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How to Kill Your Neighbor's Dog (Mad Dogs & Englishmen) (2000)



Average Rating: 5.5/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 5

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 1,406

My Rating

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


Drama, Art House & International, Comedy

Michael Kalesniko

Sep 2, 2003

Artistic License

Watch It Now



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All Critics (35) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (19) | Rotten (13) | DVD (9)

Has an unusually high ratio of laughs per minute.

February 27, 2004
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

March 1, 2002 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

February 22, 2002 Full Review Source: Newsday
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

February 22, 2002 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

February 22, 2002 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A wordy wisp of a comedy.

February 22, 2002
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is an agreeable but hardly challenging film, a movie perfect for a night by the fire when you want to curl up and relax.

June 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Scouts
Film Scouts

A minor film that's no more than a trifle with some comic touches

July 3, 2005


December 31, 2004
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

...a good film that must have baffled the folks in the marketing department.

February 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Kalesniko manages to keep all this stuff entertainingly cynical and doesn't let the ever-present sentimental goop overcome his story.

November 22, 2002 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

An offbeat, nimble and surprisingly winning little 'life comedy' [that] captures with entertaining aplomb the spry whimsy of a writer's brain in action.

October 14, 2002 Full Review Source: Entertainment Today
Entertainment Today

A succinct effort to explore how our relationships force us to re-evaluate what we want out of life at the most inopportune and unexpected of times.

June 29, 2002 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

A film that will likely not "wow" anyone over...but entertaining from a character point of view

March 26, 2002 Full Review Source: JoBlo's Movie Emporium
JoBlo's Movie Emporium

Run, don't walk, to see this barbed and bracing comedy on the big screen.

March 3, 2002
San Francisco Examiner

A surprising drama about the emptiness of cynicism when stacked up against the bounties of compassion.

February 24, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Despite the top-quality talent and some occasionally witty shots on the vanity of Hollywood, this Dog simply isn't best in show.

February 22, 2002 Full Review Source: E! Online
E! Online

Mordantly funny and intimately knowing ...

February 22, 2002 Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher
Flick Filosopher

This slight slice of L.A. life is distinguished by two fine, subtle performances.

February 22, 2002 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

This toothless Dog, already on cable, loses all bite on the big screen.

February 22, 2002
New Times

Audience Reviews for How to Kill Your Neighbor's Dog (Mad Dogs & Englishmen)

[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]
June 10, 2005
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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