The Art of Racing in the Rain (Movie Review)

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Writing/Story: ★★★ | Cinematography:  ★★★ | Character(s)/Acting: ★★★★


Through his bond with his owner, aspiring Formula One race car driver Denny, golden retriever Enzo learns that the techniques needed on the racetrack can also be used to successfully navigate the journey of life.


Dog lovers often believe their canine family members understand language, comprehend events, have opinions, and exude loyalty. In “The Art of Racing in The Rain”, wise old dog Enzo Swift shares thoughts about the life experiences which prepared him to protect his family in times of greatest need.


So, 2019 seems to be the year of dog movies. Earlier this year we had A Dog’s Way Home and A Dog’s Journey. Now, The Art of Racing in the Rain. So, have you seen this movie? If so, what did you think of it? I need your comments down below.

Let’s jump right in and talk about the critical points…

Writing/Story: ★★★

The writing is good… average. I wish I had read the book, so I’d be able to compare it, but I didn’t. So, I will say this, there isn’t a whole lot of meaningful dialogue in this one. There are a lot of cute little one liners but not a lot of substantial dialogue where the characters are getting to know each other or connecting on a meaningful level. It has a strong made for TV feel about it.

The story is cute… who doesn’t like a movie centered around a cute dog. However, when this one takes a turn… leaving the dog story for a bit and focuses more on the human aspect of the film, that’s when we really get to see it for what it is… a Lifetime movie with a pretty common plot.

Sure, there are some emotional moments and some tragic things happen. Things that could happen to anyone… things that will break your heart if they happen in real life. However, it’s the way they go about it in this film that just didn’t hit the right emotional buttons with me.   

With that said, most dog movies are seen as family films, but this one does hit on topics that are a bit too depressing for kids to be entertained by.

Cinematography ★★★

Honestly, there just wasn’t anything sensationally about the cinematography in this film. Nothing to wright home about. There was one scene, when Denny is racing in the rain and

Character(s)/Acting: ★★★★

I have to say the Best Actor award in this one has to go to the dog. Or rather, dogs, plural. There were multiple dogs that played Enzo, but seriously these dogs did an amazing job. Kudos to the trainers on set, they did a fantastic job getting the dogs to do exactly what was needed for this film. Plus, with Kevin Costner’s voice giving life to the dog how could the film really go wrong, right? His timing and delivery of Enzo’s lines was perfect.

Our other two main characters were Amanda Seyfried, who played Eve, and Milo Ventimiglia who played Denny Swift.

Amanda was great, she always is. She is a natural on screen and wow… I didn’t see that coming. This movie, as I’m sure the book did, took a major turn with her character. I won’t give it away, but I wasn’t expecting it. She did a beautiful job showing true emotion throughout her performance, I just wish we could have seen a bit more of it from the dog’s perspective.

Milo did a good job too; I’ve enjoyed his acting since his days on The Gilmore Girls. I think he felt a little stiff in this one, but over all not bad. He had some good emotion driven moments, but all in all his character was more one liners than deep, true, conversation. The movie is called The Art of Racing in the Rain, I really wish we could have seen him race a bit more. We saw him drive around the race track… mostly when there weren’t other drivers on the track with him. I felt a little gipped that we didn’t get to see a few good races.


“There is no dishonor in losing the race. There is only dishonor in not racing because you are afraid to lose.”


The story as a whole, wasn’t bad. When the focus was on the dog… telling the story from the dog’s perspective, I was really into it. It was when it took a turn and focused more on the human aspects of the story instead of what it was… a story about a dog… that’s when it lost my focus a bit.

Listen, with that said, this movie is still really good. If you loved it, I’m glad. I enjoyed it too. I know I might not have the most popular opinion about this film, but my job here is as a critic… I look at all aspects of the film and tell you what I think. This one just didn’t move me in ways other dog movies have moved me other the years. Sure, I got teary eyed once… I didn’t cry, but I got a bit of blurry vision when the Enzo road in the race car, and sure there are some serious – SERIOUS – topics discussed and things happen… terrible – sad things that I did get emotional about. I knew nothing about the movie before seeing it, other than it was narrated by a dog… I don’t want to give away to much since I’m sure not everyone watching this video has seen the film.

Have you seen The Art of Racing in the Rain yet? Have you read the book? If you have let me know, in the comments below, what you thought of either the book or the movie! I’d love to know. I haven’t read the book, but I plan to and I do recommend seeing this film. Watch it yourself and see what you think.

Check out my YouTube channel and the video review below… and make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss a video.

View the Official Trailer Below!

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