78% of the critics like the film.
“Megan Leavey” isn’t a big, or particularly surprising picture; it sketches out a simple story and then, reliably delivers.
If you’re looking for a good cry, Megan Leavey gets the job done, I suppose. But it’s a bit like a wet kiss from a puppy.
The film – the feature directorial debut for Gabriela Cowperthwaite, whose orcas-in-peril documentary, Blackfish, struck a nerve – treats the handler/dog relationship with respect, not cheap sensationalism.
With a female-directed, female-driven film this small, criticizing it feels like beating a baby seal. While well intentioned, the human-and-dog interest story lacks narrative drive and star Kate Mara is a limp noodle.
The emotion in Megan Leavey is not forced. It flows, up and down the leash, just like it’s supposed to.
“Megan Leavey” works because it takes Leavey seriously as a character, and it studies her journey through her life and through the Marines before Rex is even a factor in the story.