- 1 hr 23 min
Dawg, a 2002 movie directed by Victoria Hochberg and starring Denis Leary, Elizabeth Hurley, and NiCole Robinson, is a dark comedy that explores themes of redemption, relationships, and personal change. Denis Leary plays the titular Dawg, a successful, womanizing criminal defense attorney with a quick wit and sharp tongue. But when his latest client, a drug dealer and repeat offender, is found guilty and sentenced to death, Dawg finds himself questioning his own moral compass and the justice system he's spent his career defending.
Enter Anna (Elizabeth Hurley), a beautiful, no-nonsense probation officer who catches Dawg's eye at a mandatory community service event. Though the two initially clash over their differing views on the justice system, they quickly develop a rapport that leads to a romantic relationship.
Meanwhile, Dawg is also dealing with the fallout from his personal life. His ex-wife (NiCole Robinson) is a former client and also the mother of his young daughter, whom he's neglected in favor of his career and womanizing ways. As he tries to repair his relationship with both his daughter and his ex-wife, Dawg slowly begins to question everything he's believed in his life.
The movie is peppered with snappy dialogue and sharp observations on the justice system and the human condition. There are moments of levity, particularly in the interactions between Dawg and Anna, but the underlying themes of personal growth and redemption keep the film from becoming too lighthearted.
Leary gives a standout performance as Dawg, imbuing the character with equal parts charisma and vulnerability. Hurley is also impressive as Anna, bringing both toughness and tenderness to her role. Meanwhile, Robinson shines in her smaller role as Dawg's ex-wife, conveying both hurt and strength in her interactions with Leary.
The film's cinematography and visual style also add to its overall tone. The use of dim lighting and shadowy scenes create a sense of uncertainty and darkness that echoes the film's themes. Meanwhile, the use of close-ups on the actors' faces during pivotal moments underscores the emotional weight of the story.
Overall, Dawg is a compelling and thought-provoking film that combines sharp comedy and personal drama with a nuanced exploration of moral complexity. Leary, Hurley, and Robinson all deliver standout performances, and the film's themes of redemption and personal growth will resonate with audiences.
Dawg is a 2002 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 23 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 4.9.