User Reviews (43)

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  • Warning: Spoilers
    I have two very very sensitive children and they loved the movie. The only "dark" scenes were the turning Benji out in the rain and when the children's mom tells Benji to leave after he takes her to the kidnappers' house. People complaining the dog didn't have enough personality, really?!! I though Benji and the other mutt he picked up to help out had plenty of personality. My kids ended the film by hugging and kissing both our pooches and in good moods.
  • Captured both the original movie with a new storyline the fit in perfectly! After my daughter saw the movie, I went on eBay and bought the original plush toy .
  • I grew up with Benji my kids love them. We love this.i t was so much like the original. The 1997 was awful and my kids laughed the whole movie this had feelings good actors and the best dog. Great comeback for Benji and it is a kids movie deals with real life issues not just after school special issues
  • r-327828 August 2018
    I think Benji is a sad but happy movie that will make you cry and laugh!! The love that dogs have for people is never ending and this movie really brings that to life. The little dog has many big tricks to show. This was a amazing movie and I hope everyone will enjoy it!!! :)
  • I grew up loving the original Benji movie and was so excited when this one was released and could not wait to watch it with my younger children. I was not disappointed and my kids equal fell in love with Benji as much as I did.
  • I remember as a kid watching the old Benji films on TV back in the 1980s. Back then they were cute harmless family films that anyone could enjoy. This new Benji, I'm not sure if it's a reboot of the franchise, or just another entry in the same series that began in 1974, is also a great family film. Though it touches on themes that would have never been considered in 1974.This is to be expected though as children are, today, exposed to and aware of, things that children in the early 70s were not. So what you have is a family film that features adorable children who remain innocent but are forced to deal with very serious situations. The new Benji, for what it's worth, is a true wonder dog; capable of doing tricks to get out of jams that would blow any expert dog trainer's mind. This is no ordinary street mutt, to say the least. Overall, I would say that this is a fantastic family film though I recommend that the parents stick around while the kids are watching because surely there will be some questions that will need to be answered.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A good kids movie where a somehome intelligent stray dog saves the day!
  • xin-0865519 October 2018
    Benji is so cut so I really laughed through out the movie, but it also make me think we should care more and love more all our four leg friends, they're so venerable
  • Beautiful graphic, rich characters and refreshing mainstream family freandly animal theme. DELIGHTFUL, ENCHANTING STORY. I was not expecting this movie can be that good to watch together with my lover. I really love the hidden plot of Benji and that big stray puppy. I was smiling when I see them get along so well. The story line of the title was very clear, logical and even the desolated mysterious sceneries amazed me with surprises. This is not a that old-school family film. It will give you smile and enlighten you with delicate arrangement of its movie settings.
  • First of all, this movie is way too dark for small children. Portraying it as a family movie is misleading. Maybe today's kids are numbed to some of the harsh scenes in this movie, but I would not want any young children of mine watching it.

    There are some really good segments, and the dog does some clever tricks that are truly worth watching, but the bulk of the movie has problems: (1) It's not credible unless it was supposed to be for very young children, but as already stated, too many scenes are not suitable for very young children. (2) The reactions of some of the adults are unbelievably stupid in face of what is going on. Again, this might be acceptable if this was a slapstick movie of this genre, but it tries to be serious, while doing a horrible job of being consistent. (3) Some scenes were hard to watch because the premise behind them was so lame. I found myself cringing far too often. (4) Some minor concepts were obviously borrowed from other movies. You might find it entertaining to try and spot them.

    So it could have been a good crime, thriller, drama, but it's not. I only gave it a four because the kids, especially the older boy, do a good job, and because the dog was very entertaining as well.

    I agree that the '74 version is highly superior in every way.
  • I only found out that there was a 2018 version of this movie when I looked up the 1974 version of the story on Netflix. This new version is a Netflix production, and you can't help avoid the tendency to compare it to the original version so it's very hard to let it stand on its own. Compared to the 1974 movie, this "Benji" is a much darker movie from the beginning. Where the '74 version opened with the wonderful theme song "I Feel Love" - sung by Charlie Rich - this one opens with a menacing animal control truck rounding up strays to take them to the pound. Where the '74 version spent a lot of time letting us follow Benji, learning his daily routine and even getting a sense of fun as we learned about all the various relationships that Benji had developed with various people, this one seems rushed - giving us very little about Benji's life, but pushing us very quickly into the kidnapping narrative.

    Yes. That part's the same . Benji gets befriended by a young brother and sister, whose parent (a single mother this time rather than a single father) refuses to let them keep him. The kids get kidnapped and it's up to Benji to convince mom to follow him so that he can make sure they get home safe.

    I watched the '74 version with my daughter (who's 13) a few days ago. Today, the day of its release on Netflix, we watched this one. We both agreed that this movie lacks the fun of the original; the charm. Her assessment was that this Benji (the dog, not the movie) didn't have as much "personality" as the old Benji. That's not a bad way of summing it up. He's certainly cute - and the ending is classic "tug at your heartstrings" stuff that only a cute dog can bring out in you. And I would say that the human performances are better in this one than in the '74 movie. But I'm still not convinced that remaking it was a good idea on Netflix's part. And, to be honest, one of the best things about the '74 movie was "I Feel Love." Here, we get a truncated version of that song at the very end before they cut it off and return to some song whose words and title I can't even remember that was written for this, I guess. That was one of the biggest disappointments of all.

