Hachi: A Dog's Tale (2009) Poster

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Unprecedented loyalty in a story of age-old friendship
Davor-Blazevic-19594 January 2010
Knowing the real-life story behind it, Hachiko: A Dog's Story (2009) has been made in a sort of staged documentary style, similar to the kind of movies often seen on documentary channels (e.g. NatGeo), however without a narrator so common in documentaries, and including well-known actors (Richard Gere, Sarah Roemer and Joan Allen), making it more suitable for theatrical distribution.

Before my last year's visit to Tokyo I've been unaware of the true-life story this movie is based upon. In time an occasion came up to meet a friend in Shibuya city, contemporary center of Tokyo's youth culture (shopping, fashion, nightlife...), and that's how I've learned about the popular local meeting point for all Tokyoites, the Hachikō Akita dog statue just outside of Shibuya Train Station, but the real story behind it has been still eluding me ever since. After seeing this movie, and some additional research on the web, all pieces have fallen into place.

In retelling the story of common bonding between the dog and its owner, so usual that it comes so natural, film is moving at slow pace, following events of an ordinary life, though not without occasional comedic and dramatic overtones. Even past the dramatic highpoint, when common acts of affection and loyalty evolve towards such an unheard-of faithfulness and ultimate devotion, pace of the storytelling does not change, relying primarily on fine details and emotional build-up. Of course, this might not attract everybody, providing that majority of movie audience today is highly dependent on fast paced, action packed scenes, getting thrills from 3D CG stylized ambiance and suspense, high volume amplitudes and aggressive, often rude highlights of any other nature. However, for those who can do without it, and keep alive their interest even in a simple story, who won't shy away from emotional involvement (as if this can be controlled), they shall easily find themselves consumed by its mere beauty and warmth. Usual man's-best-friend story, spiced with an intriguing yet inspiring detail, shall leave you a bit sad, inevitably pensive, but ultimately delighted. Even more so after the reading of the real-life epilogue.
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Extremely Emotional
surfer-lancealot2 February 2010
Well what can i say. I'm a guy i don't cry about movies i know its fake but i gotta say this one caught me by surprise even tho id watched the trailer and read a few reviews already. by the end of the movie i was in tears absolutely broken down crying my eyes out. and saying that i probably haven't shed a tear in about 8 years for anything but i love dogs and this is the most amazing story I've ever seen this is probably the best movie I've seen in about 10 years and i have seen almost everything.

as u can prob tell i would advise everyone to see this and stop and think for a moment if we all cared for each other like we know we should like this movie teaches us wouldn't the world be a better place?
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Couldn't stop crying
elish-enuma-14 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I'm not at all an emotional person,but this movie really touched me,i couldn't even stop crying after 15 minutes from the final.I just sat on my armchair,and started to cry. This movie,teaches us first of all about love,there is no power bigger than love,nothing compares to this strong feeling. I'm really objective when it comes about movies,and honestly no one till now,have cut me as deep. It's surprising...but true,that everything in this world,is ruled by love,and if you thought that only humans are aware of this,you did wrong. I liked the performance,i loved the music(it was so so calm)

So glad to see this film,and i truly recommend it for everyone,i'm really sure you will enjoy it.
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Enough to make a grown man cry!
JapanGaijin23 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Hachi is a movie based on the true story about a dog in Japan, Hachiko, who would wait at the train station every day for his owner to arrive even after the owner passed away.

I have never seen the original Japanese version of the movie but know the story well as I have been told by many people here in Japan. There is a statue of Hachiko that stands outside of Shibuya Station in Tokyo. Now the statue is the most popular place for Tokyoites to meet their friends before going out shopping or dining in Shibuya.

Unlike other Japanese remakes, this movie actually gives credit to the original story so that you don't get the sense that Hollywood wants to call it its own. All actors/actresses in the movie do a superb job in making you feel as if you were a part of the community embracing the dog. Compared to the original story, people were more accepting of Hachi rather than considering him a nuisance. Of course this is going to be released in the U.S. as a holiday movie so the goal is to make it uplifting.

