There is no love quite like that which both men and women (and children) have for “man’s best friend,” and there is quite possibly no film genre as emotionally triggering as the dog movie – especially when it has a sad ending, for instance with the dog dying after years of loving its human family unconditionally. (Even without dramatic demises, these are the dogs with the shortest lifespan.)
Sad endings are common in canine cinema. The dog is arguably Hollywood’s most endangered class of hero. Nonetheless, whether it’s in a live-action movie or in animation, dogs have shown that they are often an integral part of what makes a film great – and that humans need them. (Here are the 25 most iconic pets in movie history.)
To determine the best dog movies, 24/7 Tempo developed an index using average ratings of movies centering around a dog or multiple dogs on IMDb, an online movie database owned by Amazon, and a combination of audience scores and Tomatometer scores on Rotten Tomatoes, an online movie and TV review aggregator, as of August 2022, weighting all ratings equally.
While cinematic canines might often elicit an “Awwww,” the movies on the list are more than just cute. They all have something important to convey about the bond between us and our dogs, and frequently end up telling us more about the humans in the equation than the animals.
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