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Movie Review

Marley and Me a.k.a. “Marley and Me,” “Io e Marley,” “Marley and Eu,” “Marley and ich”

MPAA Rating: PG for thematic material, some suggestive content and language.

Reviewed by: Thaisha Geiger

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Family, Kids, Teens, Adults
Comedy, Family, Drama
1 hr. 45 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
December 25, 2008 (wide—3,300 theaters)
DVD: March 31, 2009
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Relevant Issues
Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.

Dogs in the Bible

Animals in the Bible

The Rainforest: People, Animals and Facts
Learn about the pets and animals of rainforest natives
Featuring: Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson, Alan Arkin, Eric Dane, Kathleen Turner, Almudena Alcazar, Ana Ayora, Dave Barry, Johann Benét, Haley Bennett, Robert Bizik, Anthony C. Brown, Eric Ditman, Bradley Frishman, Branden Frishman, Nathan Gamble, Richard Graves, Zabryna Guevara, Christian Hall, Dylan Henry, Jimena Hoyos, Haley Hudson, Keith Hudson, Benjamin Hyland, Finley Jacobsen, Jordan Lawson, Brenda Logan, Claudia Londono, Marc Macaulay, Sandy Martin, Lucy Merriam, Sarah O'Kelly, Clarke Peters, Bryce Robinson, Sam Rocco, Victoria Roman, Lisa Varga, Matthew J. Walters, Megan Rose Wieder,
Director: David Frankel
Producer: Fox 2000 Pictures, Regency Enterprises, Kevin Halloran, Gil Netter, Karen Rosenfelt
Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.

“Life and love with the world’s worst dog”

Who wouldn’t love a cute, yellow fur ball that doesn’t just chew household items, but actually eats them? Adapted from the best-selling novel, “Marley and Me” tells the story of how a yellow retriever was labeled “the world’s worst dog” by his owners. Only come to find out later, that Marley was not such a bad dog after all, but a beloved member of their family.

Newlyweds John and Jennifer Grogan are news reporters for rivaling newspapers in Florida. As with many newly married couples, they are not quite sure about children, and a dog seems like the next natural step. So they decide on a male golden retriever and name him Marley. Not long goes by before they realize that Marley eats anything in sight, is destructively afraid of thunderstorms, and likes to chase anything with feet. As their family grows with three children and relocates to Pennsylvania, Marley never changes his loving, unruly personality.

Owen Wilson and Jennifer Anniston did well in their lead roles. It was nice to see Wilson back on the big screen in a cleaner film. No less than 22 dogs were used in the making of the film and one can see why. Whenever Marley entered a scene, he was always running, barking, or tearing up something. After several of these, the point was made of Marley’s antics. One unfamiliar with the book would wonder how in the world the Grogans ever put up with a dog like Marley. In the novel, Grogan also explains Marley’s positive attributes that made him a crazy, but lovable dog. The film does not enter this part until the very end of the film when his loving nature is explained through merely dialogue. It would have been nice if more moments were visually shown about how Marley was actually a pretty decent dog.

Offensive Content

Before getting into the offensive content, I feel I should warn parents that this film is not entirely appropriate for small or even impressionable children. The film has been marketed as a movie for the entire family; however, the profanities and sexual references make the movie not ideal for very young children. The movie should have been rated PG-13.

As for the profanity, the Lord’s name is profaned about 17 times. In addition, I counted 8 more curse words, including SOB and sh*t. Conversations of “balls” and “boobs” take place.

There is quite a bit of sexual content in the movie. While the majority does take place between a husband and wife, parents ultimately will know whether or not their children are old enough to handle it. After discussing having children, John and Jennifer are shown rolling around in a bed, kissing. In one scene, Jennifer calls John to tell him there’s a naked woman in the bed. He jokingly tells her to get started with the woman, so a threesome is implied. When visiting Ireland, John mentions he can have sex in front of Jesus or even Mary, but not that man (he points to the pope). He says the creaking in the bed is probably oversexed souls in hell. Jennifer mentions the thought of having sex in a prudish house turns her on. The bed creaks as they begin kissing. In one scene, Jennifer surprises John by skinny dipping in the pool. She is shown taking off her dress from behind. While nothing is shown, their being nude is heavily implied.

There are some other instances that might offend a Christian viewer that are worth mentioning. Throughout the film, many women are shown in bikinis. Marley pulls the towel off of the house sitter (off screen). Drinking takes place several times during the movie. In the beginning, John and his wife take turns taking drinks from a wine bottle. Grogan tells his boss about his bong-hits back in school. His boss later asks him if he and his wife are having sex and if John’s “pulling a goalie.” Marley humps the dog trainer. Marley goes to the bathroom often and is shown chewing up different things, including a bra. Grogan’s friend Sebastian is a negative influence and a constant flirt.

The film is touching in its portrayal of the difficulties of marriage and raising a family. While most couples would have given up and filed for divorce, the Grogans stuck together through the tough times and raised their children together. While it would have been nice if God was referenced, it was refreshing to see a marriage depicted as a serious commitment in a film. Too many people today merely view marriage “as a sheet of paper” and just give up when things get a bit tough. However, marriage is a holy commitment in the joining of two people for the rest of their lives. Jesus wisely said:

“but at the beginning of creation God made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

Although the movie lacked the charm of John Grogan’s writing, the movie did have its own funny moments. With the above reservations, I do recommend the film, but only to parents and much older children. If you do decide to take young children, please be forewarned that an animal is shown being put to sleep. This is a heart-wrenching scene, so be prepared to discuss it.

