A Dog's Purpose | Chicago Reader

A Dog's Purpose

In this gooey melodrama from director Lasse Hallström (The Cider House Rules, Chocolat), a dog's spirit, given voice by Josh Gad, is reincarnated in a series of canine bodies to serve humans and ascertain "the meaning of life." In the cliched story that bookends the film, a boy growing up in the 1960s tries to copes with his alcoholic dad, and 40 years later, when the boy is grown, grives for a lost love. The dog's lives in between, as a K9 for a Chicago police officer and a companion for a lonely female college student, are much more interesting, yet noticeably rushed and underdeveloped. Gad's voice-over often seems incongruous with the dogs' onscreen behavior, and he’s rarely as funny or touching as he tries to be. With Dennis Quaid, Britt Robertson, and Peggy Lipton.



  • Lasse Hallström


  • Josh Gad
  • Dennis Quaid
  • Peggy Lipton
  • Bryce Gheisar
  • K.J. Apa
  • Juliet Rylance
  • Luke Kirby
  • Gabrielle Rose
  • Michael Bofshever
  • Britt Robertson
  • Logan Miller
  • Kirby Howell-Baptiste
  • Pooch Hall
  • John Ortiz
  • Nicole LaPlaca
  • Primo Allon


  • Gavin Polone
  • Alan Blomquist
  • Mark Sourian
  • Lauren Pfeiffer

What others are saying