Year of the Dog (2007) - Rotten Tomatoes

Year of the Dog2007

Year of the Dog (2007)



Critic Consensus: Year of the Dog is a warm and quirky comedy that never condescends to its eccentric characters.

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Movie Info

An unremarkable administrative assistant finds her life going to the dogs both literally and figuratively in actor/screenwriter-turned-director Mike White's dark comedy drama. An inexplicably cheerful office worker whose somewhat sad excuse for a life seems to revolve around her pet beagle Pencil, Peggy (Molly Shannon) seems to relate better to her four-legged friend than she does to most humans. Most of her person-to-person interaction revolves around doting on other people's children and treating her co-workers to daily donuts, and Peggy just doesn't find much solace in the company of her know-it-all sister-in-law Bret (Laura Dern) or her anxiety-prone boss Robin (Josh Pais). When Peggy's dog Pencil is taken before his time, the devastated dog-lover is wracked with guilt. Now desperate to fill the gaping void that has suddenly opened in her life, Peggy agrees to a date with her gun-nut neighbor Al (John C. Reilly) that ends in disaster when she begins to suspect that the boorish brute may have in fact poisoned her ill-fated pooch. Later, after adopting every dog at the local pound and transforming herself into an overzealous animal-rights activist, the increasingly unhinged Peggy reaches out to asexual activist Newt (Peter Sarsgaard) in a last-grasp attempt at forming a human connection that is met with casual indifference.

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Josh Pais
as Robin
Liza Weil
as Trishelle
Jon Shere
as Pound Employee
Christy Moore
as Al's Girlfriend
Ursula Brauner
as Dog Owner
Giddle Partridge
as Blond Floozie
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Critic Reviews for Year of the Dog

All Critics (143) | Top Critics (43)

Though the film falters in terms of its lack of a streamlined narrative, there is no denying that it is packed to the rafters with meaty ideas and characters who are charged with a satisfying moral ambivalence.

August 31, 2007 | Rating: 3/6 | Full Review…

Year of the Dog asks how far we should be willing to go for the love of animals, and for that matter, for love itself.

May 4, 2007 | Full Review…
Top Critic

White's humanist account of a woman more comfortable with animals than people is another intricately crosshatched sketch in his gallery of outsiders.

April 27, 2007 | Rating: 2.5/4

There are those who believe empathy is the quality that separates man from beast, but what does it say that White directs his compassion exclusively toward animals?

April 27, 2007 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

Much is said in little moments: The entire cast offers jots of humor and insight, from Reilly and Sarsgaard to Laura Dern as a spiny sister-in-law and Regina King as Layla, a vehemently supportive friend.

April 27, 2007 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Year of the Dog is a feel-good, feel-bad movie about personal choice in the face of an overwhelming world. It brings more than you expect and leaves you wondering. How extraordinarily brave.

April 27, 2007 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Year of the Dog


Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer


Year of the Dog, or what could also be called, The Life and TImes of an Animal Activist, focuses on Peggy, played with quirky yet lovable sentiment by Molly Shannon. Peggy is completely passive, and has no companionship in her life, except for her little dog. One day the dog dies and Peggy is forced to cope with the reality of death, yet also the reality of life. In her grief, she meets Newt (Peter Sarsgaard) who works at a pet clinic. He also opens her eyes to an entire world/industry that abuses animals, kills them, and turns them into food. She begins a naiive yet noble campaign to save as many animals as she can and inform as many people as she can about what is being done to many animals in test labs, slaughterhouses, even in the pound. Director Mike White has a knack for creating oddball characters. They are aplenty here, but it makes the film feel like a Wes Anderson picture, which is never a bad thing. The cinematography by Tim Orr borrows a lot from Anderson, and Jonathan Demme, as characters are framed in the centre speaking directly into the camera. Regardless of the unoriginality, the film works as a strange yet touching comedy.

Edward Boxler
Edward Boxler

Super Reviewer


This movie sucks. For Peggy, it seems dogs provide the love and attention she needs. But when tragedy strikes, Peggy goes a little crazy. But, I just don't see the point of the movie. It is agonizingly slow. The people in the movie are shallow. And it drives me crazy that Peggy couldn't see that she could be a dog-loving vegan if she wanted to, but no one can convince the whole world to turn into copies of herself.

Red Lats
Red Lats

Super Reviewer

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