Megan Leavey (film)

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Megan Leavey
Theatrical release poster
Directed byGabriela Cowperthwaite
Written by
Produced by
  • Mickey Liddell
  • Jennifer Monroe
  • Pete Shilaimon
CinematographyLorenzo Senatore
Edited byPeter McNulty
Music byMark Isham
Distributed byBleecker Street
Release dates
  • June 5, 2017 (2017-06-05) (Yankee Stadium)
  • June 9, 2017 (2017-06-09) (United States)
Running time
116 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Box office$14.5 million[2]

Megan Leavey (also known as Rex)[3] is a 2017 American biographical drama film directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite and written by Pamela Gray, Annie Mumolo, and Tim Lovestedt, based on the true events about a young female Marine named Megan Leavey and a combat dog named Rex. The film stars Kate Mara as the titular character, with Edie Falco, Common, Ramón Rodríguez, and Tom Felton in supporting roles.

The film was released on June 9, 2017, by Bleecker Street, received positive reviews and grossed $14 million.


Megan Leavey is a US Marine corporal who served as a Military Police K9 handler. She was paired with military working dog Rex (E168). The pair served two deployments in Iraq together. They were first deployed to Fallujah in 2005, and then to Ramadi in 2006, where they were both wounded by an improvised explosive device. Leavey was awarded the Purple Heart and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with a "V" device denoting heroism in combat.

In 2012, Rex developed facial palsy, which ended his bomb-sniffing duties. Leavey was able to adopt him through the intervention of Senator Chuck Schumer, around April 2012. Rex died on December 22, 2012.[4]


The real Megan Leavey is credited in the role of Female Drill Instructor #3, while Rex is portrayed by Varco, in an uncredited role.


On August 7, 2015, it was announced that Gabriela Cowperthwaite would be directing a film about Megan Leavey, to be portrayed by actress Kate Mara, and her military combat dog Rex.[5] The script was written by Pamela Gray, with the help of Annie Mumolo, Tim Lovestedt, and Jordan Roberts. LD Entertainment would produce the film.[5]

Principal photography on the film began on October 12, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina,[6][7] including scenes filmed at The Citadel, with other scenes filmed in Georgia and New York City, with extensive desert and combat scenes shot in Spain.


In January 2017, Bleecker Street acquired distribution rights to the film and set it for release on June 9, 2017.[8]

Home release[edit]

The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on September 5, 2017, from Universal Studios Home Entertainment.[9][10]

In the UK and Australia the film was released on DVD as Rex.


Box office[edit]

Megan Leavey was released alongside It Comes at Night and The Mummy and was expected to gross around $3 million from 1,956 theaters in its opening weekend.[11] It ended up grossing $3.8 million, finishing 8th at the box office.[12]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 85% based on 103 reviews, with an average rating of 6.8/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Megan Leavey honors its real-life subjects with a sensitive, uplifting drama whose honest emotion more than makes up for its mild approach to the story."[13] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating, the film has average score 66 out of 100, based on 25 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[14] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.[12]


Megan Leavey was among the 2017 films which were honored with the Truly Moving Picture Award at the Heartland Film Festival.


  1. ^ "Megan Leavey". AMC Theatres. Retrieved May 21, 2017.
  2. ^ "Megan Leavey". The Numbers. Retrieved July 2, 2018.
  3. ^ "Rex". Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  4. ^ "Beloved Bomb-Sniffing Dog Who Retired To Live With Marine Handler Dies". CBS New York. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  5. ^ a b Barraclough, Leo (August 7, 2015). "'House of Cards' Star Kate Mara to Play Iraq War Hero Megan Leavey". Retrieved October 19, 2015.
  6. ^ "Casting agency seeking extras for Kate Mara movie filming in Charleston". October 12, 2015. Retrieved October 19, 2015.
  7. ^ "On the Set for 10/16/15: 'Ab Fab: The Movie' & 'Planet of the Apes' Sequel Start Shooting While 'Star Trek Beyond' Wraps". October 16, 2015. Archived from the original on June 13, 2017. Retrieved October 19, 2015.
  8. ^ Lincoln, Ross A. "Kate Mara-Starring Iraq War Hero Biopic 'Megan Leavey' Gets Summer U.S. Release". Deadline. Retrieved January 1, 2017.
  9. ^ Megan Leavey (DVD). Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  10. ^ Megan Leavey (Blu-ray). Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  11. ^ "Tom Cruise's 'The Mummy' faces tough box-office battle against 'Wonder Woman". Los Angeles Times. June 7, 2017.
  12. ^ a b "'Wonder Woman' Soars On Saturday; 'Mummy' Still Crummy – Sunday AM Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. June 11, 2017.
  13. ^ "Megan Leavey (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved October 25, 2017.
  14. ^ "Megan Leavey reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved June 14, 2017.

External links[edit]