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Benji: Off the Leash | 2004 | PG | - 0.4.1

A man who runs a puppy mill in his backyard is abusive to his wife and son, as well as his dogs. When a female dog becomes ill from over-breeding, one of her puppies does what it can to get her away and save her. With Lincoln Hoppe, Benji, Nick Whitaker, Chris Kendrick and Randall Newsome. Directed by Joe Camp [1:37]

SEX/NUDITY 0 - A man and a woman flirt and talk about a movie date. A talking bird says "kissy, kissy" a few times. Puppies nurse from their mother. A dog licks a man on the face.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - A man raises his hand to hit his son. A man yells at his son, grabs him by the arm, and shoves him. A man grabs his son by the arm and squeezes him, and a police officer pulls the man away. We see a bruise on a woman's forehead and are led to believe that her husband hit her. A man grabs a dog violently; the dog struggles, bites the man on the cheek and gets away. A man grabs a bottle from a boy and throws it against a wall breaking it. A man tosses a puppy across a room (it whimpers and shakes). Two men stalk a dog, one lunges for the dog and the other shoots the first man in the buttock with a tranquilizer gun. Two men with a tranquilizer gun chase two dogs, one dog walks across a tree trunk over water, the other is frightened, and a man shoots at one dog (he misses). A dog is held at gunpoint, and another dog charges, shoving it off a ledge and into the river below (both dogs swim to safety). A dog is almost hit by a van. We hear that a dog is very sick from over-breeding and will die without immediate surgery. A man leaves a puppy to die without its mother (the puppy survives). A man threatens to "do away" with a dog. A police officer shoves a man and threatens to put him in jail. A boy holds a man back from harming dogs in a few scenes -- at one point, the boy jumps on the man's back and is tossed onto the ground. We hear that a dog is sick and see the dog becoming weak and sickly. Two men lunge for a dog and knock their heads together, two men fall into a puddle of mud (their faces are covered with mud and one spits some out), and a man is kicked in the buttocks by a cow (we hear the man yell). Two dogs fall into a garbage can and struggle to get out by tipping the can over. A dog falls off a fence and lands in a garbage can. A man walks into woods carrying a small sack, and tosses it over a ledge into a river below (we are not told what the sack contained). We see dirty conditions of a backyard puppy breeding operation and see dogs locked in cages. A dog is taken out of a pickup truck and is abandoned on a country road. A boy climbs out through his bedroom window and slides across a clothesline to the ground. A boy searches for a puppy in an abandoned house (we hear the puppy crying). Two men yell at each other. A man yells when he finds a salami half-eaten. A dog jumps onto a table, knocks a flower pot off, which falls to the ground and breaks; the dog jumps again flinging a trowel into the air and causing more noise.


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LANGUAGE 1 - 5 mild anatomical terms.


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SUBSTANCE USE - A man drinks beer.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Animal shelters, mass breeding of dogs, spousal and child abuse, animal abuse, compassion, freedom, companionship, animal abandonment, sadness at the loss of an animal companion.

MESSAGE - Dogs are smarter than people. Inhumane treatment of animals is inexcusable.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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