Movie Review: A Dog’s Way Home

Based on the novel, A Dog’s Way Home came to theaters this January and captured the emotional and heartwarming storyline from the book perfectly.

The movie follows a dog named Bella, beginning with her time as a puppy and eventually meeting her loving owner, Lucas. They bond, and Bella comforts Lucas’s mom, a war veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as well as other people in therapy at the hospital where Lucas works. But in a tragic turn of events, Bella becomes separated from Lucas, and the rest of the movie highlights Bella’s emotional two-year journey of trying to get back to him. Bella meets many other people and animals along the way, each with their own stories. She bonds with a baby cougar while in the woods, becomes friends with other stray dogs, provides company to a homeless man, and even lives in the home of another family before ultimately making it back to Lucas. Bella’s adventure displays that a lot can happen between lost and found as she touches the lives of many others on her trek back to Lucas.

Overall I thought this movie was very sweet and simple, though it was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster to watch. Bella’s journey took many twists and turns that left viewers feeling happy then sad, angry then scared, but in the end it warmed your heart and made you realize the wonderful impact dogs have on human lives. I thought this film did a great job of keeping viewers on the edge of their seats and in anxious anticipation of what was to come, while simultaneously warming their hearts and inspiring them with a story of loyalty and love. That is a very tricky balance to maintain, but A Dog’s Way Home achieved it perfectly. Additionally, this movie did a tremendous job of getting viewers invested in the characters even if they had not read the book beforehand, which is great because oftentimes, movies based on books are difficult to get into if you have not read the book beforehand.  

Juniors at Apex High School, Rebecca Bierfeldt and Paige Dunn saw A Dog’s Way Home and enjoyed it very much. They both gave the movie four stars out of five; Dunn commenting, “I loved the happy ending; it was really sweet,” and Bierfeldt adding, “It was just really heartwarming.” They explained that they enjoyed how the movie was able to make them smile and laugh as well as make them feel sad and anxious at times. Dunn mentioned that she did cry during certain scenes and warned, “I would recommend it to others, as long as they’re not really big criers.”

I would also give A Dog’s Way Home a four out of five stars because I really enjoyed it, but compared to similar movies, like A Dog’s Purpose, I did not think it was quite as good. I would recommend this movie to just about anyone but especially dog lovers because I think they would appreciate this movie the most. If you’re in the mood for an inspiring, feel-good movie that puts the strength of loyalty to the test with the story of one dog’s incredible journey back to its owner, A Dog’s Way Home is the movie for you!

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