Just a warning, do take many tissues. I am a grown man and can honestly say that I have never really cried during a movie. I think the score of the movie plus the dog being so adorable made me lose myself. When I looked around the theater though, every single person was crying and I saw a lot of red eyes as I left the Men's restroom. Any movie that can make me do that deserves a 10/10.
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Be sure to take tissues!
lectrolux16 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Well, I just came back from seeing this in Shinjuku earlier and I can honestly say that I have NEVER seen so many people crying at the end of a movie.... it really is a sad story.

However, it's also a heartwarming tale of loyalty, about how people and dogs are more than just friends and, I guess most of all, about how a dog's love for its master never fades - even after his/her death!

Richard Gere was fantastic in this movie, he bonded really well with the dog and it never felt like watching an actor at all - it genuinely seemed to be a movie with his own dog!

I highly recommend this to people of all ages. There are enough bits to laugh at (seeing Richard Gere teaching his dog to play 'fetch' was brilliant!) and the story is portrayed really well (even if there were some changes made to the original Japanese tale)
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So Touching and Real!
maria_c5417 August 2009
I just saw this movie today, and I'm so glad I did.

It is based on a true story and it's only natural that the movie is great because the real story itself is very touching. One of the things that sets this movie apart from the other movies that involve animals is how they stuck to reality instead of throwing in some a-little-hard-to-believe elements here and there just to make it more entertaining.

Sometimes they show things through Hachi's eyes as opposed to human eyes, which helps you relate to him and understand how he felt and what he thought then, as well as emphasizes that Hachi is the main character of the movie.

This is not just a kids' movie. In the end everyone including myself was crying because we were so moved. It is a must-see.
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If You've Ever Owned a Dog, Don't Miss This Film About Loyalty Love and Devotion.
bobnsri19 November 2009
Finally a film without explosions, computer graphics, and violence. A family film with a message. Adults will relate to the story of life-long friendship and loyalty. Children will love the "dog story" A tender story will huge box office potential. The possible "sleeper hit" of the holidays. Pet lovers everywhere will relate to this film and will leave theaters in tears. A weepy, wonderful film about the bond that develops between one man and a dog after a chance meeting at a train station. Bring extra tissues! Based on a true story, this film was shot mostly in Woonsocket, Rhode Island at a historic old train station. Beautifully shot and edited. The film runs less than 2-hours. The film generally adheres to the actual true story of a dog in Japan. The dog became a national treasure and a monument was erected to honor him.
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Not sad, but eyes red
pchk-629-360118 January 2010
Finally a film from the USA (albeit based on a true story in the 1920s Japan) that is without guns, explosions and free of violence and not based at all on romantic elements!

"Love and Loyalty" succinctly sums up the film. The love so simple, so pure and the loyalty so unfailing, so steadfast that it would melt any steel heart. I was so embarrassed that as soon as the film came to the end I dashed straight into the loo only to see my eyes sore red (!!)

The main characters never "take flight" but that matters not at all. It's the simple story of the love between a man and his best friend that more than sufficiently works all the wonders. Not a sad one, but profoundly touching, So touching that even a tough guy like me couldn't possibly hold his tears.

Hachiko, the Akita dog, has set the Yardstick of loyalty under which all loyalty among us human beings are to be measured. Loyalty that is truly monumental. Loyalty that is to be surpassed only by God Himself.

A must-watch film, especially for all dog lovers. Highly recommended for all families and people of all ages.
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Will not leave you the same
nainwal6 March 2010
I think at the end of the day, what matters in a movie is how different it leaves you after you've watched it. It could be technically brilliant and leave you in amazement about how a narrative can be structured, leave you thinking about an issue from a totally unique perspective or just leave you thinking.

But if you believe that the impact a movie has on you is important - you cannot afford to miss this movie. I've never written a review in the past 7-8 years of using IMDb but signed up just so I could say how much I loved this movie.

I read a couple of reviews talk about crying during the movie and thought it odd. I can't remember the last time I cried during a movie - but towards the last 15 minutes of the movie I didn't only cry - I cried from the depth of my heart, not out of sadness but from a much deeper sense of realization the power of true love and how it can manifest itself. You hear so many times that there is 'God' in all of us if we can realize it - at the end of this movie you will know why it's true.

It's a must watch movie.
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You cannot get it any better than this
ankurin5 February 2010
Its really hard to articulate when you have so much to write and so little words to express. And even lesser words which could actually help you convey what you want to say. The closest word which comes to my mind in this case is 'stupendous'.

