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"A DOG'S PURPOSE"
(2017) (Bryce Gheisar, Dennis Quaid) (PG)


At-A-Glace Content Summary

Alcohol/Drugs Heavy
Blood/Gross Stuff Mild
Disrespectful/Bad Attitude Extreme
Frightening/Tense Scenes Heavy
Gun/Weapons Moderate
Imitative Behavior Moderate
Jump Scenes Mild
Music (Scary/Tense) Mild
Music (Inappropriate) None
Profanity Minor
Sex/Nudity Mild
Smoking None
Tense Family Scenes Heavy
Topics to Talk About Extreme
Violence Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A canine ends up being reincarnated as different dogs over a span of fifty-some years with different owners.
PLOT:
It's the 1960s and 8-year-old Ethan (BRYCE GHEISAR) lives with his mom, Elizabeth (JULIET RYLANCE) and dad, Jim (LUKE KIRBY) in a Midwestern town. The newest addition to the family is a golden retriever puppy that Ethan and his mom rescued from certain death in a hot, locked truck. Named Bailey, the puppy grows up into an adult dog (voiced -- in thought mode only -- by JOSH GAD) that's always causing unintentional mishaps, all of which put additional strain on the parents' marriage, what with Jim being an unhappy traveling salesman who turns to the bottle for relief.

Years later, Ethan (KJ APA) is the star quarterback for his high school football team, with Bailey observing curious, sweaty behavior between the teen and his fellow classmate girlfriend, Hannah (BRITT ROBERTSON). But Jim's alcoholism eventually results in a marital split and an unexpected injury derails Ethan's college scholarship. To make matters worse, Bailey has now grown old and eventually has to be put down.

But he's reincarnated as Ellie (still voiced by JOSH GAD), a female German Shepherd enlisted in the K-9 division of the Chicago Police Department. Her partner, Carlos (JOHN ORTIZ), is good at his job, but is unhappy and lonely at home. After a tragic incident while on the job, the dog is reincarnated as Tino (voiced by JOSH GAD), a Corgi who brightens the life of college student Mia (KIRBY HOWELL-BAPTISTE) who eventually lets classmate Al (POOCH HALL) into her life. Tino has a good life, but likewise eventually has to be put down.

The dog then comes back as Buddy (voiced by JOSH GAD), a Shepherd/St. Bernard mix who spends his life chained to an outside fence in some poor neighborhood before being dumped. Now free and out in the country, Buddy ends up back in the life of now middle-aged Ethan (DENNIS QUAID) and inadvertently reunites him with Hannah (PEGGY LIPTON), all while trying to prove to Ethan that he's still Bailey after all of these years.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they love dogs, they probably will.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For thematic elements and some peril.


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