MEGAN LEAVEY Review — A Poignant Four-Legged Super Hero Movie

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MEGAN LEAVEY Review by Lisa Johnson Mandell

Megan Leavey reviewAs we all get caught up in the feverish frenzy of fabulous female superheroes, it’s also nice to take a beat and focus on some real life superheroes whose everyday super powers are based on their ability to overcome their human — or their canine — frailties.

Such is the case with a small film opening this weekend called Megan Leavey. From the title, you wouldn’t surmise it’s based on the true story of a detached young marine corporal (Kate Mara) who bonds with a military combat dog with issues of his own, to save countless lives during their deployment in Iraq.

But now you know, and you also know to bring tissues. And don’t waste your time applying vast amounts of mascara, if you wear any at all. Without giving away any spoilers, I’ll tell you that the plot seldom goes in the direction you think it might, which is difficult to achieve when you’re working from a true life story.

Megan Leavey is poignantly directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite (Blackfish) from a screenplay by Pamela Gray, Annie Mumolo and Tim Lovestedt. Cowperthwaite (in the vein of Kathryn Bigelow) proves that females add a much needed emotional element to films about war. The emphasis is not on blood, guts and mayhem, but on collateral damage to the heart and mind.

It’s not a grand film full of superstars and special effects, but a smaller, quieter film that’s a welcome break from all the current must-see summer blockbusters. Those who are intimately familiar with dog training and military life can forgive the cinematic license that’s been taken, and those unfamiliar won’t notice or care.

The bottom line is that Megan Leavey is a riveting, inspiring and heart wrenching story, a fitting tribute to our female and four-legged military superheroes.

Rated PG-13

1 Hour 56 Minutes

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MEGAN LEAVEY Review — A Poignant Four-Legged Super Hero Movie



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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award winning journalist, author and film/TV critic. She can be heard regularly on Cumulus radio stations throughout the US, and on BBC Radio.

1 Comment

  1. Avatar Rick Schwab on June 9, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    This is the kind of film that has the ability to reclaim Hollywood’s legacy. It is a very inspirational story that had me bawling at nearly every scene. As a Vietnam vet, I could really empathize with the relationship Megan had with her uncommon canine. It is hard to imagine the effort that went into making this film and the challenge the director had with obtaining such great performances from both Megan and her courageous four-legged friend. It was as though he was human and had read the script! Two thumbs up for this outstanding film!!

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