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive—We viewed this film as a family with my elderly mother and 3 children. We really enjoyed the film. The story line was very accurate to the book it is based on. The acting was wonderful and very believable. There were a few moments at which I wanted to cover my children's eyes, as it wasn't quite appropriate for young children. There was also some unnecessary language. My 7-year-old, and I had to leave discussing putting animals to sleep. If your children have never experienced that, it might be a good idea to discuss this with them before viewing the film. A good overall story and family movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Sharon, age 31
Positive—While I agree “Marley and Me” is not for young children, because of some heavy topics such as miscarriage and death, I think saying this movie should be rated R is absurd. The couple in this movie is married, and the film is based on their real life experiences. Yes, the movie implied sex, but again, they were married, and they were discussing having children. This is a great movie that will warm your hearts. My friends and I all loved it!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Jo, age 25 (USA)
Positive—My one complaint with this film is that it really should have had the majority of the sexual references removed, or had a stricter rating… Aside from that, though, I have to say this is one of the BEST adaptations, from book to film, that I've ever seen! From beginning to end, the theme consistently portrays the growth between John and Jennifer, as well as the balance between bad dog behavior, and beloved family pet… At the end of the film, when a sold out theater is quiet aside from the credit music and the sniffles of a tear filled audience—you know you've just seen a beautiful holiday film.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Misty Wagner, age 32 (USA)
Positive—I went to see this movie with much anticipation on Christmas Day. I have read the book, have met John Grogan, and knew what to expect ending-wise going in. The movie did follow the book in many ways. I wish there was more of Marley, but the book was about Marley AND John's family. The sexual content was between two married people. That is refreshing in a time where every other movie, it seems, no one is married. I agree that crude words could have been left out and not changed the movie in the least. The euthanasia scene was totally realistic and though it was heartbreaking, it was what happened. This is not a movie for young children and neither was the book. Use your discretion based on your own children. Enjoy the funny scenes, embrace the sad ones and go home and give your family and your pets some extra love.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—J., age 43 (USA)
Positive—The family was strong and the parents stuck together. The mother gave up her job to be with her kids full time. There were numerous sexual implications between the husband and wife, none of them inappropriate for their relationship, and although the husband's best friend was a playboy, his sexual exploits were never played up. Yes, there were bikinis and the couple drank alcohol. There was some (although not a lot) of profanity. It was certainly not a Christian film, but I thought it was very acceptable for anyone over—say—14. My husband and I saw it with our 3 girls, ages 17, 20, and 28.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Arlene, age 53 (USA)
Positive—While I wish the language would be better and the filmmakers were more willing to be explicit about the family's beliefs (other than brief references to heaven), I had no problem with the sexual references. They were always in reference to a loving marital relationship and resulted in the welcoming of obviously loved children. Our daughters are 10 and 12; I think the rare portrayal of sex as God means for it to be was probably good for them. In all honesty, it was probably a good reminder for all us married folk, too. On the other hand, our slightly younger sons vacillated between cringes and boredom during those scenes. All that being said, don't forget the kleenex. Even my husband had a bit of trouble with those pesky allergies at the end.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Catherine Waites, age 38 (USA)
Positive—I completely disagree with the two negative comments written about this movie in their entirety. Marley and Me was a great movie as a whole. This movie should be rated R is a huge overstatement. For what reasons should this movie be rated any higher then it is all ready? It is rated PG, that means Parental Guidance is suggested. Dying is part of life. If your kids can't handle that, then you should have read reviews about the movie before taking them. You are warned in the PG rating!

I thought “Marley and Me” was a great movie. It's about a dog that is constantly causing trouble. It is humorous at certain points. And it is entertaining to watch. It also shows how even losing an animal is like losing part of the family. If you have ever lost an animal you know exactly what I'm talking about and that is what is portrayed in this film. I highly recommend this movie to anyone. It is not the best movie in the world, but I believe it is worth the money.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Joe, age 22 (USA)
Positive—While I feel this movie would have lost nothing had the producers taken out the foul language (and, really, there wasn't that much, compared to other typical Hollywood fare), I don't feel it was sufficient enough to warrant the “offensive” rating…. I do feel the movie should have been rated PG-13, just because of the sexual content—a married couple, fully dressed, rolling on a bed would prompt awkward questions from younger children. Also, having to explain miscarriage and having to put a dog to sleep to young children could be troublesome. However, these things are not morally offensive! And I think we can get too caught up in getting offended by a character in a film taking the Lord's name in vain and end up missing the bigger picture.

This movie has great value! It shows a couple staying together despite all hardships, making great sacrifices for each other, and extending grace to one another. What a picture of marriage the way God intended it! And while Grogan's friend was a consummate flirt, at the end of the film there was a moment when regret passed over his face, comparing Grogan's loving family to his own emptiness. The death of the dog at the end was handled with dignity and great tenderness. I don't think this should be a thing to hide from children, since the passing of a beloved pet is something most will experience. In all, I feel that it wouldn't take too many changes to make the family in the film a church-going Christian family. We should be encouraging Hollywood to make more films of this quality (and, yes, urging them to go further in removing offensive language and unnecessary sexual content from the films).

