While films like American Sniper have examined the impact of recent military conflicts on US soldiers, the story of the animals serving alongside them remains somewhat obscure. That might change this summer with the release of Max, a heartstrings-tugging drama about a US military service dog afflicted by PTSD.
When a US marine dog handler (Robbie Amell) is killed in the line of duty, his service dog, Max, is so traumatized by the loss that he’s unable to work with any other handler. The marine’s grieving family adopts Max, and so follows a difficult bonding between the dog and the family’s young son (Josh Wiggins), who must overcome his own loss while learning how to relate to the dog in order to help him recover. Meanwhile, former associates of the deceased marine enter the family’s lives as part of some clearly shady deals, and conflict between them and the family patriarch (Thomas Haden Church) brings Max’s and the family’s recovery to a head. Here’s the first trailer for the film, in which the emotional beats are ramped to Sarah MacLachlan levels, so prepare to feel things.
Directed and co-written by Boaz Yakin (Remember The Titans), the film also stars Lauren Graham, Luke Kleintank, Joseph Julian Soria, Dejob LaQuake, and Miles Mussenden. It hits theaters June 26.