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Megan Leavey

"It's a movie about a woman and her dog, about the love - yes, love; not just a bond, but real, actual, soul-nurturing, life-expanding love - that can happen between a human being and an animal." - San Francisco Chronicle

"When the story you’re telling involves a Marine and her combat dog, you know it’s going to be high on emotion, both the pulse-pounding and the heartstring-tugging varieties. The key is to not overplay the hand. Gabriela Cowperthwaite seems to recognize that in her direction of 'Megan Leavey,' letting this irresistible real-life story tell itself with a minimum of manufactured sentiment.

"The title character (winningly played by Kate Mara) is a restless young woman who enlists as the Iraq war is starting, mostly to escape small-town nowheresville, and then by happenstance finds herself doing kennel-cleaning duty for the bomb-sniffing dogs at Camp Pendleton. She soon is in training herself with a German shepherd named Rex, learning the ins and outs of forming a partnership with a highly specialized animal.

"'Everything you feel goes down-leash,' a trainer tells her. 'If you’re not confident, he’s not confident.'

"The two are deployed to Iraq, and it’s not hard to guess what’s coming, since we have seen this type of harrowing work in documentaries and news coverage. But the war isn’t really the point here; the relationship between a woman and a dog is. After both return, injured, to the United States, the story turns to Leavey’s battle to be given custody of Rex." - Critics Pick, New York Times

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