Story

Max is an American adventure movie about a military-trained Belgian Malinois dog called Max. Max is intelligent, brave and handsome. He works with the US Marines in Afghanistan and his handler is Kyle Wincott (Robbie Amell). Kyle discovers that his friend Tyler (Luke Kleintank) has been illegally selling recovered weapons. Kyle tells Tyler that he won’t cover this up, so Tyler allows Kyle to be killed in battle. 

Without Kyle, Max falls into a terrible state. When Kyle’s family eventually takes him in, Max responds well only to Kyle’s brother Justin (Josh Wiggins). Justin himself is struggling to deal with Kyle’s death, as well as the pressure of living up to his family’s standards.

When Tyler visits the Wincott family, he tries to convince everyone that Kyle’s death was the result of Max becoming violent and turning on Kyle. But one night in the woods, Justin sees Tyler selling weapons. After a fight, Justin escapes from the woods with Max. They begin a crusade to prove that Tyler is guilty and to avenge Kyle’s death.

Themes

Relationships; war and conflict; military dogs; revenge

Violence

Max has some violence. For example:

  • The movie is set in Afghanistan and includes some war-related violence – for example, soldiers are killed in an explosion.
  • Dogs attack each other, and one dog is killed in a fight. 
  • Max becomes threatening and antisocial after Kyle dies. He’s locked up in a military cage, and he snarls and barks aggressively at everyone who walks past.
  • People threaten others with large guns and other weapons. One person is held at gunpoint. 
  • A character is pushed down a hill and breaks his leg as a result.

Content that may disturb children

Under 5
Children in this age group are likely to be disturbed by the violent scenes described above.

From 5-8
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, Max has some scenes that are likely to disturb children in this age group. For example:

  • Kyle’s death and funeral are very sad.
  • Max is injured near the end of the movie and lies on the ground as if dead for a moment. 
  • Another dog is injured.
     

From 8-13
Children in this age group might also be disturbed by some of the scenes mentioned above.

Over 13
Nothing of concern

Sexual references

None of concern

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

Max shows some use of substances, including when one character offers another character a bottle of beer. 

Nudity and sexual activity

Max shows some mild sexual activity and nudity, including when a teenage boy and girl kiss and embrace.

Product placement

None of concern

Coarse language

Max has some mild coarse language.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Max is an inspiring story about triumphing over loss and battling against evil. 

The movie follows US military dog Max as he recovers from the loss of his handler Kyle, together with Kyle’s brother Justin. The movie emphasises the importance of getting support from loved ones in difficult times. It also strongly highlights issues of morality, honesty and the importance of owning up to your mistakes. 

The movie is recommended for viewers over 13 years. We don’t recommend it for children under 10 years because of its violent scenes and scenes that show dogs being injured. We recommend parental guidance for children aged 10-13 years.

This movie could give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues like:

  • war and its impact on individuals and society
  • conflict and differences of opinion in families
  • grief and how it affects people who are bereaved.