    If I were asked, I'd definitely recommend the '74 original over this one any day. (5/10)
  • johnlovell-7586017 November 2018
    I left six yr old alone watching this for about 20mins (ok, yes, my fault). When I came back to living room he had tears streaming down face begging me to not have him watch that movie again.

    I assume perfectly fine for older kids.
  • My 8 year old cried from the half way point right to the end of the movie. The dog was great the storyline too intense and emotional. This is not a light family movie.
  • This movie is a struggle from the very first scene. It was not written for children or with any understanding of appropriate messaging for kids. Benji is orphaned. The mother is a widow. The kids are struggling emotionally, then are are kidnapped by malevolent robbers who tie them up and yell at them in the back of their van. AWFUL throughout the rest of the film until they are barely rescued by Benji and the mother is having a breakdown. Who would write this film??????
  • My 9 and 7 year olds both ended up crying hysterically watching scary kidnappers in evil clown masks abduct two kids in a very aggressive and scary manner. Great job for a kids movie named after a cute dog. Thanks so much for introducing the violence of the world into early childhood.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I turned it off before it ended and so I could have a chat about a subject every mother wants to have with her child - child kidnapping.

    This movie runined our family movie night with two out of three kids in tears and another begging not to sleep alone. Watch another mediocre film instead that doesn't involve kids taken to a remote location and tied up by bad guys. I don't care that the dog saves the day and neither should you.
  • My children were literally sobbing out loud watching this and after. We only forged through it thinking it would get cuter and happier but really did not.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I've personally enjoyed the old Benji movies, so that's why I was rather excited to finally watch Netflix's 2018 remake of Benji. And I gotta say..yeah its pretty bad. It's not the worst movie I've seen, but its still pretty bad. .

    The first red flag was that I read alot of parents complained the movie was too dark/violent for kids. Their claims were justified literally the first five seconds into this movie when I was met with the infamous Blumhouse logo, a movie company that mostly does HORROR films. Yeah, a company that normally does horror films tries out what's supposed to be a family friendly drama/comedy about a stray dog...what could go wrong?

    Well, thankfully Benji doesn't end up demon possessed or zombified, but I still wouldn't suggest the movie for little kids to watch.

    The first three minutes of this movie are both pointless and upsetting, especially for kids. We see a dog catcher hidden in shadows catch Benji's mom and his siblings, leaving him behind.

    A, this is a pointless opening scene. Why? Because we've ALWAYS known Benji started off a stray. Thats been his thing since his original movie back in 1974. We didn't really need a dark and depressing backstory on something we already knew. It makes it even more pointless when how quickly the movie timeskips to when Benji's an adult.

    B, not only is this scene extremely upsetting for little kids, and it doesn't help its the very first scene of the film, but it HORRIBLY portrays animal shelters.

    In fact, the entire beginning of this film paints animal shelters as gas chambers for dogs. Obviously there are high kill shelters in the world, but there's also such a thing as "No kill shelters" but this movie seems determined to create an illusion that all shelters destroy dogs within three days.

    What especially annoyed me was how they tried to make catchpoles scary and 'harmful' to dogs. When the dogcatcher got Benji's mom in a catchpole, they made it seem like it was hurting her.

    Not only is this horribly false, but it literally is teaching little kids that catchpoles are harmful, when in fact they're not. They're perfectly safe.

    You also know this movie is bad at trying to paint animal shelters as prisons for puppies when all I could think during this opening scene, very sarcastically mind you, is "Oh no, this dog catcher is taking this poor mother dog and her puppies off the streets, rescuing them from starving to death, disease or even being beat by some random psycho. They may even have a warm kennel for them, with food and unbelievably cruel"

    I know its common for dog films to have this cliche of the evil dog catchers, but the older you get, the more you start to notice how inaccurate alot of them get it. I know from a little kid's perspective its like "Dogs are supposed to run free from dog catchers because all pounds are doggie prison, and dogs have human levels of intelligence so they'll be fine on the streets"

    But from an adult's point of view, its more like "Omg, thank God this dogcatcher caught this poor dog before it got hit by a car, beat, starved to death, or who knows what"

    But i'm getting off track here, my point is dog films have often been known to paint animal shelters as prisons for animals, but Benji seriously takes the gold medal for how manipulative and inaccurate this can be. At least Disney's Homeward Bound gave dog shelters some dignity by showing the shelter had already contacted Shadow's, Chance's and Sassy's family, and that's the only reason they had them there, to reunite them.

    But let's talk about other problems with this movie. For one, yea I see what parents meant. The movie centers around two kids being kidnapped and Benji having to save them. This would normally be fine, but the kidnappers aren't your normal goofy idiotic Home Alone guys, they're actually really psycho and dangerous, and they can appear terrifying to little kids watching.

