A Dog's Way Home

2019 • 95 minutes
4.5
319 reviews
59%
Tomatometer
PG
Rating
Eligible
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About this movie

Based on the beloved bestselling novel, A Dog’s Way Home chronicles the heartwarming adventure of Bella (voiced by Bryce Dallas Howard), a devoted dog who embarks on an epic 400-mile journey home after she is separated from her beloved human.
Rating
PG
4.5
319 reviews
Kyle Vansteelandt
July 20, 2021
The material of this movie is very familiar to "A Dog's Purpose," because of the fact that it is based on the novel by W. Bruce Cameron, It is produced by Gavin Polone, the voice-over dub for the dog who is the main character, the written script for the voice actor to read for the dog's thoughts, It has stereotypes, and it is also a heartwarming tearjerker. However, what sets this movie apart is that it is distributed by Sony/Columbia Pictures, it has a captivating straightforward plot that is less confusing, it has some actual villains, and it's a little more entertaining; it is just the stuff of old-fashioned storytelling, even if the story of this film is totally far-fetched. "A Dog's Way Home" is not trying to be realistic and it's not based on actual events. It is a fictionally safe yet far-fetched movie that is based on the novel where Charles Martin Smith (the director of "Dolphin Tale") coaches the whole cast and crew to add credibility to the execution to make it so effective because it feels real, and he did a great job at doing that. What enhances the movie's mood is the emotionally effective score by Michael Danna that is very dramatic. The characters are very strong; Bella (Bryce Dallas Howard) is a likable protagonist; she is protective, determined, and tenacious. She even has a good memory as well, especially when she remembers the words that her owner (Lucas) said, so she can prove to herself that she is loyal. Bryce Dallas Howard's voice performance delivers dynamic material to her characterization. Bella has a maternal bond towards a cougar cub called "big kitten," who lost her mother, because mama cougar was shot by two stereotypical hunters. Lucas Ray (Jonah King) is Bella's owner who brings out of the best of him to Bella by showing some affectionate love and energy to Bella, and training her so she can remember her owner's words. There are some supporting character cameos who are very thoughtful and heartful to Bella, and taking care of her. The main antagonist is Chuck (John Cassini); an overzealous dog catcher with a ruthless reputation as a stereotypical jerk who has his ambitious behavior has he keeps trying to capture Bella relentlessly. There is also a secondary villain in the movie as well; a pack of coywolves (a canid hybrid descended from coyotes and wolves). The coywolves are hot on Bella's trail. Some of the animals were mixed with real animals and cheesy CGI. They effects company could've done better on the special effects. Another problem I had with this film is that there is a scene involving a car accident that went too far, which I am not going to spoil. In conclusion: Despite it's flaws, it is an entertaining charmer with a lot of heart and it is aware of stereotyping. This film is suitable for ages 10 and up. 3.5/5 Recommended.
122 people found this review helpful
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Daniel Ward
April 20, 2019
This is a really great movie. There is parts that will bring you to tears if you really focus on the movie and nothing else around you while watching it. Sony and all the other Companies involved in making this movie should be very pleased and should be thanked for making such a powerful movie about a dog and what it thinks while going through it's life.I would highly recommend that people watch this movie if they are an animal lover or even just a Dog lover. I rarely cry during movies but this one just had such a strong message I couldn't make it through without crying.
177 people found this review helpful
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Paul Wuertz
April 17, 2019
Just show your kids Homeward Bound again. Please. Every stop on Bella's journey is used as an excuse to portray woke leftists as wonderful people, and conservatives as awful. Even if the movie's heavy-handed love of interracial (and inter-species) relationships (in a state that's only 4% black!) sounds appealing, you need to know that the movie has VERY scary scenes that are clearly inappropriate for a children's movie. Even though much of the action at "home" takes place at a VA hospital full of wounded vets, that didn't do enough to show the human cost of Bush's ways so at one point Bella is adopted by a mentally ill homeless vet who DIES with Bella commenting on the feeling of HIS BODY GOING COLD and then some teenage boys discover the corpse the next day. Does this sound appropriate for your six-year-old?! Maybe the people behind this movie were forced to adapt the book without toning it down, but you're not forced to watch it.
142 people found this review helpful
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