- 1 hr 27 min
Benji (2018) is a heartwarming family film about a lovable stray dog named Benji who befriends a pair of siblings, Carter (Gabriel Bateman) and Frankie (Darby Camp), in New Orleans. After the children's mother (Kiele Sanchez) falls on hard times and is forced to work two jobs to support them, Benji becomes an indispensable part of their lives, always there to help them when they need it most.
The film begins with Benji roaming the streets of New Orleans, scrounging for scraps and avoiding the local dogcatcher. When he stumbles upon Carter and Frankie, however, his luck begins to change. The children are initially hesitant to get close to him, but they quickly warm up to his playful and loyal nature.
As the children's mother struggles to keep a roof over their heads and put food on the table, Benji becomes their constant companion and protector. He fends off bullies, helps Frankie retrieve a lost necklace, and even saves both children from a burning building. Through it all, Carter and Frankie come to love Benji as a member of their family, and he never lets them down.
While the children's mother tries to scrape by, a local millionaire's daughter, Lola (Haley Tju), becomes enamored with Benji and his connection to Carter and Frankie. She offers to buy him from the family, but they refuse, not wanting to give up their beloved pet. However, when Benji is stolen and held for ransom, the family desperately turns to Lola for help.
With Lola's help, the children and their mother set out to rescue Benji from his captors but find themselves in danger along the way. In a thrilling conclusion, Benji and his friends must work together to escape their captors and bring everyone home safely.
Overall, Benji (2018) is a touching film about the bonds of family and the enduring loyalty of man's best friend. The performances by Gabriel Bateman and Darby Camp are standout, capturing the innocence and wonder of childhood, while Kiele Sanchez brings depth and heart to the role of the struggling single mother. The film is also visually stunning, with sweeping shots of New Orleans and playful cinematography that captures Benji's inquisitive and playful nature.
While the film is certainly geared towards a young audience, it has a timeless quality that will appeal to viewers of all ages. It is a reminder of the power of kindness and the importance of family, and its message of love and loyalty is one that is sure to resonate with audiences for years to come.
Benji is a 2018 crime movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 27 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.3 and a MetaScore of 53.