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Movie Review: The Secret Lives of Pets

Cary, NC The Secret Lives of Pets is a charming and funny family film that explores a world where pets reveal their true selves once their owners walk out that door.

Familiar Yet Funny Story

The film follows Max, voiced by comedian Louis CK, a terrier whose simple and pleasing life is turned upside down when his beloved human brings home another pet, Duke, voiced by Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family).

Now, if this all sounds a little familiar to you, you wouldn’t be wrong. The film borrows quite a bit from Toy Story. Actually, this is basically Toy Story but with pets. But what The Secret Lives of Pets lacks in originality, it makes up for in humor, heart and memorable characters.

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Hilarious Cast

A lot of the mileage this movie gets comes from its great cast. Louis CK is always surprising me as a performer, and while this isn’t the most difficult part, he still brings a sweetness and surprising amount of anger to Max, whose life was perfect before Duke showed up.

The rest of the cast is truly too big to name, but comedians such as Kevin Hart, Jenny Slate, Dana Carvey, Hannibal Buress and Ellie Kemper all bring great jokes and heart to the film. And even Albert Brooks, who also stars in the other big family film this summer, Finding Dory, gets a chance to get in on the fun. It also helps that the movie keeps allowing these actors to just throw joke after joke after joke, keeping the film moving at a quick and easy pace.

Good Heart To Go Along With Humor

But even more than humor, The Secret Lives of Pets ultimately focuses on friendship and acceptance, and that is what really wins me over. The film introduces likable characters, offers plenty of laughs and sneaks in a genuinely nice lesson that doesn’t feel like it’s being forced on you. It’s smart, simple and successful.

Worth Seeing

Overall, The Secret Lives of Pets is a very funny and worthwhile family film. Not quite Finding Dory good, but good nonetheless. Worth the price of admission!


Jordan Hunt covers movies for CaryCitizen. Read his Movie Reviews. Photos from Facebook.