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Review: “Max”

Review: “Max”

Reviewer: Phil Boatwright

CREDITS: Josh Wiggins, Lauren Graham, Thomas Haden Church. Warner Bros. Pictures/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures. Family Action Adventure. Directed by Boaz Yakin. 6/26/15

FILM SYNOPSIS: A precision-trained military dog, Max serves on the frontlines in Afghanistan alongside his handler, U.S. Marine Kyle Wincott. But when things go terribly wrong on maneuvers, Kyle is mortally wounded and Max, traumatized by the loss of his best friend, is unable to remain in service. Shipped stateside, the only human he seems willing to connect with is Kyle’s teenage brother, Justin, so Max is adopted by Kyle’s family, essentially saving his life. But Justin has issues of his own, such as living up to his father’s expectations for him; he isn’t interested in taking responsibility for his brother’s troubled dog. However, Max may be Justin’s only chance to discover what really happened to his brother that day on the front, and with the help of a tough-talking young teen, Carmen, who has a way with dogs, Justin begins to appreciate his canine companion. Justin’s growing trust in Max helps the four-legged veteran revert back to his heroic self, and as the pair race against time to unravel the mystery, they find more excitement—and danger—than they bargained for. But they each might also find an unlikely new best friend…in each other.

This film has been rated PG for action violence, peril, brief language and some thematic elements.

REVIEW: This isn’t just about a dog and his sullen teenage master. It’s a film of substance, ultimately reminding us of one of God’s great gifts to mankind, the canine. They can be trained to see for us, hear for us, heal us, protect us. They serve the military, the police, our firefighters and those distressed. Different breeds of dog can be trained to do just about anything. On top of that, they love us, forgive us and often better us.

Here Max helps bring together a dysfunctional family. And since there seems to be a great many of those, any film offering aid in that endeavor is a positive addition to the cinema scene.

The film has dimension as well as being an engrossing adventure.

PG (one minor expletive; I caught no profanity; dog battle; war explosion; some shooting; brief adult drinking). Running Time: 111 min. Intended Audience: 10 on up

By: Ken Raney and Phil Boatwright

Film and DVD Reviews by Phil Boatwright: Besides providing a monthly column for Baptist Press, Phil Boatwright reviews films for He also is a regular contributor to “The World and Everything In it,” a weekly radio program from WORLD News Group, which also publishes WORLD Magazine.

For more movie reviews, as well as news, reviews, and interviews on all forms of entertainment media from a Christian perspective, visit Ken Raney at

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