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June 26, 2015

Max Review - Now in Theaters!

Max Synopsis
From Warner Bros. Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures comes Max (Rated PG), a family action adventure from writer/director Boaz Yakin (Remember the Titans, Fresh).

A precision-trained military dog, Max serves on the frontlines in Afghanistan alongside his handler, U.S. Marine Kyle Wincott. But when things go terribly wrong on maneuvers, Kyle is mortally wounded and Max, traumatized by the loss of his best friend, is unable to remain in service.

Sent stateside, the only human he seems willing to connect with is Kyle’s teenage brother, Justin, so Max is saved when he is adopted by Kyle’s family. But Justin has issues of his own, including living up to his father’s expectations, and he isn’t interested in taking responsibility for his brother’s troubled dog. However, Max may be Justin’s only chance to discover what really happened to his brother that day on the front, and with the help of Carmen, a tough-talking young teen who has a way with dogs, Justin begins to appreciate his canine companion.

Justin’s growing trust in Max helps the four-legged veteran revert back to his heroic self, and as the pair race to unravel the mystery, they find more excitement—and danger—than they bargained for. But they each might also find an unlikely new best friend…in each other.


My husband and middle son attended a screening of Max, and below is his review:

Max is a Belgian Malinois, who sniffs out hidden weapons in Afghanistan and works alongside Kyle, a marine. When Kyle is killed in the line of duty, Max ends up back in the states and in the care of Justin, Kyle's younger brother. He is reluctant at first to take on any responsibility, especially one that interferes with his gaming, but slowly Justin starts to care more for Max than for himself.

This is evident during a 4th of July celebration where Justin realizes what the firework noises could be doing to his PTSD-suffering dog, and he rushes home to comfort his terrified pet. Max returns the favor when he helps Justin catch the attention of his friend's cousin, Carmen. They soon get caught up in some unbelievable and sometimes dangerous adventures, especially when his older brother's shady friend returns from battle.

The relationship between Kyle and Max during the war was profound, as well as the eventual connection between Justin and Max, but the more interesting relationship to me was the one of Justin and his father. I love movies about father/son relationships and this movie, although it doesn't get too deep into it, examines this sometimes complicated bond. The former marine father, Thomas Haden Church as Ray Wincott, shows a tremendous amount of love towards his older son who is following in his footsteps serving his country overseas. His love for his younger, "slacker" son is not very obvious.

Josh Wiggins, who played Kyle, did a nice job onscreen. He played the role of the rebellious younger son to a tee. The rest of the acting was decent, but I thought Lauren Graham, who is usually terrific in everything, was too subdued in this movie. When loved ones go missing I'd expect a much bigger reaction from a mother or wife.

Of course, the real stars of the movie were the dogs who played Max. Several times the audience let out a collective "awww" when Max did something cute. The audience favorite was the old puppy footage of Max. An already touching part of the movie was made all the more so by the sight of the adorable pup.

My son really loved watching Max, especially whenever he did the "cool tricks," and despite some violent and intense scenes, he didn't get scared at all throughout the movie. Although some parts of the movie were too predictable, overall Max was an enjoyable movie (especially appealing for canine lovers and/or older kids) with some interesting story lines.

Max is now in theaters. Click here for show times and tickets.


Thank you to the sponsor for providing complimentary screening tickets.

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