Benji the Dove

Benji the Dove


The film, based on the critically acclaimed book of the same name, is a tender tale of four boys who are rapidly coming to terms with school, bullies, friendship and loyalty. Not to be limited by a poor upbringing, they tap their immense creativity and imagination to create The Order of the Red Dragon, a brotherhood of knights determined to fight injustice with justice. It’s terribly exciting, and life is one big adventure. But when fissures appear in the friendship, their adventure turns dark, and they are forced to face real-world dilemmas and muster all they’ve got to save each other.

Dove Review

Benji the Dove is a unique film focusing on a fresh and unusual story. A group of friends include Jeff, Manny and Benji. They hang out at the creek together and kid one another, with Jeff, the biggest of the group, punching Manny in the arm—just because he’s big enough to get away with it. A teen named Roland moves to the area from Scotland, and he’s very different. In his Scottish accent he speaks of knights and of Robert the Bruce and of fighting for justice. The boys take to him, and soon Roland is teaching them about Scottish history and legends; they gather together wooden swords and shields and costumes and become the “Red Dragons.” Roland knights them, including Benji, who is knighted as “Benji the Dove.”

Unfortunately, the bullies of the small town mock them by dressing in black and calling themselves the “Black Feathers”; their goal is to defeat the Red Dragons and to fight against the justice they wish to uphold. For a time Jeff joins the Black Feathers’ side but later realizes the error of his way. The characters are strong in this one, and each boy stands out in some way.

The film features some wonderful themes, including helping the elderly—in this case, an elderly woman, Mrs. Odell, whose home is damaged, and they raise funds to help rebuild it. It also focuses on harsh reality, as Jeff’s father is verbally abusive and even smashes a beer bottle on his son’s wooden shield. Yet another terrific theme is friendship and how friends are there for one another. One of the boys encounters his first crush and hopes to dance with the girl at an upcoming event. While there are good points regarding the movie, however, the strong language in the film is another matter and prevents us from awarding our Dove-Approved Seal.

The Dove Take

This film features teen boys that want to do noble deeds, but the boys’ use of strong language means the film hasn’t earned a family rating for our Dove-Approved Seal.

Content Description

Faith: None
Integrity: There is a group of kids that want to become "knights," good ones, and fight for justice and do good deeds.
Sex: A teen couple kisses a few times.
Language: "Jesus"-1; H-5; A-7; D-2; Slang for testicles-2; Holy S (not completely said)-1; several other uses of mild language.
Violence: A character jokingly punches other characters in the shoulder; bullying by a few kids; a bully pulls a knife; a bully cuts a rope holding a young man on a raft and it leads to a tragedy; a few fights; a bully is tripped; a dad breaks a beer bottle on his son's wooden shield as the boy holds it up; a woman's house is damaged by vandals.
Drugs: A father appears to be drinking beer.
Nudity: None
Other: Death and grief; a father is verbally abusive to his son; tension between characters.


Company: Principal Film Finance Ltd
Director: Kevin Arbouet
Genre: Family
Runtime: 88 min.
Reviewer: Ed C.