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on September 5, 2003
The combination of the little boy with these puppies was enough to make me shed a tear. I bought this movie for my 9-year old son, thinking that he may be almost too old for a traditional "family film". But he loved it as much as I did! The story starts with a family that has just moved to a new city, and they are all trying to adjust to a new neighborhood, new jobs, new friends, etc. Desperate for some companionship, the little boy (Charlie) befriends a three-legged dog, whose leg was removed after the vet discovered cancer, and her litter of puppies. Charlie goes on a quest to find homes for the puppies and their mother before the local animal shelter learns about the homeless dogs. While temporarily housing them in the basement of the hospital, the dogs escape and patients in the hospital begin to get well at an inexplicable rate. The dogs don't have super powers, and the film doesn't have an overtly religious theme. But there is a good message about family and love and loyalty. I highly recommend it to anyone, with or without children.
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It would be very easy to dismiss MIRACLE DOGS as a saccharine-sweet unbelievable family film, but that would be rather Grinchish or Scroogish. Sure, it's predictable and filled with every movie cliche of this type of film. But it's heart is so big and in the right place, one can't help but feel a little fuzzy after watching it. The dogs are irresistibly cuddly and little Josh Hutcherson is so believable as the little boy, the movie manages to entertain in spite of its sugary delivery. I've always enjoyed watching Kate Jackson since her days on "Dark Shadows" and although she isn't given a lot to do in this film, her radiance remains. KNOTS LANDING'S Ted Shackelford and MIKE HAMMER'S Stacy Keach likewise are serviceable in their roles, and Rue McClanahan makes a convincing lonely old rich lady. I don't know if there's a lot of validity in "Zoo Medicine" but I do know from my own experience that having a pet can make an important impact on one's life, so MIRACLE DOGS at least makes that point loud and clear.
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on January 30, 2004
My son and I really enjoyed this movie! It is heartwarming, inspiring, and spiritually thought provoking; albeit somewhat predictable at times. The really big plus is that the plot is believable and did not anthropomorphasize (give the dogs human traits/capabilities a la Stuart Little and Chiken Run)the dogs. Animal Lovers will rejoice.
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on April 14, 2014
This movie would normally fall into the category of sappy sentimentality with poor story, poor acting, etc. NOT SO with this movie. It is very well done in every way. I can't recommend it highly enough. Great for kids and grownups too. If you don't love it, it's your fault not the fault of the movie. Just forget reality, such as it is thought to be, and sit back and relax.
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on March 9, 2008
This picture will tug at your heartstrings. It is possitive and uplifting for all ages to view. I know you will be pleased, especially if you are a dog-lover!
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on October 21, 2005
This movie is very cute and is especially good for kids. This is the kind of movie you can let your kids watch and not have to woory about what they are watching (if the content is inappropriate or not.)
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on October 10, 2011
This film portrays a lovely story about a group of English Springer Spaniel strays that have a remarkable healing power and the freedom to use it because they are being kept hidden in the custodian's quarters of a hospital (away from the town dog catcher) by the son of a physician (ably played by Ted Shackelford of Knots Landing fame) and assistant to the hospital administrator (Kate Jackson, former Angel, now competent actress). This family of three has only recently relocated to Ohio from Colorado, which the boy through much of the film misses and wants to return there.

While it is a light and cheery film, it is to be taken in all seriousness because of the quality of the performances and the superb and sensitive direction given by actor/writer/director Craig Clyde, who has also directed such films as The Derby Stallion, The Christmas Stallion and A Christmas Wish, the latter two which he also wrote.

Most of the cast members seem to be New York trained and highly respected: Wayne Rogers, Stacy Keach, Rue McClanahan (in a charming performance), Josh Hutcherson (who plays the young boy and has gone on to a successful acting career as an adult), among others. There are simply no bad, or even mediocre, performances in this film.

Special mention should be made of the focused performance by Talbot Perry Simons as the kindly but dutiful dog catcher who received his training at the Lee Strasberg Institute. In 2009 the independent film Still the Drums that he wrote, directed, performed in and composed a song for won the following awards at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival: Best Movie, Best Directorial Debut, Best Screenplay, Best Actor and Best New Song - "Nobody's Fault But Mine the P.T.S.D. Blues." Pretty impressive!

These actors bring this warm and charming story to full life.

Perhaps there was a time frame limit, but the film's ending seemed to be rushed and sequential happy endings were depicted in one situation after another. Of course with such an upbeat children's story certainly no one wants it to end miserably, but on the other hand the ending seemed to be too sketchy, too conveniently tied up, albeit rosily. Particularly in the final segment I would have liked to have viewed the action worked out to fulfillment, rather than an "on the way" situation with puzzling, unexplained factors.

Nevertheless, this is an exceptional film of a magical tale abounding with sterling talent.
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on April 28, 2014
I don't like family films generally, so I'm not the best person to judge one. But Miracle Dogs is alright. I found the ending disappointingly saccharine (though I won't spoil it) and Josh of course is adorable.

I guess this is a nice choice if you have kids or 90 minutes to kill. There's better stuff out there however.
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on August 10, 2007
This film has a great idea and some terrific actors doing excellent acting, including Kate Jackson, Wayne Rogers, Stacy Keach, and especially newcomer Josh Hutcherson (who has since starred in Little Manhattan,Bridge to Terabithia, and several others). The idea is about a boy who has to give away some puppies, and in the meantime when the puppies (or their mother) visit hospital patients, the patients miraculously get better. The reason I only give it four stars is that the film doesn't stay focused on that idea and follow individual stories for each puppy & patient, but gets sidetracked with other characters like a doctor (Wayne Rogers) who has little to do with the main story, a janitor (Stacy Keach), and a dog catcher. These characters are fine in their own rite & well acted, but they take time away from the main theme which could have been developed more and made this a great 5-star film.
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on October 3, 2003
This was a heartwarming movie that I enjoyed with my whole family. It was tender and funny and the dogs were really cute.
0Comment|6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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