I further disagree with the reviewer about Marley's good qualities not being shown until the end of the movie. As a dog owner for almost my entire life, I recognized sweetness in that animal in the midst of his crazy and often destructive behavior. Look at the way he interacted with the children, and consider how he barked and demanded to go outside when the next door neighbor was being attacked. Marley's antics provided for wonderfully humorous scenes. I encourage parents of children age 13 and up not to be afraid of this movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Diana, age 54 (USA)
Positive—I went and saw this movie with the impression that it would be a movie about a crazy, but cute, dog that does crazy but cute things. I was right. But I absolutely LOVED this movie. It was a very cute, and relatively clean family movie. I read some of the comments below about how the movie “should be rated R,” and I HIGHLY disagree. I've seen many R-rated movies and non even compare to “Marley and Me”! I do agree that the language is a BIT stronger than most PG movies, but I thought the rating suited it. I loved this movie, and I recommend if for anyone over 13. I laughed through most of the movie, and I came out in TEARS. It is a great family movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Angie, age 18 (USA)
Positive—The only thing that I found somewhat offensive in this film was the unnecessary amount of sex or sexual references (but at least the two characters are married!) I understand the negative comments, going into the movie you should expect some heavy themes, but that doesn't mean it is inappropriate for all children! Young children maybe, but kids above 7 or 8 should be fine. You might have to explain the concept of putting someone to sleep, I had to explain it to my sister, but that is just a part of the cycle of life, and sheltering children from this truth won't do any good! Plus, the death of Marley isn't viewed in a negative way, after burying him all the children express how they feel about his death, and they appreciate his life and how much he taught them.

The story is based on a family, and strong family values are held throughout this movie. It's not sugarcoated like a Disney movie. The family faces real problems that every family struggles through, and they work them out, like families should. The two main characters make life-altering decisions and sacrifices for their children, either quitting jobs or moving to a safer place. They had positive values in a very average setting, which makes the vision of living happily a lot more realistic to someone my age. I brushed off “Because of Winn-Dixie” as an unrealistic kid's movie, “Marley and Me” was much more tangible and gave me hope.

My entire family walked out of the theater in tears, but we all went home and kissed our own dog, and were thankful for how much our own “Marley” adds to our family.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Yone, age 18 (USA)
Positive—This movie has a good, touching story. How many of us have dog, and they did not turn out, in fact, the way we wanted? However, when we develop love… it becomes unconditional. At the start of the movie, the intention of getting a dog was only to postpone having a baby, but, as things go on, the baby comes alone anyway (same in reality) and the dog has a major impact on their first baby (they ended up with three). You see all this at the end of the movie, when the old children review some tapes of him when he was a child and Marley his by his side at different time. What also touched me, it's at the end of Marley's life the owner talk to Marley directly and reaffirmed the fact that no matter what happened in his life, he was a good dog because he was giving his best every day of his life for his family! The only thing that was not great was a single guy along the movie you see him once a while, and he's using his dog or at one point his baby to approach single women (the single guy found a dog or a young child draw the sensitivity of a woman, and then he can engage a conversation for his own benefit: manipulation). However, I will give this movie a good rating for the overall.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—David, age 34 (Canada)
Positive—First of all, anyone who thinks this should've been rated R obviously doesn't go to very many movies. There was almost no language, some scenes did contain a husband and wife trying to have a baby, but no nudity was shown. This movie shouldn't be seen by younger children, but it is a family-oriented movie. The ending might be very hard for some younger children to handle, due to the graphicness of the death of the dog. I was happy to see some big name actors take part in a family movie like this one. The idea of sticking with a marriage through tough times is one of the main story lines of the movie, and since this is rare in today's society, I appreciate that. I would suggest this movie to any family to watch together, although I'd suggest renting it, if you're planning on watching it with younger kids. I don't know why this movie was advertised as a Christmas movie though maybe its because its a family oriented film. Don't pay any attention to the people who left early or think this should've been rated R, this was a great movie to watch with the family.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Tim, age 19 (USA)
Positive—I agree that the language needed to be toned down a bit. However, taking this movie overall, it is great. It shows marriage for what it is, difficult at times but something you work at. There is nothing offensive about that!

The scene where Marley is euthanized might not be appropriate for young children, but it is a part of life, and the way it was treated was excellent. Marley was loved. His death and burial were extremely respectful. Children do not have to be hidden or sheltered from death. It is our job as parents and teachers to explain this process to young minds in a way that is age appropriate.

As for the sexual innuendo, that is something that each family will have to make a decision about. There is no nudity and truthfully, most children under 10 will not catch a lot of the sexual hints that we as adults do. Since the sexual comments are made between a husband and wife, I find these comments to be acceptable.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Jessica, age 24 (USA)
Positive—I have to agree that the movie trailers were misleading. They do make the movie appear to be a comedy about a family dog that is full of mischief. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the movie has a parallel story line with a message about marriage, commitment, and sacrifice for each other. (“Mend it; don't end it,” and the mom quitting her job to stay home with her children among other things). I was very pleased with this message to the audience, since we rarely if *ever* see this in movies these days.

In addition, (and something that has NOT been mentioned yet in any of the reviews), the family stuck by their dog in spite of the fact that he was very mischievous and often in trouble. In standing by Marley in spite of his antics, they were able to see the beauty of Marley. The love and commitment they showed Marley is nothing less than the same ever-merciful love that God shows us. As a Christian, I felt that this was the most important message of the movie, and is also the most important message God gave us through Christ.

These days, in our disposable society, people dump their once loved pets at shelters because they didn't feel their commitment to their pet is important. In fact 4-5 million perfectly adoptable companion animals are put to death every single year in this country.

I agree that the language could have been left out, though I really didn't notice it that much. And the references to the Pope, Jesus, Mary, and hell could also have been left out.