Hachiko is a true story about a dog in Japan and the special bond he shared with a professor whom he met when it was a little puppy. The story has been put forward exceptionally well by the cast and the director.

The movie has been kept extremely simple with minimum effort on the scenes, yet remarkably you are kept spellbound after a couple of minutes into the movie. And as the other reviews suggest, making the whole theater grab onto their tissues explains how good it really is.

Lastly, coming for someone who also rates 'Eight below' as one of his favorite's, a high rating of Hachiko would seem a little biased to many. But in my honest opinion I don't think that anybody who has watched this movie can rate it below 10.
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Well-written and filmed, really touching.
whateveer15 November 2009
I first knew about "Hachiko: A Dog's Story" because of Sarah Roemer, my favorite actress. When I read more about this movie and found out that Richard Gere and Joan Allen were in the cast too, I was really excited.

I saw the movie on 29 Setember at "Festival do Rio de Janeiro" and I loved it! It's really powerful and touching. I loved how they showed the dog's vision in black & white.

The only thing that I didn't like at all was that the characters seems to "never take flight". I know Parker (Richard Gere) and the dog Hachiko are the main characters, but I think that the other characters could have been explored a bit more. But I do understand why it wasn't done.

If you are a dog person, you will definitely love this movie! It's a sad, beautiful story that touches everyone's heart! A must-see.
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cstschnarr3 November 2009
Saw this movie while traveling in Belarus it brought me to my knees this was a show of the ages and without question a Richard Gere classic and performance of a lifetime this show will be Seen for Years and lifetimes to come I have been back in the U.S. for 2 weeks now and tell everyone about it I think of it many times a day it was yes----that good this is a movie You will never ever forget or get it out of your mind and heart will see it again when it opens in the US in December you may think this is a over statement but when you leave the theater it will be a known fact you will remember this show for ever it was and is a classic forever and a true story to boot...... wow.
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A true story and one of the best films of all time ! (not exaggerating)
StarGlitter4 February 2010
I have watched some touching and moving movies in my lifetime and about 2 movies have made me cry, However i was crying my eyes out when i was watching this Hachiko movie. I was crying for a good 10 -15 minutes even after this movie ended. I have browsed through the comments and reviews on this IMDb board and on other online forums and have noticed that so many other people who watched this movie have also cried. I really think NO OTHER MOVIE has made so many people cry. Whenever i saw Hachiko go to the station and sit there waiting oblivious to the fact his owner died, my heart died a little each time.

Knowing that this movie was actually based on a real life story set in the 1920s-1930s in Tokyo whereby an Akita-breed dog waited in front of the Shibuya train station day by day around the same time at the same spot for NINE WHOLE YEARS for his beloved university professor Professor Ueno to come back from work, really breaks my heart.

No animal or human would ever sit in front of the station to wait for someone they love for THIS LONG (9 FREAKING YEARS). This dog Hachiko must have had such ENORMOUS love for his owner that he would throw his life away (9 years is like 7 decades in dog years) waiting in front of the station at the RIGHT TIME each day.

How clever are dogs? Real-life Hachiko somehow knew how to read the time in order to wait at the station at the same time everyday for 9 years. Waiting for 9 years- wow! I never knew that the extent of an animal's LOVE and DEDICATION and PERSISTENCE could reach those heights.

In real life, Hachiko's was given away after his master's death, but he routinely escaped, showing up again and again at his old home. This showed that Hachiko loved his original owners (Ueno and his wife and kids) too much to let go of his master Ueno or his memory of him and wanted to return to his remaining living owners.

Eventually, Hachiko's apparently realized that his Professor Ueno no longer lived at the house. So he went to look for his master at the train station where he had accompanied him so many times before. How smart and clever is that of a dog? The other original owners of Hachiko had moved to a different location and Hachiko could not find his other living original owners since he is a dog and so he decided to wait in front of the railway station like he always used to do for his master to turn up and be reunited with him,

This real life story of Hachiko clearly demonstrated UNDYING, UNCONDITIONAL LOVE FOR ANOTHER since both the PHYSICAL ABSENCE of his owner Professor Ueno and the PASSING OF TIME would not diminish Hachiko's love and UNFLINCHING LOYALTY for his original master Ueno. This real life story also reminds us about HOW LOVE CAN MAKE ANYONE (INCLUDING ANIMALS AND DOGS) do CRAZY THINGS for someone they love.

