Megan Leavey is based on the true life story of a young Marine Corporal (Kate Mara) whose unique discipline and bond with her military combat dog saved many lives during their deployment in Iraq. When she is assigned to clean up the K9 unit after a disciplinary hearing, Leavey identifies with a particularly aggressive dog, Rex, and is given the chance to train him. Over the course of their service, Megan and Rex completed more than 100 missions until an IED explosion injures them, putting their fate in jeopardy.


There’s no lack of Hollywood movies that are based on true stories. But you got to bear in mind accuracy is somehow not Hollywood’s strongest forte.

In this surprisingly well-told movie (I suppose pretty true to source) which is based on a true story and person, Kate Mara (Fantastic Four 2015) plays Megan Leavey, a directionless young woman who found her life purpose after joining the marines. After being posted to the military dog unit, Megan became partner and friend to a ferocious German Shepherd, Rex. Before long, the two is posted to Ramadi for active duty when they encounter a life-threatening incident while on a mission.

Megan Leavey is a part war, part inspirational movie. For those seeking out some intense war sequences, Leavey delivers a heart-pounding combat sequence set in the middle of nowhere. It gamely reproduced the danger Megan and her bomb-sniffing partner is exposed to without resorting to flashy cinematic action treatment. You are definitely wrong if you think dog handlers and their canines are never stationed in the frontline in fact they are very much involved in most of the missions.

While Megan Leavey indeed have some scripting and pacing issues especially the third act when Megan begins to suffer from PTSD and her longing for Rex after she got out of active service, it’s still a good drama about love and loyalty. The low-key exchanges between Megan and her dad (Bradley Whitford) stood out for it’s earnesty while Common (John Wick 2) and Ramon Rodriguez (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen) plays Megan’s direct supervisor and boyfriend respectively.   

For a movie blessed with modest budget, the production values are generally solid, rivaling other similar themes movies such as American Sniper and Max. The debut feature of documentary filmmaker Gabriela Cowperthwaite (Blackfish) handles both the emotion and action aspects equally well. Adding to that, Kate Mara gives an outstanding, solid performance. Megan Leavey comes highly recommended for those seeking out some sentimental, meaningful titles.  


Never Give Up is a 2 minutes feature that delves into the character and story. 


Colours are satisfying and detailing on the DVD is fine for this digitally shot movie. The Dolby Digital 5.1 delivers an explosive thundering listening experience during the crucial sequence of the entire movie. The rest of the movie is peppered with impressive ambient sound effects. 



Review by Linus Tee



Genre: Drama
Starring: Kate Mara, Ramón Rodríguez, Common, Edie Falco, Tom Felton, Will Patton, Bradley Whitford
Director: Gabriela Cowperthwaite
Year Made: 2017


- Never Give Up


Languages: English
Subtitles: English/Spanish
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Running Time: 1 hr 56 mins
Region Code: 1