“MAX” – Nose of a Dog…. Heart of a Marine

Release Date: June 26, 2015

Running Time: 1 hours 51 minutes

Rated PG for action violence, peril, brief language and some thematic elements

Grade: B-

Directed By: Boaz Yakin

Written by Sheldon Lettich & Boaz Yakin


The nose of a dog, the heart of a marine, sounds like a hero to me.

Kyle Wincott is the eldest son of Ray and Pamela Wincott. As he serves as a Marine in Afghanistan, his Belgian Malinois, Max, becomes more than just a fellow soldier to him. When Kyle follows orders instead of Max’s instinct, tragedy ensues. On that fateful day, Max survived but has post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) from the incredible loss. Back in the states Ray and Pamela along with their youngest son, Justin, receive the visit that no military family wants to experience. Unfortunately, due to the PTSD, Max is unable to be re-assigned and is scheduled to be ‘put down’. Sergeant Reyes reaches out to the Wincott family in hopes of saving Max’s life. Justin reluctantly accepts the responsibility out of love for his brother. Can Max overcome his grief and prove his loyalty to his new family by sniffing out the truth?

It’s just a kid and his dog out there, let’s go!

From the producers of Marley & Me, Max is definitely a movie that will create buzz around the water bowl for quite some time. Inspired by a true story, Boaz Yakin (known for Remember the Titans) and Sheldon Lettich craft an emotional tail (I mean tale) about the effects of war on humans and service dogs. From the very first scene, I was drawn into the story and found myself tearing up, laughing, booing, and cheering as though this were an interactive film. The solid cast worked wonderfully around the canine stars. The young Dejon LeQuake stands out with his impressive comedic timing which helped lighten the serious nature of the film. Carlos as Max, with his big brown soulful eyes, was clearly the star of the film and displayed more charm and intelligence than some human actors! Join the pack and race into the theater to enjoy this one! ~Movie Buffette.

Max is the heartwarming story about the relationship between a dog (Max) and his humans (Kyle and later Justin). Max is clearly the star of the show, but his human supporting cast does a great job. The PG rated film is a mix of drama and action and will appeal to most audiences, especially those with strong military ties and dog lovers.

If Director Boaz Yakin’s goal was to make us feel, then he succeeded in bringing out our emotions. The film does a great job conveying the bond between a military working dog and his handler.  It also raises our awareness and hopefully makes us understand how animals can be affected with post-traumatic stress syndrome as well.  Be the alpha in your pack this weekend and take the pups to see Max.

~A.S. MacLeod


Thomas Haden Church as Ray Wincott

Lauren Graham as Pamela Wincott

Josh Wiggins as Justin Wincott

Robbie Amell as Kyle Wincott

Luke Kleintank as Tyler Harne

Jay Hernandez as Sergeant Reyes

Mia Xitlali as Carmen

Dejon LeQuake as Chuy

Joseph Julian Soria as Emilio

Atlas as Draco

Odin as Loki

Carlos as Max

About Leigh Ann Rassler