I am surprised at the number of people who feel that “death is a part of life” and acceptable as content, but also feel that sexual inuendo between a husband and wife should have been cut out of the movie. Sex in marriage is *also* part of life, and nothing to be ashamed of or to feel uncomfortable about. So is miscarriage.

Young children probably shouldn't see it (seeing the dog die was really heartwrenching for me, I can't imagine how a young child would take that (if they understood what they were seeing).

I definitely would be comfortable with a PG 13 rating, just to give parents a heads up. On the other hand, PG *does* mean 'parental guidance is advised'. Unfortunately, I think most people see “PG” and automatically think 'G'.

Overall, it is a very good movie, with strong, unmistakable messages about love and commitment with families and with pets.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Kristen, age 42 (USA)
Neutral—“Marley & Me” had so much potential to be a solid family movie, but the loose sexual relationships, obscene references and the half-dozen blasphemes take it all away. It's a typical, modern day film about chasing the American dream, without God.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—John, age 31 (USA)
Neutral—“Marley & Me” is a nice movie. Reminds us that marital problems does exist and so is love. How we made our kids must not be an hysterical event for those who take their children to the movies, it is nature.

I don't understand why people over 30 years with kids, complains about the sexual scenes! How in heaven did you made them? Please write your comments based on real issues. If Jennifer Aniston had three kids and kept her nice figure, then lets ask how she did it and try to reach the real message. Most marriages end before its fifth year, with two or more kids because of lack of love and communication.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Sophie, age 32 (USA)
Neutral—I saw this movie with my boyfriend. Overall, I think it was a good movie, sweet and loving, but the sexual content was just too much. As a young couple trying to do right, the sexual content was something we didn't want to see. I understand they are married but keep it behind the scenes. Young couples, or any unmarried person do not need to be exposed to this kind of sexual intimacy. It makes young ppl think too much. BUT, this movie is much better than most mainstream movies full of fast cars, perversion, foul mouths and violence. But they still could of left the sexual content out. The dog was sweet even thought the ending was very sad. I would recommend it for married couples.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Chantel, age 20 (USA)
Negative—I took my 2 daughters, ages 7 and 10, to see “Marley & Me,” and we were all very disappointed, due to unnecessary obscene language and sexual innuendo. My older daughter asked me repeatedly if I had checked the rating, as she recognized the inappropriate words and behavior as they came up. I read the book Marley & Me, by John Grogan, with my 10-year-old daughter last fall. She ordered it from the Scholastic Book Club at school. It was a good book, well-written and entertaining—perfectly appropriate for an elementary school age child. Was I wrong to expect that the movie would not be appropriate to see with my young children? It made me wonder if the author of the book on which the movie was based had any input in the screenplay. It also made me wonder if the writers, directors, actors and producers are so desensitized with regard to bad language and sexual innuendo that they simply don't see anything wrong with presenting an ample dose of these things in a movie that is marketed as a “family movie.”

In addition to the offensive language and scenes, I also should mention that the scene where Marley is euthanized is much more detailed than necessary. We recently went through that with our 18-year-old family dog 2 years ago, and although it was presented in the movie as a difficult, yet humane, choice, both of my girls were highly disturbed by viewing the complete process. I wouldn't take a child to the vet to watch a pet put down, and I don't think a child should see it in a movie—especially when what they're expecting is a movie about a cute dog and his funny antics.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Jennifer, age 45 (USA)

Positive—This is in reference to the comment made by “Jennifer, age 45.” She stated she read the book Marley & Me with her 10-year-old and found it “perfectly appropriate” for elementary school-age children. First let me say there are two books: one called simply Marley (for children); and the other Marley & Me (for adults). You must have read Marley with your child because Marley & Me makes reference to two killings of the Grogran's elderly neighbors… one with a chainsaw; the other by suffocating with a mattress. The adult version of the book also makes mention of Jenny walking home one day and a car pulling up beside her only to be exposed to a fully naked man masturbating. In addition, there is sexual content and a couple of swear words in the book. I just finished reading Marley & Me last weekend. My 7-year-old son brought home the book Marley from school (a Christian school). The children's version naturally takes all the inappropriate stuff out! As for the movie, my husband and I saw it without the kids, and I agree it should be rated PG-13. I thought it was a good movie, but do movies really need sexual content and swearing to make it good? Wake up, Hollywood! Also, the ending was so heart-wrenching that grown men were crying—just a word of caution. I would let my 13-year-old and 7-year-old see it as long as I were there with the remote to mute and/or skip over certain scenes.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Julie, age 40 (USA)

Negative—I took my three children (12 and under) to see this movie, thinking that it would be a cute movie… wrong! It was very offensive in language and sexual content. True, sex was between a man and woman, and they were married, but does that constitute a good movie? Could the storyline have continued without it? Of course! The fact that it was PG also comes into play. I would NOT recommend this movie as a “family” movie and wouldn't even be interested in watching as an adult. I was extremely disappointed.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Sarah Bergman, age 37 (USA)
Negative—Want to lose your holiday cheer, see “Marley & Me.” After seeing the movie commercial on every television station I figured it was a harmless comedy about a couple and their dog so I didn't check this web site for reviews and comments. Big mistake. I took 4 of my grandchildren ages 7-12 to see this movie, and the other negative reviews are accurate. I want to express that the last forth of the movie is about Marley the dog dying, then in graphic detail the entire process of putting him to sleep (injection and eyes closing etc.) is shown. then the movie ends after burying Marley. Going into the theater we were all very happy, coming out all we felt was grief.

