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Marley & Me Review Critics


Dave White Profile

...bring some tissue. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 30

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    You'd have to be made of granite to resist all the charms of a free-spirited, 100-pound Lab. Yet the production manages, against heavy odds, to make its canine star an incorrigible bore.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Marley & Me might be easy to watch, but -- even for die-hard canine lovers -- it's as easy to forget.

    Read Full Review

  • 60

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    A warm and fuzzy family movie, but you do wish that at least once someone would upstage the dog.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    When Marley is not on the screen, Wilson and Aniston demonstrate why they are gifted comic actors. They have a relationship that's not too sitcomish, not too sentimental, mostly smart and realistic.

    Read Full Review

  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Wilson has a scene near the end with Marley that's the most wrenchingly tender acting of his career.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Marley & Me reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 13+

Touching comedy deals with emotional themes.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although the lighter side of this family-targeted dramedy has been played up in the marketing campaign, it does tackle themes like loss and mourning. While Marley's rambunctious antics will certainly amuse kids, there's some emotionally challenging material here. On the up side, there's not a lot of other problematic content; language is mild ("ass" and "damn") and sexuality is more implied than shown, though the characters do discuss topics like getting pregnant, and there's one nude swimming scene (but nothing much is on display).

  • Families can talk about how challenging behavior can be frustrating but can also help families bond. When Marley destroys a couch or eats a beloved piece of jewelry, his owners fret over their material loss. But in the end, he's brought them together in a way that his absence wouldn't have allowed.
  • Are there members of your family whose behavior pushes limits? How much is too much?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: Shows the challenges of caring for and training a high-maintenance pet and how it can bring out the worst in some people, but also how difficult situations can bring families together.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Sebastian is a womanizer, and he uses props to entice women whenever hecan -- including using Marley as babe bait and even pushing a strollerover to a comely woman for attention. Marley can bring outless-than-honorable behavior in people. His misbehavior prompts John tocall him "the worst dog in the world" and causes Jenny to demand thathe be taken from the house and put in a shelter.

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence: Marley's out-of-control behavior isn't violent, per se, but he wreakshavoc wherever he goes. A neighbor has been attacked in one scene --viewers don't see the violence, but she suffers a knife wound, implyingthe violence that befell her.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Though no sexual activity is explicitly shown, it's implied, especially in a creaky bed at an Irish inn. Content relating to reproduction (getting pregnant, miscarriage, birth control) might be too mature for younger viewers. Some shots of women in bikinis on the beach; a supporting character has lots of lecherous maneuverings. Jenny swims seductively in the nude, enticing John to collect his "birthday present." Marley humps the dog trainer's leg.

  • language false2

    Language: Predictable for a dog-centric movie: "crap" and "poop." Other language includes "ass," "damn," and "goddamn."

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: Jenny and John pursue the American dream: a nice house in a good neighborhood, a nice car, a big trip, etc. But the pursuit is also a struggle, and viewers see how John and Jenny sacrifice to gain the material pleasure that they eventually achieve. Specific products/brands shown/mentioned include Volvo, the Philadelphia Enquirer and the New York Times.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: John mentions having taken bong hits in his youth. John and Sebastian usually bond over a beer. Parties involve drinking wine or champagne.