This story about a former Marine Corps dog, and how he helps a disgruntled slacker boy grow into a man, is filled with action, suspense, and quality characterization,while being deeply respectful toward Christianity, patriotism, and America’s military.
Corporal Kyle Wincott is a U.S. Marine serving in Afghanistan as part of a unit assigned to find and recover enemy weapons caches. Kyle is assisted by his trained search-and-recovery combat German Shepherd, Max. When Kyle is killed in combat, the military plans to put down Max, as he won’t work with anyone else…until they find that he responds to Kyle’s teenage brother Justin, a troubled, defiant slacker totally different from the gung-ho Kyle – much to the disgust of his father Ray, also a wounded Marine veteran. Justin accepts the job of caring for Max, with help from his friend Carmen. But when Kyle’s crooked ex-Marine pal Tyler exploits Kyle’s memory to get a job with Ray that enables him to sell illegal arms, it’s up to Justin and Max to bring him and his criminal plot to heel.
Max does contain some content that might concern parents, but none of it is graphic or bloody. Kyle’s unit is shown coming under fire, with explosions around and bullets flying. Later, his funeral is seen. Throughout the movie, various criminals display and fire guns, though not to any effect; they do hold threaten Justin, his friends, and Ray with guns at several points. Several fistfights also occur, as well as scenes of suspenseful peril involving Justin and Carmen. Teens are also shown acting recklessly, riding their bicycles over various hazards. There are also multiple scenes of animal violence, with Max defending Justin from a pair of pit bulls, with the dogs attacking, snapping and snarling at each other. There is little foul language, and no sex, though Justin and Carmen share a kiss in a tense moment.
Max is a wonderful movie, perfect for the entire family. Christianity and patriotism are given a respectful treatment, and (except for bad egg Tyler) the military is shown in an overwhelmingly positive manner…facts which make the film ideal for 4th of July viewing. It also offers a sensitive portrait of the difficulty of parents relating to their children, without demonizing either side. Finally, the film shows how taking on responsibility matures young people, helping them grow into competent, confident, brave, and moral adults.
Because of its emphasis on family-friendly values, the Parents Television Council is proud to award Max with the PTC Seal of Approval®. The PTC recommends this movie for viewers over age seven.
Release Date: June 26, 2015
MPAA rating: PG for action violence, peril, brief language and some thematic elements
Starring: Josh Wiggins, Mia Xitlali, Robbie Amell, Lauren Graham, Thomas Hayden Church
Recommended age: 7+
Overall PTC Traffic Light Rating: Yellow
|War, death implied, explosions, gunfire, peril, animal violence|