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A Dog's Way Home

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China, United States · 2019
1h 36m
Director Charles Martin Smith
Starring Ashley Judd, Jonah Hauer-King, Edward James Olmos, Alexandra Shipp
Genre Adventure, Drama, Family

When Bella becomes separated from her loving owner Lucas, she goes on an epic 400-mile journey to reunite with him. Along the way, the lost but spirited dog touches the lives of an orphaned mountain lion, a down-on-his-luck veteran, and some friendly strangers who happen to cross the sweet pup's path.

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What are critics saying?


Variety by Courtney Howard

For every shameless trick the filmmakers employ to pluck our heartstrings, resonant chords are struck elsewhere, teaching audiences about family, the power of unconditional love, and the ripple effects of compassion.


The Hollywood Reporter by Frank Scheck

The film pretty much packs every canine cliché imaginable into its running time, but one look into the soulful eyes of its four-legged star will melt all but the coldest of hearts.


The New York Times by Glenn Kenny

As ridiculous as it gets, and that’s plenty, A Dog’s Way Home manages to serve up a one- to two-hankie finale, depending on the extent of your dog-person-ness.


IndieWire by Jude Dry

For a movie with so much going on, (not even counting the CGI cougar Bella befriends), A Dog’s Way Home is wildly devoid of meaning or humor.


The A.V. Club by Katie Rife

This year’s entry into the winter animal-movie canon, A Dog’s Way Home, comes this close to just being a simple, cute animal movie, until the humans complicate things.


The Associated Press by Lindsey Bahr

Although it might be a stretch to categorize this as a movie, A Dog’s Way Home is harmless enough and a nice little adventure that’s fit for the whole family. But you might want to have the tissues ready.


Movie Nation by Roger Moore

Dog’s Way Home is aimed at the very young, so don’t expect anything challenging. It moves along but felt limp and kind of lifeless, for all the sentimentality Smith & Co. serve up.

75 by Tomris Laffly

This may all sound too shameless and syrupy, but to its credit, A Dog’s Way Home scratches the surface of something I, as a pit bull obsessive, have never seen a “dog movie” do.


TheWrap by Yolanda Machado

Putting a dog in crisis might seem like an easy way to create a great story, but in a family film, featuring a helpless canine in constant peril plays as emotionally manipulative and, frankly, slightly traumatizing. A Dog’s Way Home is a joyless jaunt that offers an adorable canine star and not much else.

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