Metro Weekly

A Dog’s Purpose opens Friday amid controversy

Animal rights activists are calling for a boycott of Lasse Hallstrom's drama

A Dog’s Purpose, with Dennis Quaid

Animal rights activists are calling for a boycott of Lasse Hallstrom’s drama about a reincarnated dog (Josh Gad) who discovers the meaning of life through bonds with his humans. They’re upset by alarming footage that shows a german shepherd being aggressively manhandled by his trainer during the filming of a stunt.

As a result, the movie’s official premiere was cancelled. It’s all too bad, because Hallstrom is an amazing director — My Life as a Dog, The Cider House Rules — and this looked like a really sweet and entrancing film.

Before you decide to boycott, read producer Gavin Polone’s apology in The Hollywood Reporter in which he shifts blame on the incident to the American Humane Society.

Opens Friday, Jan. 27. Area theaters. Visit

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Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly.

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