Releasing this movie on one of Christianity's happiest days, knowing families are coming to see a comedy (as the commercial implies), was mean-spirited for the holiday season.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Papa, age 51 (USA)
Negative—While the filming was good, the color, the scenery… the story was not the best and could be considered depressing. I can't even imagine how this could be classified a “holiday” movie which opened on Christmas day. First off, there is an effort to make you bond with this horrible, destructive dog that tears everything up, very disobedient… just a bad dog that didn’t seem to have a brain until the end of the movie, because it got too old to move. Then after you almost, but not quite, get attached to the dog, you have to watch it be sick and then watch the vet put it to sleep.

The drama in-between the bad dog and the marriage, raising the children (by the way, Jennifer Aniston never gained weight in the 3 successful pregnancies she had, and she nor Owen Wilson aged, but their children did. While the movie made an effort to get you to feel (perhaps bond) with the dog, it was not an enjoyable movie. The dog was cute as a pup, and there were a couple of funny moments (a couple I might add), but the advertising commercials/trailers of the movie made this movie to appear to be a darling movie, but that is truthfully false advertising 100 percent. The movie was not good as far as a story plot. I thought it would never end, and then instead of a happy ending, they have to kill the dog. Such holiday “cheer.”

I felt like I wasted my money for sure. It's a drag of a movie, and wish I hadn’t seen it. One more tidbit, a friend saw an interview with Jennifer Aniston, and she did not like the movie either.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Donnam, age 53 (USA)
Negative—Do not take your children to see this movie. We walked out about halfway through and got our money back. We were really disappointed because it just looks like a cute and funny movie about a puppy who is hard to control, but there really isn't anything good about it.

It is not a good family movie. It is filled with vulgar/crude language and humor. There are lots of swear words too. We covered our kids’ eyes many times before we decided to walk out. There are many topics that are too mature for children.

As Christians, we need to take a stand against movies like this—the ones where they ruin a good movie with all of the filth that they mix in. It should be rated R. Do not waste your money on this film.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Heather, age 36 (USA)
Negative—Unfortunately, not a movie I was happy I took my 11 and 13 year old to, for a special day after Christmas. They had read the “children's” book, and I had read the “Adult” book. The movie seemed to target the kids by putting information about the movie all over the “children's” book. I was very disappointed in the amount of sexual scenes and the vulgar language. It could of been a really cute movie, without putting all of that in it.

The rating is totally wrong being PG, and I am very disappointed in the filmmakers for targeting their audience to the youth.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Christy, age 42 (USA)
Negative—I took my children to see this movie thinking it was about a dog… only to discover it was really about a married couple and their sexual relationship. After a stabbing occurred, we had to get up and leave the theater—my children had their eyes covered during most of it, up to that point, because of the vast amount of sexual conversation and action, anyway. Yes, the couple was married… but let's let our children be children. This was definitely PG-13 to R rating.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Laurie, age 44 (USA)
Negative—Please do not take your kids to see this horrible film. I took my 18 year old adopted Korean daughter, and we had to leave the theater, because I got tired of covering her eyes. It is clear that, in order to get a good rating to attract wide audiences, the film companies are prepared to use insinuations to attract other elements, as well as God-fearing people with families. I truly believe that sexual attraction played a prominent role in the mind of the producer/director to develop an on-screen relationship between characters and the dog. There is no reason why Hollywood should have a right to mislead people into watching a movie. Let us make our own choices.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Gape, age 40 (Iceland)
Negative—This movie was very disappointing, but yet typical of current day Hollywood. Instead of making a nice, wholesome family movie, “Marley and Me” is coupled with both language and many sexual innuendos that were very inappropriate, even for adults. Most of the movie isn't about Marley, but about the couple, and there are constant images of women in bikinis in the viewpoint. IF you want to see a family movie, do not see this. I honestly don't think Hollywood is capable of making family movies anymore. What a shame. This should have been made twenty years ago.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
—Chrissy, age 24 (USA)
Negative—I went to see this movie with my 8 yr. old son, and another mom and her two children, ages 8 and 10. The previews and rating of this movie led me to believe that it was a nice family movie about a dog who misbehaves a lot. I think the sexual content, the language, the miscarriage, and the nudity scenes were inappropriate for young children, and I felt very uncomfortable being at this movie with children. I chose the movie believing that it was a comedy. Instead I found myself, and most of the theatre, crying over a dying dog. The whole process of putting the dog to sleep and then going through a burial, I believe, is much to intense for young children. Overall, this movie should not have been marketed as a family movie. It did well, because it was aimed towards the family, and everyone is off from school with nothing to do on Winter break. The makers of this movie lucked out by the time of year, and misleading the public.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Dori, age 50 (USA)—Faith: Buddhist
Negative—This film was almost an unfortunate commentary on our society's tolerance for trash. We based our decision to see this on the rating and also on a positive article in World magazine (a Christian publication). After the first 20 minutes or so, which included blatant sexual insinuations, girls in very small bathing suits, a completely clueless couple who would not have been allowed to buy a dog from any good breeder, a dog “humping” his trainer, and the word “balls” used repeatedly, we grabbed our kids and left. Our boys are 11 and 8½, and we told them truthfully why we left. This movie should have been PG-13, to at least make people pause before taking younger children. It still would have been terrible, however, and I would not recommend it to anyone even over 13. What a shame, because this could have been a darling movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Wendy, age 37 (USA)
Negative—I am concerned that we cannot assume anymore that a movie rated “PG” will be appropriate for families. I have discovered, after watching this movie, that I will definitely have to look at reviews before taking my child to see a particular movie. I was very uncomfortable with the frequent mention of sex and the language that was used. It grieved me to think that this type movie is considered “family.” I did enjoy the story and the emphasis on the importance of commitment and relationships, but truly wish that Hollywood would see that we don't have to have the other stuff to be entertained.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Stacy, age 33 (USA)
Negative—This movie made me cringe. The saddest parts to me, of the whole movie, in it's being offensive, were, 1) the scene where the couple is in Ireland on a squeaky bed and jokes are made about the picture of Jesus and 2) the same scene when John says the squeaky bed is probably oversexed souls in hell and Mary asks if he wants to join them. That's extremely sad, because it indicates spending time in hell wouldn't be bad… that it's just a “fun place”—that broke my heart.

