A Dog’s Way Home (Blu-ray) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Adventure, Drama, Family
Director: Charles Martin Smith
Distributor: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Duration: 96 minutes

A Dog’s Way Home (Blu-ray) – Movie Review

Site Score
Good: Story, Feel-good flick
Bad: CGI, A lot of predictable events
User Score
(5 votes)
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Rating: 5.6/10 (5 votes cast)

Movies that revolve around dogs, or animals in general, are often an ideal experience to let the waterworks flow freely. These movies are often feel-good flicks, tearjerkers or great material to watch on a cold evening, together with your loved ones. A Dog’s Way Home seems to be another generic experience in the genre, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t enjoy the movie.

We get thrown into the hectic life of Bella (Bryce Dallas Howard) the dog, who was born underneath the remnants of a torn down house. Her first few weeks of life were quite hectic, as animal control took away her siblings and mother, forcing her to become of the many stray cats’ children. Luckily she didn’t have to live that long like this, as Lucas (Jonah Hauer-King) soon found her and adopted her. It seemed things were looking up until she was discovered by animal control and classified as a pit-bull, which are illegal in the city of Denver. She is then taken away from Lucas and his mother, Terri (Ashley Judd) and is temporarily placed with a family that takes care of Bella until Lucas finds a house outside of the city. Sadly, before Lucas can come to pick up Bella, she flees from her ‘foster’ home and finds herself roaming the wild, trying to get back to Lucas.

The flow of the movie is just about right. Bella will find her in a new situation every few scenes, and this makes the movie pleasant to watch and not overly dull. You’ll see a lot of different sceneries and many different cast members, while everything is being told from Bella’s point of view. There is also a bit of action now and then, making you pay attention just enough in order to keep things exciting. While there are many predictable scenes, including the standard ending, the movie does have a few original twists and turns to make sure it’s not completely generic in its script.

There are a few whiffs of famous cast members now and then which is certainly a plus for a TV movie, but overall the main cast member, which is the voice actor for Bella, Bryce Dallas Howard, is probably the biggest star the movie has. She does a superb job in playing the young and spirited Bella, or at least voicing her, as the dog Shelby, who actually plays Bella, does all the heavy lifting. Shelby is actually a dog they saved from a shelter several weeks before the production, and they wanted her to act as natural as possible, but she was also helped by Amber, another dog that deeply resembles her outward appearance.

It’s clear that the production had to work with a lower budget, especially when looking at the cast members and the somewhat poor special effects used in the movie. The latter was often obvious when other animals were shown together with Bella, or when Bella was performing actions clearly in front of a green screen. Nonetheless, things were okay-ish for what easily seems to be a TV movie, rather than a cinematic experience.

It’s surprising to see a lot of special features for a movie such as this. There is a small diary about how Bella, which is played by Shelby, was saved from a shelter, there are deleted scenes, a tidbit about how you make certain dog treats and a small making-of sequence. A lot of the content that’s added to the physical edition is feel-good content, but you don’t hear us complaining.


A Dog’s Way Home is a very typical sob story experience, which is certainly entertaining for an evening. While it’s still not that sure if you should get this movie into your physical collection of Blu-rays, it’s still a fun watch, albeit predictable at times, or at least when it concerns the ending. If you’re into feel-good movies or a typical family film, then this movie will certainly cause you to grab a few tissues by the time the credits start rolling.

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Rating: 5.6/10 (5 votes cast)
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A Dog's Way Home (Blu-ray) - Movie Review, 5.6 out of 10 based on 5 ratings

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