    Not to mention this movie had a ridiculously morbid tone. It literally has two "Sad Montages" You know, when a movie plays some random sad song when the main character feels hopeless? You know how most movies only have one, yeah this barrel of daisies and sunshine has TWO.

    Not to mention constant talking about the kids dead father. Look I have no problem with a movie being emotional, but when its a kids friendly family flick about a little stray dog, with an almost nauseating happy trailer, then its gonna rub me the wrong way.

    Now to be fair, I do know older Benji movies had their dark tones. Especially "Benji Off the Leash", but even a movie as dark as that one (which was literally about an abusive husband and father running a backyard puppy mill) had its funny moments to lighten the mood. This movie does not. It is 99% depressing.

    As if the morbid tone wasn't bad enough, sometimes the human characters come off as unrealistically stupid. Like the kids mother, when Benji leads her to the place her kids are being kept, and the kids have already been moved by the kidnappers somewhere else, she literally blames the dog. Which is understandable, I mean this dog did lead them on what seemed to be a pointless chase and wasted precious time to look for her kids.

    But then this woman literally starts talking to this dog like he understands English, she literally says "Don't you understand, my kids are missing" LADY, IT'S A DOG! Dogs no speak da English, they speak the much wow, so amaze Doggo language!

    Seriously, that scene literally made me yell, at 1 AM, "ITS A DOG, LADY!" Just, good lord that was stupid.

    Then we have Benji himself. The dog is adorable, but I love animals so there you go. I did enjoy seeing him on screen, but...and I can't believe I'm saying this but they even screwed the DOG up a bit.

    What I mean is, they made this dog way too intelligent. It already looked ridiculous for this small dog to push an entire dumpster up against building, but then he literally unlocks a door with a key. just laughable dumb. I know every dog in every dog movie has its moment of unrealistic intelligence, but at least it was somewhat believable. Beethoven, Air Bud, Pongo, Lassie, Old Yeller, at least there was some realism even when they did things a little silly. It made the magic more believable.

    But Benji unlocking a door with a key? I'm not sure how stupid these writers think kids are, but I'm sorry, that's just insulting their intelligence. I get they wanted to make Benji this awesome hero, but they can still do that without turning him into a cartoon character!

    Not to mention how unrealistic and convenient it was for all the times we see this dog walking through crowded city streets, and he doesn't ONCE get caught by a dogcatcher?

    And as far as Benji's death fakeout, yea sorry but I'm actually surprised they DIDN'T pull an Old Yeller and kill him off. It would have matched this movie's tone alot better.

    Overall, as much as I'll always enjoy the previous Benji movies, this one is a serious dud. It's needlessly cruel for a family film, overly morbid, the human characters have one too many stupid moments, and even the dog is over the top. And its actually sad because they could have made a great Benji movie for the new generation, so its really a waste. If you want a good dog movie to watch with your kids, go watch Homeward Bound, Beethoven or Air Bud. If you want a decent Benji film, I highly suggest Benji Off the Leash. Yes its also got a dark tone, but it balances it out with both funny moments AND wholesome moments, plus it feels far more realistic. The happy ending in it also doesn't feel forced, it feels earned. You can watch Off The Leash on Netflix as well.

    I give Benji 2018 a solid 2, its just bad
  • This movie was awful. It takes strange turn and it is completely pointless. Actress who plays their mother was so bad and she should really quit acting. I didn't care for any of the characters and it was shot badly too. There is 0 good points about this movie. Just awful.
  • The movie feels like it is out of 1974. I was delighted to see it captured the same magic the 1974 version had presented. Due to some scary scenes I would recommend children about the age of 9+ view the movie. It is definitely an above average family motion picture which will warm your heart.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    So basically at one point the kids get kidnapped by two guys wearing masks, and a lot of people thought that bit was scary. I found it creepy until the blonde guy's mask gets removed by the girl and he yells "you saw my face!!" And after that, I couldn't take him seriously and for me, he was quite funny, the rest of the film wasn't scary. Lol! I guess people could find that scary but I'm just too calm and at some points I was cringing
  • We loved this film. A little scary for younger children, but my 8 year old loved it. Good actors, including the dogs. Highly recommended.
  • Benji is an adorable dog but this movie is way to scary, and mature, for little kids! The kids' dad has passed away and they are left alone without any type of supervision while their mom works. They then get kidnapped by two creepy guys while trying to reclaim something of their dad's! It's like a scary Dateline episode! Don't watch with your lilttle ones (under 8 at least)!
  • I sat down with my 7 year old daughter to watch this because it looked like a sweet family movie. She started crying half way through and nearly cried the entire time. I wish it would have been more fun and heartwarming but it was sad and actually pretty scary for a young child. The kidnappers should have been toned down a bit. I don't think it was neccessary to make it so intense. It is supposed to be a family movie!
  • selinsev18 January 2019
    If your child will get scared then don't make them watch it!!!!! It's not even close to being a scary movie. It's absolutely the best movie for extreme dog lovers and dog owners. It made me cry so hard from happiness and it gave me a light on my point of view against life. If you need a good cry, you will definitely have it in this movie but because of happiness. I guarantee you, you will want to adopt a dog after watching this incredibly amazing movie!!!!!!
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