For a “family-friendly” movie, it was anything but family-friendly. There were far too many sexual innuendos and far too much inappropriate language. This movie should have been rated PG-13, and even that is questionable—as a Christian, this movie was a waste of my time and my daughter's money.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Pamela, age 47 (USA)
Negative—Although this film would be considered “moral,” I guess the promotion that it's a children's book and movie and the PG rating led me and my neighbors to see it. The film was cute and funny, if you think not training your dog and allowing him to eat all your house and belongings is funny. But the issues of sex, trying to have babies, miscarrying, explaining a dead baby to a child, the dog at the vets office being put to sleep, the young friend always chasing after “chicks” were all major issues for me and my 10 yr old. I would've rated it PG-13 and spared my daughter the drama. The poor neighbor boy was sobbing hysterically. Good production and big name actors but not for kids, IMO.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 2
—Linda, age 43 (USA)
Negative—I can't believe these worldview comments. The Lord's name was taken in vain 17 times! This is offensive. Then all the immoral themes. This is what's wrong with the church. And no, it is not the Biblical worldview.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
—Bruce, age 50 (USA)
Negative—Who would have thought that Adam Sandler would have a “cleaner” movie on Christmas Day??!!! Skip the rental when it comes out and check out “Bedtime Stories”!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Kristine, age 44 (USA)
Negative—The trailers for this movie were sooo misleading! It was uncomfortable to watch with my boyfriend right beside me, call me old-fashioned, but sex is supposed to be private!!! Even though the couple was married, viewers should not see or hear the things the main characters do and say that are private and to be reserved for marriage. This movie was drenched in sex, not to mention the immodest dress and language! I can't believe this movie was only PG, what has happened to the rating system?? Why have the standards dropped further still?
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Justine, age 21 (USA)
Negative—Listen, this film based on a book about a puppy is not a family film. Simply put it should have been PG-13. Their is a heavy amount of cleavage and see through shirts in this movie along with tons of sexual innuendo that was simply nauseating esp. being a “family movie.” Other than these things it was stylistically a real drag. From beginning to start, the movie seemed to cram in events just to fit in the movie. Although it is two hours the directors did not use their time wisely presenting a format of entertainment value. But if you do go to see it or view it in your home, it is not a family movie and jennifer anniston is dressed sexually through the whole entire movie… and the innuendo Does… not… let… up. blah
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
—Luke, age 19 (USA)
Negative—I am giving this a negative rating because once again Hollyweird dirtied up a kid story in order to get a PG rating. If you have any way of contacting the film company, let them know that you would go to a G rated film. They trash the movies up to get a PG rating because they think tweens will snub G rated films. I was disappointed to put in a film, marketed as a kid movie, and fall asleep with my 4 year old watching it, and wake up to hear the Sh** word.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Krissy, age 40s (USA)
Negative—Ok, folks. I made a huge mistake with this film. I put on this, “family friendly story” for my children and proceeded to attend to some housework. It seemed to me to be an innocent movie that my 4 boys (aged 1-7) would enjoy as they love dogs, and I could get some things done around the house.

They emerged some time later, crying inconsolably. Said it was the worst movie they've ever seen. The older boys have since had several nightmares. Most of the prior negative comments are, unfortunately, right on the money… I will now ALWAYS check Christian Spotlight on Entertainment before we rent movies for our family! How I wish I would have with this film!!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—Lynee Lewis, age 30 (USA)
Comments from young people
Positive—…I read the reviews on this site after I watched the film, and I was disappointed that so many people gave it negative reviews. My mom, my Grandma, my aunt and her boyfriend, and I all went to see this movie together, and everyone (except my mom who only went to make my Grandma happy) had a great time. Yes, there are a few sexual comments in the film, and, yes, the Lord's name is taken in vain a couple times, but I challenge any Christian to go find a Hollywood movie that doesn't include those things (sorry, “Fireproof” and “Facing the Giants” don't count).

If you want an absolutely perfect and crystal clean movie go see one of the two mentioned above (but a lot of people can find things wrong with those films, too). So the choice is: go see movies (whether they're rated G, PG, PG-13, or R),learn to tune out the offensive stuff and look for the good things… or complain that Hollywood can't do anything right anymore (I recommend going with choice one). My opinion is that it's easy to find things to complain about in movies but it takes true insight and an open heart to find positive things.

