Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 23 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: When Peggy (Shannon) loses her best friend, a Beagle named Pencil, she emerges from her loss with a new found sense of her place in the world and what it takes to make her happy. (Paramount Vantage)
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. While some may be put off by Peggy's wild-eyed mania, and the film's broadly comic tone, Shannon makes this lost spirit strikingly sympathetic.
  4. 70
    Despite the gimmicky direction and a disappointing climax, this is a distinctive and unsettling comedy.
  5. 70
    So oppressive is Peggy's world -- Year of the Dog is the best evocation I've seen of how much worse it is to be depressed in a sunny climate -- that when she finally loses control, it feels more like catharsis than madness.
  6. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    70
    It's the most thorough portrait yet of the world according to White.
  7. 38
    In Year of the Dog, director Mike White willfully violates one of the great unwritten rules of Hollywood screenwriting: Kill as many human characters as you want, just spare the dog.

See all 31 Critic Reviews

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. Expand

See all 13 User Reviews

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