Somehow I just wished that in real-life, the wife and family of Professor Ueno should have just placed lifeless body of Professor Ueno on the floor for a while for Hachiko to sniff and inspect the body. This might sound crazy to all you people reading this but i believe that dogs know about life and death and would be able to tell if a fellow dog or a human is dead.

I am quite sure that Hachiko, being clever enough to wait at the station at the same time everyday for 9 years, would be able to figure out that Ueno was dead. Then this would have given Hachiko at least CLOSURE, then he would not have to wait for 9 years.

You can read up on the real life story of Hachiko in this Wikipedia page which also lists all the Japanese films made about Hachiko. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hachiko Or you can just Yahoo! Or Google Hachiko's real life story for more information.
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This movie is pure heart and soul
nginx27 February 2010
This is my first ever review. I have been a reader of user reviews on IMDb for a few years and this is the first time I felt I had to write something about a film. I will try and not spoil the film for you. The film is based on a real story which took place in Japan from 1923-1935 about a dog named Hachiko who used to wait for his master's return at the train station everyday for 9 years even after his master passed away. That's the basic plot, the rest you just have to see to actually feel the story.

Just finished watching this movie yesterday and still can't get it out of my head. A feeling of sadness has engulfed me after watching this. I am at a loss for words to describe this movie as no other movie has ever touched me so deeply. I was pretty much crying and sobbing the entire second half of the film and by the time it was over, it brought me down to my knees.

Richard Gere was at his usual best but the real highlight of the film was the acting of the dogs. They were incredible in how they were able to portray the range of emotions through their facial expression and body language. The music throughout the film was brilliant too and that helped in driving home the felling of sadness and loneliness that Hachi went through.

I had a dog too and it brings back memories of how sad and depressed I felt for a month after he passed away. I have experienced such undying, unconditional love and loyalty from my dog too and it made this movie extra special for me. If there was ever a movie that I will remember for the rest of my life, this has to be it. This is a must see for any person with a heart and soul. I know I am a better person today after watching this and I am confident it might also have the same effect on some of you. Thanks for reading and do take care whoever you are. Love your dogs and always remember that he will always be there for you even in your darkest, loneliest hours.
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Absolutely Outstanding
jcasso6 February 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Well I'm a man of few words i don't review movies and i Don't cry.

Not after seeing this movie, i felt a need to pass some type of judgement on it.

Im a dog person so the title caught my eye i had no idea what it was about or if there was any truth behind the story until just before the credits.

From the second the Akita pup came on screen and the bond was so clearly apparent, i was in tears, not once during this film can i honestly say my eyes were dry.

For remake of a Japanese film its outstanding no guns no big bangs and no cars on 2 wheels, no fancy CGI apart from the seasons change scene outside the station.

Well done and bravo again for a superb movie.

We could all learn something from this movie!
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Loyalty: A Trait To Be Admired
ccthemovieman-118 March 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I don't think you find a better example of a dog's devotion to his master than this one, a based-on-a-true-life tale of a dog who was into a routine of meeting his beloved male owner every day at 5 p.m. at the train station.

I saw this movie a week ago and I still can't get it out of my mind. If the words "love" and "loyalty" mean anything to you, this is a nice story see unfold.

The only major mistake made in this movie is that it should have been done as a 1920s period piece. I say that because throughout the story, the dog runs free around the town/city, which is impossible today with leash laws everywhere.

Whatever, the story is still very good, very memorable and very touching in spots near the end. The only spoiler I'll use is a good one: if you fear watching an animal film with a bad/sad ending, you're safe: the dog survives....that's all I'll say on that.

Kudos to Richard Gere for a nice performance. This is definitely not he kind of film he usually does but he explains in a bonus feature, "I read the script, cried, and couldn't say no." The story was too good for him to pass up. That's my recommendation to you: go rent the DVD, sit back and enjoy a nice memorable tale of man's best friend.
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A truly inspiring story
Abbye-Sei17 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of the best films that I have ever watched, it is the most heartwarming and yet the most heart wrencking movie, can't recall any film have such emotional impact on me. I still keep thinking about the story and every time when I think about it, I felt sad and so sorry for both the Prof and the dog, I am sure this is a film I won't forget ... the soundtrack is another praise.., definitely a classic for Richard Gere..

