How to Kill Your Neighbor's Dog (2002)


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Movie Info

Somewhere in L.A., Peter (Kenneth Branagh), a washed-up British playwright, struggles to duplicate his past glory as he surfs a foul-smelling tide of disenchantment. His wife, Melanie (Robin Wright Penn), manages to maintain an optimistic outlook even as she longs for the baby that her husband is hesitant to help her conceive. When Peter befriends Amy (Suzi Hofrichter), a neighborhood girl who has mild cerebral palsy, their friendship softens him to the idea of fatherhood and propels Melanie's maternal yearnings into hyperdrive. As if baby fever weren't enough, Peter is plagued by a seemingly benevolent stalker (Jared Harris), his neighbors' incessantly noisy dog, and the flighty cast and crew of his latest play.


Kenneth Branagh
as Peter McGowen
Robin Wright
as Melanie
Peri Gilpin
as Debra Salhany
Suzi Hofrichter
as Amy Walsh
David Krumholtz
as Brian Sellars
Lucinda Jenney
as Trina Walsh
Derek Kellock
as Amy's Father
Stacy Hogue
as Babysitter
Tamala Jones
as Laura Leeton
Benita Ha
as Female Anchor
Mark Brandon
as Male Anchor
Brent Chapman
as Cop No. 1
Markus Redmond
as Cop No. 2
Mark Schooley
as Cop No. 3
Mark Currie
as Cop No. 4
Doug Abrahams
as Cop No. 5
Ty Olsson
as Cop No. 6
Fred Ewanuick
as Man No. 1
Robert C. Saunders
as Gynecologist
Jay Brazeau
as Proctologist
Merrilyn Gann
as Nurse No. 1
Enuka Okuma
as Nurse No. 2
Haig Sutherland
as Young Man
Michael Benyaer
as Father Neighbor
Sarah Cole Burnett
as Teenage Neighbor
as Baby the Dog
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Critic Reviews for How to Kill Your Neighbor's Dog

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (9)

Has an unusually high ratio of laughs per minute.

Feb 27, 2004

Falsehoods pile up, undermining the movie's reality and stifling its creator's comic voice.

Mar 1, 2002 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Kenneth Branagh's energetic sweet-and-sour performance as a curmudgeonly British playwright grounds this overstuffed, erratic dramedy in which he and his improbably forbearing wife contend with craziness and child-rearing in Los Angeles.

Feb 22, 2002 | Rating: 2.5/4
Top Critic

... comes alive only when it switches gears to the sentimental.

Feb 22, 2002 | Rating: 1.5/5 | Full Review…

Audiences conditioned to getting weepy over saucer-eyed, downy-cheeked moppets and their empathetic caretakers will probably feel emotionally cheated by the film's tart, sugar-free wit.

Feb 22, 2002 | Rating: 3.5/5

A wordy wisp of a comedy.

Feb 22, 2002 | Rating: 2/4

Audience Reviews for How to Kill Your Neighbor's Dog


[font=Century Gothic]"How to Kill Your Neighbor's Dog" is about playwright, Peter Magowan(Kenneth Branagh), who used to be an enfant terrible of the theater set and is now nearing middle age. After a run of successful hits, he has been suffering recently through a string of failures and desperately wants a hit but difficult rehearsals for his newest play is not making anything easier. He is married to Melanie(Robin Wright Penn) who teaches dance and desperately wants to have a baby.(This is the second movie this week[/font] I've seen [font=Century Gothic]where Robin Wright Penn plays a character who wants to have a baby. Is this a trend or am I having one of those weeks?) Peter is much more hesitant about having a child. Add into this mix - a noisy neighborhood dog, new neighbors and a mysterious stranger.[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]"How to Kill Your Neighbor's Dog" is about a character finally growing up as he nears middle age which I can see but this does not necessarily have to include having children. This is almost a good movie and its only real strength is a superb performance from Kenneth Branagh. And it is too long by about twenty minutes and feeds on easy targets like morning news shows.[/font]

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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