a different breed in a different time period (beginning in the 1950s).

Told from the dog's perspective, as he navigates his lives--searching for his purpose, the PG-rated movie offers moviegoers some hilarious and touching moments. It stars the vocal talent of Josh Gad (Olaf from Frozen); and Dennis Quaid makes a fairly quick appearance at the end. But, the awww-worthy cast of pups are the ones that really steal the show.

The drama gets intense for a family-friendly film. There's a house fire and shooting -- not to mention an intense scene when the dog is killed by a criminal (during his Chicago P.D. K-9 days). Two father-figure characters also bring alcohol into the picture, often times appearing drunk and abusive to the women in their lives.

A Dog's Purpose plots along at a fairly good pace. You won't likely get bored (even if you aren't a dog person). However, there are sequences in the storyline that feel forced. Without giving too much away, here are a couple of examples. One is the dog's reaction to his K-9 work (surprising given his thoughts about protecting people throughout the rest of the film). Another is the hasty resolution between two key characters. It's a satisfying end for them; it just feels rushed.

The Lasse Hallström-directed feature leans into the melodramatic, taking audiences on a roller coaster ride of emotions. Kids, who can handle the perilous reasons it's rated PG, will enjoy A Dog's Purpose. Adults who loves dogs or have kids might also like it -- though pet owners may find it difficult to watch the dog "die" that many times.

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