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Max has good intentions and tries to hearken back to classic family-friendly features, but its disjointed, manipulative plot overwhelms the efforts of its talented human and canine stars.
All Critics (94)
| Top Critics (29)
| Fresh (34)
| Rotten (60)
With every clunking homily to obedience in the script by Rambo III's Sheldon Lettich, Max starts to feel less like wholesome family entertainment and more like some ideological project.
Not as flag-wavingly cheesy as it might have been - but that doesn't make it a good film.
Max is an absurdly violent PG-rated movie in which kids and dogs are repeatedly in peril.
Yakin doesn't condescend to his audience, and infuses his plot with a surprisingly ambitious and revealing commentary about the experience of war.
It's like they invited the Coen brothers - or maybe Quentin Tarantino - to script a few scenes of a "Dora the Explorer" episode.
Yakin executes the touching material with the expected serviceability.
Suckers for animal movies will forgive the movie's predictability, but even the jaded may find that its script and musical cues reveal an occasionally thoughtful film wrapped in multiplex sheep's clothing.
"Max" is a family film that will capture your heart, pull on those heart-strings quite a bit, and deliver a message for every age.
Max is a doggy tale of canine heroism that comes with such a generous side-order of good ol' American, flag-waving patriotism that its potential appeal to British audiences will surely be limited.
How a sweet story about a boy and his dog turns into a lame thriller about backwoods weapons dealing is anyone's guess.
I'm sure a few people will be easily manipulated and distracted by the cute dog. It happens. Otherwise, Max is a waste of your time.
Despite some great performances from both the young Wiggins, Thomas Hayden Church and the impressive and loveable Max, if you're looking for anything other than a minor distraction you're barking up the wrong tree.
Entertaining and fun, Max is an inspirational family film. The story follows a military dog who's slated to be put down after going feral in the wake of a firefight in Afghanistan, ,but he's rescued by the family of his former handler and retrained. The plot's pretty clichéd and predictable, yet it kind of works; giving the audience what they want (animal and family bonding and healing together). Still, the kid is kind of annoying at times and the subplot about black market arms dealing is rather contrived. However, despite its little problems, Max is a solid film with a positive message about friendship and bravery.
I like the homage to the veterans and serving dogs this movie boasts, but it is predictable at times. Great young cast they make you laugh. The interaction between the dog and boy is quite believable and well done.
This plays out like a made for TV movie but it is still endearing and has a human tale to tell with a lot of heart. Max is undoubtedly the star of the movie and if you have seen any animal movie you know what to expect from this. Still enjoyable though.
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