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A Dog's Purpose | 2017 | PG | - 2.4.1

A dog (voiced by Josh Gad) lives several lives in various forms and with a number of human companions while trying to determine the meaning and purpose of canine existence. Also with Britt Robertson, Dennis Quaid, Peggy Lipton, K.J. Apa, Logan Miller, Juliet Rylance, Luke Kirby and Bryce Gheisar. Directed by Lasse Hallström. [2:00]

SEX/NUDITY 2 - A young man and a young woman kiss in a car and a dog interrupts them by licking the young woman's face; the dog talks about them licking each other. A young man and a young woman kiss on a sidewalk. A man and a woman kiss.
 A woman wears a low-cut dress that reveals cleavage. A young woman wears a low-cut tank top that reveals cleavage along with a skirt that reveals bare legs to mid-thighs. A young man wears swim trunks. A young woman wears a swimsuit that reveals her upper chest. A woman sits in a bathtub and we see her bare shoulders and upper chest above bubbles.
 A man and a woman sleep on a sofa together (they are clothed). A dog pokes his nose under a young woman's skirt and she is startled when she turns around to find a young man, who explains that he did not do it. Several newborn puppies are shown nursing from their mother in a couple of scenes. A dog is enamored by another dog and he sniffs her tail.
 A dog remarks about people having a sweaty smell (presumably when they are attracted to each other). A dog is alarmed when after he dies he awakens as a female puppy and he yelps that he is missing something.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - A police officer and his dog track a kidnapper to a dam where his victim (a young girl) falls over the railing and into fast moving water; the police dog jumps into the water and pulls the girl to safety while the kidnapper holds a gun on the officer, the dog leaps on the kidnapper and the gun discharges (we see blood on the dog's abdomen and she dies).
 A young man lights a firecracker and puts it through a mail slot where it sets the house on fire; a woman, a young man and a dog are trapped inside and they lower themselves to the ground using a sheet but the young man falls and his leg is trapped under a burning timber (we see him being loaded into an ambulance and his face is covered with char).
 A young man confronts another young man about his father being an alcoholic and the second young man punches him in the face (he falls to the ground with no blood showing). A husband and his wife argue and the woman grabs his arm as he walks away; the man becomes angry and confronts his teenage son and they struggle (the man ends up on the ground) after the man shoves the woman (the man eventually leaves). Two women on TV fight with punches and slaps and kicks.
 A puppy is caught in a dog catcher's net and the screen goes black as the voice over says, "That's it," implying that the dog is euthanized. A dog is taken to a vet when he doesn't eat and we hear that he has been lethargic and there is a lump; it is implied that he is euthanized and he wakes up as a puppy. A man takes a dog to a train yard and leaves him there. A dog says of another dog that she went to the vet and never came back. A dog languishes inside a closed truck in the heat until a woman breaks the window to let him out (the dog is shown recovered later). A dog is shown being chained up outside a house and he is left their in cold weather. A dog walks across a busy road and a truck swerves and brakes. A dog digs up a dead cat and brings it into the house where a woman screams.
 A dog bites a young man's legs angrily and chases him in a couple of scenes. A dog paws at a man's feet under his desk and the man pushes him away and calls him names. A cat paws at a dog and hisses at him several times. A dog chases chickens and a rooster on a farm; the birds squawk and flutter. A dog chases a cat through a house breaking things along the way.
 A police officer takes target practice and his dog (K9 unit) whimpers and backs away; he fires a few more times to help the dog become adjusted to the sound. A dog runs around a dinner table and frightens a woman who stands on her chair; a man climbs under the table trying to catch the dog and the woman on the chair falls on the table, into a plate of food and the table breaks under her; the man becomes angry and locks the dog in a garage. A dog picks up a man's slipper and runs out of the house with the man chasing close behind. A dog runs between a young man's legs and trips him causing him to fall on the ground. A dog and a donkey play together in a few scenes. A dog pulls her leash and tips a man's chair over in a restaurant (he falls on the floor but we see him OK later). A young man and a young woman scream on a spinning ride at a fair and the young man stumbles when he gets off the ride; he crashes into a hot dog stand and spills many hot dogs on the ground. Several children chase a dog and dress him in clothing in a few scenes; one child drags him out from under a bed by the legs. A dog jumps on a man, knocking him down and licks his face. A man bumps his head under a porch while talking to a woman.
 Many dogs of varying ages and breeds are seen in cages at a breeder and several of them bark as one dog gets out of his cage and runs away; we see the dog get trapped under a cardboard box and a man uncovers him and takes him away. A dog locked in a garage pushes out a vent screen and gets out; he climbs trough a basement window and into a house. A dog chases a young man in a car. A dog chases a young man in an ambulance.
 A man talks about the Cuban Missile Crisis and nuclear annihilation. A young man breaks up with a young woman he has been dating and she cries and runs away. References are made to loneliness and being alone.
 Several newborn puppies shiver and huddle together. Several newborn puppies are shown nursing from their mother in a couple of scenes. A dog rolls in a pile of what is presumed to be animal dung on a farm. A dog tips over a garbage can in a house and fishes through it for food scraps. A dog swallows a rare coin and a boy tries to persuade him to defecate so that he can retrieve the coin (he eventually does and we do not see the feces). A dog flatulates loudly in a car after eating many hot dogs. A young man lights several fire crackers and they fizzle out on the ground.


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LANGUAGE 1 - 1 mild anatomical term, name-calling (idiot, alky, crazy, stubborn, moron), exclamations (oh my gosh, shut-up oh my goodness).


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SUBSTANCE USE - A dog yelps when he is given several shots by a vet. A man opens and drinks from a bottle of beer in his home, a man pours liquor from a flask into his breakfast beverage, a man holds an open bottle of beer and we see several empty cans and bottles near him (implying that he has been drinking), men and women are shown at a dinner table with glasses of wine at their places (no one is shown drinking), a man and a woman have wine at their table in a restaurant (we do not see them drink), and people drink champagne at a wedding reception.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - The meaning of life, having fun, dogs, dog/human relationships, loneliness, alcoholism, depression, Cuban Missile Crisis, dashed dreams, love.

MESSAGE - Life is a mystery. Canine reincarnation is a fact.

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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