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Secret Life of Pets, The

Director:  Chris Renaud & Yarrow Cheney
Year Released:  2016
Rating:  1.5

Jack Russell Terrier Max (voiced by Louis C.K.) lives in domestic bliss with his owner Katie (Ellie Kemper) ... until one day she brings home massive Duke (Eric Stonestreet) and the two start fighting with each other - later on, they encounter a group of misfits called "The Flushed Pets," led by adorable-but-malicious Snowball (Kevin Hart), who want to kill humans (and who can blame them?). The animation is top-notch but it's fundamentally an extended Saturday morning cartoon for children (remember those?) pumped with good old Life Lessons about Family Values and Friendship (the pets, after a day of excitement, eagerly await their masters' return) - there are a few scattered movie references (The Birds, Grease, Some Like It Hot) for the grown-ups, but otherwise it's thin ... just a string of chases with little heart and lots of fluff. Note to self: any movie that starts with a Taylor Swift song is probably going to be rough.

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