Although the movie centered on the bond/love between Hachi and his human parent, this is also a story about love between spouse, love between friends, father-daughter love and most of all, a close knit community of people with a big heart...

My favourite scene is where Mrs Wilson come back to town after 10 years and found Hachi still waiting, so touching I can't control my tears... the closing scene is just devastating, Hachi died still dreaming of his master coming out of the train station.....

This is a must see movie for every dog lovers. For human, dogs may just be a part of our life, but for the dog(s), we are everything they got. Again, Richard Gere is just superb and natural, so did Joan Allen. And lastly the dogs are so cute and adorable.

A truly remarkable wait - 10 years... words failed to describe the amount of love, devotion and loyalty Hachi had for Parker...
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Timeless tale about the uncircumstantial and undying love
usasikh14 February 2010
Warning: Spoilers
If your date is late an hour or so , you would most likely leave. You wouldn't wait 2 or 3 hours , let alone a day for he or she. Think about it, would you wait all your life for someone to return. Over time we tend to forget, and move on with our lives. That's in our nature, We humans have the tendency to forget. This story is great portrayal of a Dog who's whole revolves around one man, Parker. Its a simple story told in a simple manner, yet it nearly brought tears to my eyes. The scene of Mrs. Parker returning to the town, and finding old and tired Hachiko still waiting explodes the screen with raw emotion.

I have a dog, and he doesn't fetch either.

Mans best friend has never been a man.

SEE the movie............
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A movie that can make a Stoned Heart person Cry!
thekashif5 March 2010
I considered myself a stoned heart person when it comes to watching emotional movies but not until I saw this movie. I am a 30 year old grown up and for the first time in my life I cant stopped myself crying. I never ever cried before during a movie but this movie is exceptional and I will not forget this movie whole my life.

I don't like dogs and I am a big time Cat lover but the scenes were extremely emotional and I am thinking that it would be better if I avoided this movie. I know one thing I ll become sad whenever I remember this movie in my life and I have a deep impact of this movie.

Its the most Emotional and Sad movie I have ever seen and I am sure it will remain the most emotional movie ever.

I give this movie 10/10 for proving me wrong that I cant Cry!
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A Touching Story of Loyalty and Love
claudio_carvalho25 March 2010
In Bedridge, Professor Parker Wilson (Richard Gere) finds an abandoned dog in the train station and brings the dog home with the intention of returning the animal to its owner. He finds that the dog is an Akita and names it Hachiko; however, nobody claims the dog and his family decides to keep Hachi. Along the years, the popular Hachi waits for Wilson in the square in front of the station. When Wilson dies at school, Hachi keeps waiting for his owner along the years until the day the meet each other.

I was quite anxious waiting for the release of "Hachiko: A Dog's Story" on DVD. I had read in the newspaper the story of the Japanese dog that had waited for nine years for his deceased owner in the 20's in Japan and I expected a good adaptation of this story of loyalty and love by Lasse Hallström. This melodramatic movie has a great cast, with Richard Gere, Joan Allen and the dogs that should be nominated to the Oscar with their expressions and acting, better than many actors and actresses that we frequently see on the screen. Be ready for tears and bring handkerchiefs and tissues together with the popcorn to the sofa, and watch a really beautiful movie with your family. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Sempre ao Seu Lado" ("Always at Your Side")
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The most wonderful film I have ever seen.
cdh114921 July 2010
Wow, I joined this site to write a review on this amazing film. I walked into the video store this evening and grabbed it at random because of the dog on the cover and Richard Gere. I just had a feeling.

What can I say, no other film has touched me as much as this and I don't think one ever will. Its off the scale. Its starts off slow but it quickly turns into such an endearing film, it makes you think about things you take for granted and a dog does this better than any actor.

I'm a grown man, never cry, this film had me fighting back tears because I didn't want people to see me, I went to the bathroom and balled my eyes out after it. I even joined this site to encourage more people to watch it.

If you have to see one film in your life time, see this.

It breaks all barriers. I was going to make a backup of it, but I want to reward the amazing people who made this film by buying it.

