Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 31
  2. Negative: 1 out of 31
  1. I mean no impertinence when I say that as a portrait of love and grief, writer-director Mike White's exceptional film Year of the Dog deserves the same admiration accorded Joan Didion's exceptional memoir "The Year of Magical Thinking."
  2. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    88
    It may sound as if first-time director White is having his fun at the expense of introverted, asocial people who prefer the company of cats and dogs and gravitate toward animal-rights activism because the very idea of dealing with human problems requires an empathy they can't muster. But empathy is exactly what makes the film work.
  3. Until Year of the Dog, I've never seen a movie where someone obsessed over a puppy.
  4. 91
    White's gently perceptive film is a funny, poignant, emotionally honest minor-key character study.
  5. Reviewed by: Toddy Burton
    89
    Dern is hilarious as the obsessive sister-in-law, Sarsgaard plays oddball dog-man to perfection, Pais is perfectly awkward as Peggy's nervous boss, Reilly rocks the subtle humor of Peggy's hunting-obsessed neighbor, and Shannon gives a breakout performance.
User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 23 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 13
  2. Negative: 3 out of 13
  1. Dec 11, 2010
    8
    The tone of the film is ambient and static, as fashioned by Jared Hess in Napoleon Dynamite, and the uniquely tongue-in-cheek observation of Los Angeles society is contrasted with the more serious theme of death. The toxic poisoning of her pet dog seems to be a catalyst for evolution and exposes the film as a medium for humility in which vegans and pro-animal activists are cast as socially detached. In fact humans are generally seen as undeserving of any sustained screen time. On a subconscious level White's satire questions the role of communication and whether what you stand for should define you as a person. In a sense it is anti-human but it also offers redemption through the medium of change. Full Review »