Baxter - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Baxter Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ February 2, 2016
A bizarre film chronicling the life and death of a bull terrier who seeks to find the perfect owner. Baxter is a coming of age film for a dog with some really disturbing elements, I wouldn't consider it as a black comedy, just a dark satire of fascism. It's a fascinating film about the comparison of human nature and animalistic instinct.
January 25, 2016
Baxter is an allegory of authoritarianism, which is the basis for this film. I highly recommend it. I first saw this when I was in my early 20s, and re-watched it since. It is French with English subtitles.

The film is narrated by the protagonist, Baxter, who is a dog. It is a black comedy, but the dog as narrator must be taken seriously. Baxter craves a strict master and finds one in a boy who worships the authoritarianism of Nazi Germany.

This movie lingered with me after I watched it, which, to me is a quality of a great film. It is highly underrated.
August 5, 2015
Loved it when I watched this in the 90's. Thought it was dark and disturbing back then. Still love it years later
December 20, 2014
Strano. Da una parte sembra un filmetto a basso budget e da bassissime aspettative, dall'altra tira fuori momenti decisamente disturbanti e crudi.Insomma, riuscito a met? Qualcosa del genere.
April 30, 2012
I wouldn't call this is a horror film, nor a comedy. I don't really see what was funny about this to begin with, with maybe a couple lines.

Rather interesting film, but wouldn't suggest it to everyone.
March 4, 2012
I wouldn't call this is a horror film, nor a comedy. I don't really see what was funny about this to begin with, with maybe a couple lines.

Rather interesting film, but wouldn't suggest it to everyone.
January 7, 2011
An odd film that takes the viewer inside them mind of a dog to get a look at human nature through the eyes of an outsider. Baxter is bounced from home to home, beginning with an old woman, then to the home of a young couple who has a baby, and finally into the hands of a young buy with an obsession with Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun. It's a bit like Baxter is traveling backwards through a human lifespan and finding a kind of violent selfishness at its core.

Generally, the acting throughout is quite good and the story will keep the viewer involved. Baxter packs a good combination of tension and black humor when it's working. It doesn't always work, though. Some of the dialogue written for the dog seems too fragmented and self-contradictory, and much of it is ponderous philosophizing that carries a little too much pretentiousness. Baxter's intellectual abilities, not to mention his "inner" voice, are jarring much of the time. Despite this flaw, "Baxter" has enough good moments to make it a worthwhile watch.

It's Lassie meets Albert Camus. Add a star if you're a fan of French cinema and dog flicks.
½ November 8, 2010
The dog character is anthropomorphized with human sentience and cognitive internal monologuing but I had trouble relating so, and extracting the film's significance - might have to see it again. What I got was that humans are one beast away from unleashing the inevitable violent alter ego, but anyway, it's a refreshing film considering the hoopla normally expected from animals within films such as Beethoven, Air Bud and all that other crap. Unadulterated human-animal relationships pervade this film, but I can't say it leaves much of an impression even though it tried to.
September 10, 2010
(****): Thumbs Up

