7.5/10 When I saw the trailer for Megan Leavey in theaters, I was extremely skeptical for two reasons. First off, the trailer gave away too much, which is a huge (wait for it…) PET peeve of mine. Dad joke aside, that is bad marketing. Lastly, since I was in the Marine Corps for five long years I was worried that Hollywood would portray the Marine Corps in an unrealistic fashion just for dramatic purposes. The amount of unrealistic military films I have seen is off the charts. So imagine my surprise when this film turned out to actually be really good. The way they portrayed the Marine Corps, the chain of command, punishments/ass chewings, how coming home on leave can actually be depressing instead of enjoyable, the struggles of getting out of the military, the strain it has on romantic and family relationships, etc. I was shocked at how real/relatable it all felt, despite having a different journey in the Marines than Megan Leavey did. Even if you were not in the military like I was, the film was still well acted (Kate Mara is underrated and it is refreshing to see Tom Felton not playing a total dick), emotionally engaging, had solid production values and despite some sad moments, remained uplifting. The action scenes were intense and portrayed the chaos well in its editing and cinematography. The film wasn’t some pro war or anti-war propaganda either. It was just one woman’s unique story of how the dog that she handled saved her life in more ways than one. I like dogs but am not obsessed with them like most people are so although I couldn’t relate to that bond that they had, the movie still portrayed it well to help people like me understand. The only complaints I had were minor (a couple cheesy moments, protagonist being unlikeable in certain parts, the trailer making it so I already knew about a bunch of stuff that was going to happen, etc.) so whether you are a fan of true stories, the military, dogs or just good movies, definitely give this underrated film a viewing.
#WhenTheLeaveyBreaks / #AllDogsGoToHelmand / #ADogsPurpose2 / #LadyAndTheBootCamp / #CommonValor / #TheFantasticCorps