“Marley and Me,” in my opinion, came across as a wonderful family film. Children who go to see it will focus on the dog and not on the struggles of the parents. It might be a good idea to warn them about (***Spoiler Warning***) Marley's death at the end though, because that part is a tear-jerker. All things considered: a great movie with many positive aspects. Live, Love, Laugh Everyone!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Anna Summers, age 17 (USA)
Neutral—Me and 8 of my family members (ages 10-45) went and saw and saw “Marley and Me” as a great family movie. It was rated PG, however, there was quite a bit of profanity and sexual “happenings.” Not a PG movie, like I thought. Looking past that though the story in the movie was very good, very cute and cuddly. In this movie, you will get your laugh and your tears. Bring a box of tissues. I think that younger kids definitely should not go see this. It is more like a PG-13 movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Mackenzie, age 13 (USA)
Neutral—Negatives: I was excited to see this movie, thinking it was going to be a comedy, happy when I went into the movies. Crying, I mean really crying—coming out. The movie should have been PG-13; there was cussing and bad scenes. There were little kids sitting behind me, about 4-6, and through the whole movie asking questions about those scenes.

Positives: The bright side was this movie had a great meaning, this was a couple going through everyday life and the dog was part of it. I think this was a good movie, but should have been rated PG-13.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—Ashley, age 13 (USA)
Positive—I really liked this movie! I went to see “Marley & Me” with my parents and two sisters (ages 12 + 9) on Christmas day. I had read the adult version of the book, but I hoped that they might tone it down a bit. Unfortunately, they didn't. I think this movie should have been rated PG-13, but not R. After all, they are married! It's okay for them to be having sex. We just don't need to see the start of it. We would know they had sex if Jen had just said, “I'm pregnant,” and the kids in the theater wouldn't have to be uncomfortable. I was uncomfortable watching it, too! As far as the scene where Marley is put to sleep, I think that it was necessary to have the scene. It is sad, but it is a part of life. When the girl was stabbed, I think that might be a little scarier for little kids. They don't show the scene, but they do show the girl holding her side where she was stabbed. The swears in the movie were very unnecessary, and I wish they had cut those out. I did really like the movie, even though I'm not saying the good things. I just want to make you aware of the things that may be inappropriate for a younger age group. This movie is definitely a great movie to see over the holidays! GO SEE IT!…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Emily S., age 14 (USA)
Negative—Well, I had been told by my aunt to read the book and that it was “excellent.” I am a very conservative Christian, and I really didn't think there would be anything in such a seemingly clean book about a man and his dog. I was wrong. There were at least three bedroom scenes in the book, as well as quite a bit of language used. However, I expected more from the movie, due to it's seemingly “clean” preview. Nope. Do not take your kids to see this, although there was much less language in the movie than the book; it was still there. And, as for the sexual scenes? There was nothing relevant shown, and if the actors were nude, they were not seen. However, it was still obvious.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Fransesca, age 16 (USA)
Negative—I went to go see “Marley & Me”… When I saw the commercial, I thought it would be a perfect movie! I did read Marley And Me, The World's Worst Dog and some parts of the movie were related. Anyhow, when I came into the theatre, I was so excited, first part: In the very beginning, Jen And John Grogan were sharing wine, I think while dipping feet in a jacuzzi. 2: Jen and John try for babies, and Marley is there watching. 3: The teacher tries to get Marley to walk not run Marley, runs to the whistle, jumps and starts humping her. 4: Pulls towel of of sitter, humps sitter, John and Jen having sex in a creaky bed, John offending God and Mary pictures on wall. 5: John's birthday “Surprise” from Jen, she takes off her dress, and they both swim naked in a pool. I can name more bad parts, but if those weren't in there, it would have been a great show. My little saying “Great chocolate brownies, but little bit of poop in it.”
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Shaylin Schlosser, age 10 (Canada)
Positive—I thought the movie was very good. It definitely should have been rated PG-13, but no way was it worthy of an R-rating! I would say 13 and up should go see it. Not little kids. The dog dying was sad, but, like others have said, it's a part of life. And I think most 13 year olds can handle it. They, of course, could have left the “sex” parts out, but they WERE married. Considering most of the movies now a days, I think it was pretty good.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Sarah, age 13 (USA)
Positive—First off, I agree that the implied sexuality, crude humor, and language make the ad campaign misleading that it's a clean family movie. Though the sexual content was between a married couple. The film shows marriage in a positive way through many years of their lives, unlike most films. Most of the messages in the movie were good. I wouldn't tell kids under eight to see it, due to the profanity and mature content, but it's absurd when people say its sexual mature for an eighteen year old In most American schools your fed worldly sex education in third grade. This movie shouldn't be rated R, maybe a light PG-13.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Nate, age 14 (USA)
Neutral—If a parent is reading this, I think that it is inappropriate for a christian teen to watch. I didn't think they didn't need to show the dog trying to mate with a person's leg. I was glad the couple was married, but I didn't think they needed to put those bed scenes in the movie. It should of been rated PG-13. It could have been a great movie, if the inappropriate stuff wasn't in there.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Amy C., age 13 (USA)
Negative—This movie was AWFUL!! It was one of the worst movies, if not the worst, I have seen!! I really wanted to see it and thought it was “PG”—how bad can it be. I was with a friend, otherwise I would have left (I went home and repented for watching it). This film is filled with with language and sex. Here is a list of a couple of scenes that I thought were inappropriate.
1) In one seen it shows them rolling on the bed trying to have children.
2) There is language packed in it.
3) One night they are in the house and hear screaming, so he goes outside to find out that the girl next door was stabbed.
4) She takes off all her clothes and jumps in the pool, then he joins her, and they start kissing (no, it did not show any body parts, but it was WELL implied)