Smart and darkly funny. Well-written and directed.
April 9, 2010
Original concept having the dog narrate the movie as dark as it was. Enjoyable though but seems incomplete to me. The final chapter with the nazi boy was the most watchable segment.
January 14, 2010
I want a bull terrrier and I'm going to call him Baxter :)
January 3, 2010
I first saw this film when it was released to the US at the time of a wave of talking dog family movies. I knew this wasn't a kids film but I was expecting a light comedy where the dog makes sarcastic remarks about human foibles (those humans are SOOOO crazy). Well, I was wrong. This is a mean dog. As we watch the film we are constantly in fear of what the dog will do but completely sympathetic to his plight. But the film is even deeper, paralleling Baxter with a lonely boy that eventually becomes his keeper. The film makes a strong argument that the abuse and neglect heaped on any creature will eventually turn against those neglecting it and we all pay the consequences. In this way the film is a metaphor for the rise of Nazzism in Germany and simultaneously predicted the Columbine tragedy (and other similar attacks that followed). I have to say that I was completely emotionally moved by the journey of the dog. I warn you, though, that this is rough going. This is not for family viewing and not for anyone who is overly sensitive to the abuse of animals.
December 12, 2009
Morbid, disturbing (especially for animal lovers) and quite unique film about a dog who cannot find the right home; despite a good dose of black humor, there is a pervading sense of dread throughout (even during the happy days)... the sequences from the dog's point of view and the his narrated voice and monologues are brilliant, even though there are some artistic/thematic liberties taken regarding a dog's true nature
October 31, 2009
enfin un film qui parle de la nature exacte des chiens que beaucoup de maitres oublie ... un film touchant, dont le scenario bien ficelle nous laisse en alerte !
n oublions pas que les chiens voient la societe comme une meute et que le dressage primaire reste tres important !
il n y a pas de mauvais chiens plutot des mauvais maitres !
Quand au jeune garçon, que dire ? c était fatal mais inexorable ! la perversion et le reve sont si proches lorsque les enfants sont naifs!
Super Reviewer
October 24, 2009
delayed seeing this b/c it looked gimmicky (a cross btw Look Who's Talking 3 and Henry:Portrait of a Serial Killer) and trivializing of Nazism; but the dog's monologues play a supporting role to the ordinary traumas of the human characters, which include old people who let themselves go, the middle-aged people who experience disappointments in love and family life, and a desensitized kid who fixates on Hitler's mass-destructive suicide as an alternative to complete coldness; the colors and light are perfect and the the movie never becomes bleak or fatalistic; it ends up an interesting commentary on the constant temptation of nihilism, and fascism as one response to the temptation; Baxter is trapped by his nature, and the movie produces a sympathy for that more than for the child sociopath, who makes choice after choice to hate, worship force and cause pain

One charming thing is that the dog's dialogue plays at the edge of realism in paraphrasing what a dog feels and can revisit in memory -- granted, at the end he starts meditating on death and the change of seasons.
September 23, 2009
I saw this as a kid and i thought it was just plain fucking wierd. But i had no idea what film really was then. I saw this again 15 years later as an adult and I liked it. It was dark and disturbing, but a comedy too. Not as rough as some other french films form that era, but it's worth a watch..
September 6, 2009
Certains auront compris en voyant le ton inquietant de l'affiche, Baxter n'a rien a voir avec des films comme Babe ou Entre chiens et chats qui mettent en scene des animaux parlants.
Car Baxter ne parle pas ou plutot s'adresse directement au spectateur et c'est sur cet element que repose le recit .
Le film suit le parcours du Bull-Terrier eponyme dans un lotissement ou il sera amene a changer de proprietaire: passant d'une dame depressive a un gamin inquietant.
Cependant, on n'est pas en presence d'un plaidoyer contre la maltraitance des animaux comme on pourrait le croire.

En effet, Jerome Boivin instigue un malaise en mettant en scene un animal qui exprime des pensees (loin d'être positives) et des desirs (parfois malsains) : tour a tour flippant et attachant, Baxter se revele etre un animal terriblement humain,
Toutefois, si le film derange profondemment ce n'est pas uniquement à cause de son protagoniste principal mais aussi par sa mise en scene qui privilegie les couleurs sombres, par sa violence froide et surtout par la vision de l'humanite qu'il distille.
Ainsi, si le realisateur et son scenariste (un certain Jacques Audiard !) montrent la cruaute de certains hommes envers leurs amis les betes, ils stigmatisent aussi les nombreux travers de la race humaine avec les commentaires de Baxter sur son entourage.

Frustrations, la lachete, sadisme, etc... un tableau peu reluisant dont retiendra surtout une demolition en regle du mythe de l'enfant sage et innocent qui occasionne un final tetanisant.

Un film unique de par sa narration et qui rappelle un peu le cinema de Gaspard Noé dans sa mise en scene mais aussi dans sa maniere d'aller sonder l'ame humaine dans ce qu'elle a de plus degueulasse.

Une oeuvre atypique: a decouvrir !
June 5, 2009
A rare gem. It's dark and disturbing enough to stay with you forever. Which explains why I don't want to watch it over and over again, but it's still brilliant.
½ May 20, 2009
This movie is a fascinatingly dark examination of the mind of man's best friend. Unflinchingly bold and bizarre yet subtle. A terrifying masterwork whose chills manage to surprise you at every turn.
½ April 13, 2009
Un film bien noir qui donne à réfléchir... ?a a super bien vieilli, je recommande ce film au gens qui voient la vie trop en rose! lol
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