An injured dog finds its way into the hearts of a family after escaping an underground dog-fighting ring.
Belongs to Us is a very enjoyable watch! It’s a strong family-oriented movie with enough grit and drama to keep it grounded in reality. The film features a terrific story written by Amber Rapp, a remarkable music score which also suits the moods of the scenes, and fine acting all the way around.
A bad guy named Mercer (Scott Cordes) is involved in an illegal dog-fighting ring. His German shepherd is bitten while fighting and manages to get away. Young Paige Crowley (Brooklyn Funk) finds the dog rummaging through garbage and takes a liking to him, so she takes him home but hides him from her dad Travis (Ryan O’Nan). Paige’s family unit is tight, but they all have issues to deal with. Dad Travis wanted to be a big-league pitcher but only made it as far as the minor league. His job requires a lot of travel, so he isn’t always there. He lives his dream through his son Decklin (Matthew J. Lindblom), a star pitcher, who he expects a lot from. Travis’s wife has passed on, so his mother Hazel, who they call “Nana,” helps raise the kids, cooks, cleans and offers occasional advice.
Part of the fun of the film is the family being afraid to tell Dad about the new dog, named “Duke” by Paige. At one point, Paige, Deck and Nana all sit and stare with big smiles at Dad, who then inquires, “What are you doing—posing for a toothpaste commercial?” Paige likes Duke, but after Nana takes him to the vet, they learn that Duke was involved in illegal dog fights and that aggressive behavior could show up in him down the road. When a guy that knows Mercer spots his old dog being walked by Paige, the mystery is whether or not Mercer will manage to reclaim his dog and in the process break young Paige’s heart.
This wonderful movie is based on a great story and realistic moments of life. When Nana looks at Deck and reflects on how quickly the young man has grown up, he replies, “I held off as long as I could but nature had its way.” A moment of humor happens when Dad smells something on Paige (the dog). “It’s puberty” Paige tells her dad.
The movie features a tiny bit of language, and a few moments of violence that are fairly tame, along with some blood. We are awarding it our Dove Seal for Ages 12+.
The Dove Take:
Families everywhere will relate to this remarkable movie! It features growing pains, humor, a great story and a dog to boot. It’s a fun viewing experience.