I don't think I can ever sit through this film again, but I want it on my shelf as a wonderful reminder.

Honestly, this is a film that I will never forget and one I will encourage people to watch at any given opportunity.

This film will make any human being cry.
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If you love your dog...watch this film.
spocktom30 June 2010
I watched this film with no preconceptions and not really knowing much about the story beforehand. All I knew was that it was based on real events in Japan. I deliberately didn't read the blurb on the DVD case because I wanted to "discover" the story for myself.

I have always owned and loved dogs. Some people love their cats but I'm amongst the many who just really care for their pet dogs. Now I won't spoil the story for you except to say that after a bit of a slow start this film draws you in. As another poster said...it will teach you much about the quality of love and loyalty.

I can only warn you to have plenty of tissues on hand because if you are a human being with functioning emotions you are going to cry...a lot! I am a fifty year-old "grumpy old man" but I bawled like a baby for nearly half an hour after watching this film. I also let my Staffordshire Terrier come up onto my lap (and she is VERY heavy) and I hugged her for an age! I will never look at a dog the same way again after seeing this film and I will treasure it for as long as God allows me to live.
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Great movie but oh so moving
csicker4 April 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I do not feel a need to summarize this movie as many others have done this already, but I do want to tell you my and my family's reaction to it.

Last night we were all sitting in our living room, piled up on our couch, huddled under blankets with our two loyal dogs snuggled up with us. First half of the movie we are all feeling warm and fuzzy, laughing at the familiar goings on between owner and faithful dog. Second half of the movie, after owner dies, I get a big sore lump in my throat that won't go away. Shortly afterward I hear sniffles all around. Our dogs get bigger hugs. Tears begin to stream down my cheeks. Full out sobs by the end of the movie. Light go on. Not a dry eye in the house.

The day after, I woke up with tears in my eyes. My son is still crying. My 17 year old daughter is mad at me for showing her such a sad movie. But their dad is reading all about Hachiko on the internet and I am writing a review about the movie (which I never do).

This is a truly wonderful movie that will leave you feeling sad, but in a good way. But beware, my kids loved it but ultimately wished they had not seen it as it made them too sad.

Cinematically well made. Slow moving but not boring. Kudos all around.
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Handkerchiefs Everyone
dmontano5523 February 2010
I saw this movie again for the sixth time and I'm still crying. How on earth does someone decides to put this as a short shelf life and not consider this movie to come out during the Xmas holiday. You have two superb actors, Richard Gere and Joan Allen. Can you get better than that. Shame on the film industry. I couldn't get my own brothers to watch this film for a second time. They were so heart wrenched in watching it the first time around. The music, the dog and the acting made this film possible. I saw it six times and every time I saw it, I cried. It's based on a true story and everyone I know that has seen it, can't have enough tissues handy. You chose Marley & Me to come out during the holidays and while I liked it and read the book, there is no comparison. This was a beautiful movie in every which way.

This is an amazing story about loyalty and unconditional love. I saw the Japanese version of it and while it was very good, I stilled loved the US version of it. I don't know what possessed the film industry to ignore putting this film on the silver screen because it was so beautifully well written and the music was amazing. I believe this movie came out when Marley and Me did, and while I enjoyed Marley and Me, there were more lessons to be learned by this movie and not by a precocious dog, but one who was truly loyal. I guess because it was based on a true story, it makes it all the more heart wrenching that something like this actually happened. If you're a dog lover, you will love this film, because you could associate yourself with the character that Richard Gere played. He was actually very good, but the accolades go to the dog that played Hachi. I was so mesmerized by this movie, the cast. the music and the dog, that I ordered it from Amazon.com in Blue Ray.

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gumiagy25 February 2010
We had a dog like this for years and years and I always thought about her as something special. She was simply a gift. No other words can describe the feelings I have for her. So I'm just grateful that these guys made this movie and though it has its cheesy elements, the focus is always on the dog. Which is nice. Talking to friends, telling them the story I had to realise that everyone knows the plot from newspapers, from their memories. I think it tells something about it and I do hope that this breed will be recognized for their faith and amazingly friendly nature. Seeing this movie reminded me of her, of course. Though our dog has already died but I think that this movie is her legacy, too. 10/10
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