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"Lassie" Movie Review

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating

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Lassie movie dog lassie

One look into those big brown eyes and your heart just melts...

© Samuel Goldwyn Films

The Bottom Line

"Lassie" makes it easy to forget all the bloated-budget productions we've had to endure in theaters in 2006. This little treasure is an absolutely adorable, incredibly entertaining family film - and a great way to introduce the heroic collie to a whole new generation of fans.

Pros

  • I have to admit Lassie had me at 'Woof'
  • Terrific performances by those with fur and without
  • An impossible-to-resist story of loyalty and love

Cons

  • Some people may skip it thinking it's just for dog lovers - and that will be their loss

Description

  • Based on the classic novel "Lassie Come Home" by Eric Knight
  • Starring Peter O'Toole, Samantha Morton, Jonathan Mason, John Lynch, and Peter Dinklage
  • Filmed on location in the United Kingdom and Ireland
  • Rated PG for some mild violent content and language
  • Theatrical Release Date: September 1, 2006

Guide Review - "Lassie" Movie Review

Set in 1939 Yorkshire, "Lassie" is the story of undying love between a young boy (Jonathan Mason as 'Joe') and his best friend, an intelligent, loyal dog named Lassie. When Joe's father loses his job after the mine he worked in is forced to shut down, the family has no choice but to sell Lassie to a wealthy duke whose granddaughter has taken a fancy to the beautiful collie.

Lassie doesn't want to leave her family and in fact does everything she can to return to her master's side, including digging her way out of her kennel and breaking free from her leash whenever possible. But Lassie's loyalty to her previous owner is really put to the test when the duke returns to Scotland and she must travel 500 treacherous miles to get back to the place she still considers home.

Writer/producer/director Charles Sturridge has managed to revive the "Lassie" franchise by staying true to the source material. It also doesn't hurt that he snagged Peter O'Toole and Samantha Morton to head up the cast, and managed to find just the right child actor (Jonathan Mason) and a well-trained collie for the key leading roles.

Sturridge makes the story accessible to all age groups, a difficult task the writer/director pulled off without a hitch. Even if you're not an animal person, that shouldn't keep you from taking a look at this beautiful family film. Strong performances and an enchanting story make "Lassie" one of the most enjoyable films of the year.

A word of warning: keep the tissue box close by.

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