I am amazed it was not rated PG-13. No matter how bad you want to, DO NOT SEE THIS MOVIE. There are other good movies out there to see such as “Bedtime Stories” and “Bolt.”
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Rachel, age 13 (USA)
Negative—I went with my family to see this movie because we thought that it would be a fun film about a cute little dog. However, we were extremely surprised to find out that this movie wasn't about a puppy, instead it was all about sex. Some parts of the movie were cute, but pretty much every scene was them having sex. This was a uncomfortable movie for me to watch with my 10 year old sister in the room and I felt bad for the guys who had taken their girlfriends to see this movie. Sex was the theme of this movie. I wouldn't see it at all unless for some reason you wanted to watch these people trying to have a baby over and over again.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Sarah Moore, age 14 (USA)
Neutral—This is a movie I would only watch once really. I saw the first one my dad bought the second one so we watched it. IT COULD HAVE LEFT OUT SHOWY LOVE SCENE. I would not recomend this to any body under 16. …
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Tim, age 10 (USA)
Positive—This is a charming movie about a dog and his owners. It was very heart-warming. Although a few parts where sex is involved and Jenny skinny dipping in their pool (nothing is shown), it was a great movie, and I totally recomend it. The ending was so sad I think the couch was wet after I saw it. I think in terms of language, it had a few swears, but what Hollywood movie doesn't. Overall, it was clean and should go down in history as the second saddest movie ever (the first one was “Old Yeller”). I don't think it's a waste of money to rent this movie, and if you have nothing better to do on a Friday night go rent “Marley and Me.”
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Noah Dimitrie, age 12 (Canada)
Positive—I am writing in reply to the many people who have complained that we should “let children be children” and that the movie 'contains scenes inappropriate for children', and often these were from parents of teenagers!

I find this an insult to my intelligence. I know about sex, and many people my age have done “it.” One woman claimed she had to cover her eighteen yr. olds eyes!

I agree that under tens should not see this without some explanation, but perhaps this could bring up the issue of sex, and what the world thinks of it?

I enjoyed this movie a lot, and when watching with a group of Christian girls, they all agreed. You have to face the facts that this is a different world to what you may have grown up in. I am a proud, loving, happy, Christian girl, who calls Jesus Christ my Lord and Saviour, but I do not believe that means I can't enjoyed a good, if not sad, movie, without checking facts againsta clipboard!

So, although this may sound “hip” and therefore insuitable, take a chillpill, and respect your kids’ intelligence.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Beccy, age 14 (Australia)
Negative—I was extremely disappointed in Marley and Me. When I saw the previews, it looked like a cute dog movie, but when we rented it, it turned out to hardly be about the dog. The relationship between Marley and the adult Grogans was shown as mostly negative, with a few positive moments scattered here and there.

Then, of course, there were the bedroom scenes, the sex references and the profanity. I found the beach scenes quite offensive, what with all the women in bikinis walking around. There was a sexual reference in about every other scene. If there wasn't a sexual reference, there was a bedroom scene.

Granted, the scenes weren't graphic and the Grograns were married. But the entire continent of America is filled with sex. There is hardly a movie out there that doesn't have at least two sexual references or scenes. We know married people have sex, we know it's okay for them to enjoy it—do you have to remind us, and what's more, do you have to show us? Personally, I find any bedroom scene in a movie—even if the characters are married—inappropriate. I feel that sex, as a sacred part of marriage, is something private and deserves respect and thus does not need to be paraded in front of us. It's already shoved down our throats, eyes and ears every day of our lives, anyway.

I liked how the Grograns’ relationship was portrayed other than that. Their marriage and their experiences in parenting and owning a dog was shown realistically, though they could have developed the dog's personality and his relationship with the Grograns some more.

I didn't have a problem with the dog being put to sleep. It got me choked up, but any kid older than 11—unless they are very sensitive—should be okay with it. If they can watch bedroom scenes, they can watch a dog falling asleep.

The acting was great. Overall, the movie would have been excellent if it hadn't had so much cursing and sexual references. I was only so disappointed because it had been marketed strongly as a family movie. I expect sex and cursing in most movies I see—but not really one that says “Perfect family comedy.” It is not a family movie; if you're looking for that, pick up “Bolt.” “Marley and Me” is just not all that it was cracked up to be.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Lauren, age 13 (USA)
Negative—I saw this movie with one of my friends, and we were only each 12 then, and this movie was completely horrible. We thought it was a cute dog movie, when suddenly it turns into a movie completely about a married couple, and the movie was all about them. They barely mentioned the dog, and it was all about the couple and them having kids. This movie is not good for anyone, except adults, maybe. The movie had to much sexuality in it—why do they make the movie sound like a cute dog movie in the previews. I do not recommend this movie to fellow christians. …
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 0
—Shelley, age 14 (USA)
Positive—I thought “Marley and Me” was a very cute movie. Yes, there were a few things in the movie that were not very appropriate, but overall, it was a very good, family oriented movie, and for those people who are complaining about the scene where Marley is being put down… They based this movie on the book, Marley and Me, and they were just following what happened in the book. I have seen this movie many times, because I love it so much, and I don't no where some people are getting off by saying it has a lot of bad language in it, in fact, I just watched it today, and I don't remember hearing one swear word! …The movie was just about a family's life with their very hyper dog, and I thought it was a wonderful movie. Yes, it is sad at the end, but like I said before they were just trying to make it as close to the book as possible, and the book is a true story! The author, John Groggin, was the owner of the real Marley, and the movie was just telling his story.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Haley, age 14 (USA)