Max (2015 film)

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Max poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Boaz Yakin
Produced by Karen Rosenfelt
Screenplay by
Music by Trevor Rabin
Cinematography Stefan Czapsky
Edited by Bill Pankow
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • June 26, 2015 (2015-06-26) (United States)
Running time
111 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $20 million[2]
Box office $44 million[3]

Max is a 2015 American family adventure drama film directed by Boaz Yakin, and co-written with Sheldon Lettich. The film stars Josh Wiggins, Mia Xitlali, Dejon LaQuake, Thomas Haden Church, Robbie Amell, Lauren Graham, Luke Kleintank, and Jay Hernandez. The film was released by Warner Bros. on June 26, 2015.


Max, a Malinois[4] used to help U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, is handled by Kyle Wincott (Robbie Amell) (Marine MWD). Kyle is questioned when weapons seized by his squad go missing. Realizing his friend Tyler Harne (Luke Kleintank) is among those involved with the shady dealings, he warns Tyler that he cannot cover for him. The two then go into the battlefield with their squad, with Max on point. While advancing on a suicide bomber, Max is injured by an explosion. In the ensuing gunfight, Kyle is shot and killed.

Kyle's brother Justin (Josh Wiggins), who makes money selling illegally copied video games, their mother Pamela (Lauren Graham) and their father Ray (Thomas Haden Church) are informed of his death. After Kyle's body is brought home for burial, the other Marines notice that Max is only calm when he is around Justin, apparently sensing that he is Kyle's brother. The family adopts the dog, who would otherwise be euthanized for his disturbed behavior. Justin initially wants little to do with Max but eventually warms up to him. While meeting up with his friend Chuy (Dejon LaQuake), Justin meets Chuy's cousin Carmen (Mia Xitlali), who offers to go to his house and show him some handling tricks for Max. Little by little, Max's behavior improves around other people.

Tyler visits the Wincott's one evening, provoking an aggressive response by Max. Later, after the Fourth of July, Ray asks Tyler what really happened. Tyler implies that Max turned on Kyle and caused him to discharge his weapon on himself, leading to his death. Justin decides to investigate the matter. Calling on one of Kyle's old friends, Sergeant Reyes, for help, he is given a DVD of Kyle training Max that moves him to tears.

Later, Justin is approached by Chuy's other cousin Emilio (Joseph Julian Soria), a cartel member, who presses him over a video game bootleg. Afterwards, Justin and Max follow Emilio into the woods, where they secretly observe a meeting between cartel members and Tyler, who tries selling stolen weapons to them. The cartel's dogs sense Max and run after him. Max fights them off, severely wounding one of the dogs, while Justin runs away and leaves his bike behind. When he gets home, he finds Tyler and Stack, the cartel's dog handler, who was injured in the melee. Feigning innocence, they accuse Max of doing harm and demand his euthanization.

Max is taken by animal control officers but escapes. Meanwhile, Ray catches Tyler making a business deal with the cartel but is held hostage by Emilio. Max makes it home and leads Justin, Chuy, and Carmen into the woods to rescue Ray. Confronting the cartel, they incapacitate Emilio and the last cartel dog and rescue Ray. Tyler and Stack chase after Justin and Ray, but Stack is killed after crashing his off-road pickup truck. Tyler corners Justin at a damaged bridge, but is attacked by Max. The two are knocked over the side of the bridge; while Tyler is killed by the fall, Max survives.

The family welcomes Max into their home. After Justin and Max visit Kyle's grave, they invite Chuy and Carmen over for dinner.

The start of the credits shows real photos of war dogs and trainers in many wars. Then it shows a statue of a war dog created by sculptor Susan Bahary.



In May 2014, Variety reported that Boaz Yakin would direct the family film titled Max for Warner Bros. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.[5] Principal photography began on May 12, 2014.[6]

Release and reception[edit]

The film was scheduled for release in the United States on January 30, 2015.[5] Then it was pushed back to August 21, 2015, and on March 3, 2015, it was moved two months forward to June 26, 2015.[7]

Box office[edit]

In the United States and Canada, Max opened simultaneously with the comedy Ted 2 across 2,850 theaters and was projected to earn around $10 million in its opening weekend.[2][8] It earned $500,000 from its Thursday night showings and $4.3 million on its opening day (including the Thursday previews).[9][10] Through its opening weekend, it grossed $12.2 million, fourth place among all films behind Jurassic World, Inside Out, and Ted 2.[11]

Critical response[edit]

Max has received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a rating of 35%, based on 82 reviews, with an average rating of 4.7/10. The site's consensus reads, "Max has good intentions and tries to hearken back to classic family-friendly features, but its disjointed, manipulative plot overwhelms the efforts of its talented human and canine stars."[12] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 47 out of 100, based on 25 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[13]

In CinemaScore polls conducted during the opening weekend, cinema audiences gave Max an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.[14]


A sequel, Max 2: White House Hero, was released theatrically on May 5, 2017. It released digitally on May 9, 2017, and released on Blu-ray and DVD on May 23, 2017.[15]


  1. ^ "MAX (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. April 15, 2015. Retrieved April 15, 2015.
  2. ^ a b Pamela McClintock (June 24, 2015). "Box Office Preview: Can 'Ted 2' Top 'Jurassic World,' 'Inside Out'?". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
  3. ^ "Max (2015)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  4. ^ Writers, Staff. "Going to Watch the Movie".
  5. ^ a b McNary, Dave (30 May 2014). "Dog Tale 'Max,' Starring Josh Wiggins, Fetches Jan. 30 Release Date". Variety. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
  6. ^ "On The Set For 5/12/14: Eliza Dushku Starrer 'Eloise' Starts, Adam Carolla's 'Road Hard' Wraps". Retrieved 2014-06-19.
  7. ^ Pedersen, Erik (2015-03-03). "Warner Bros Shifts 'Max' To June; RLJ Entertainment Ups One Exec, Hires Another". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2015-06-08.
  8. ^ Anthony D'Alessandro (June 24, 2015). "Potty-Mouth Bear & Military Dog To Brave 'Jurassic World', But Dinos Will Have Upper Claw – B.O. Preview". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
  9. ^ Anthony D. Alessandro (June 26, 2015). "'Ted 2′ Parties Thursday Night & Collects $2.6M; 'Max' Digs Up $500K". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  10. ^ Keith Simanton (June 25, 2015). "'Jurassic' and 'Inside' Adjust 'Teds Weekend". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 28, 2015.
  11. ^ Keith Simanton (June 28, 2015). "'Jurassic' Holds Off Challengers". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 28, 2015.
  12. ^ "Max". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  13. ^ "Max". Metacritic. Retrieved August 7, 2015.
  14. ^ Vince Mancini (June 28, 2015). "Weekend Box Office: 'Jurassic World' Outgrossed 'Ted 2′ By $20 Million". Uproxx. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
  15. ^ MAX 2: White House Hero arrives on Digital HD May 9 and on Blu-ray and DVD May 23 from Warner Bros.

External links[edit]