The Power Of The Dog Review: Great Cast, Boring Story

Hey it’s me, your awful Spotify wrapped and today I bring you the review of The Power Of The Dog, a movie that has a star-studded cast but falls short in the story department for some.

In this review (like in my others) I will be telling you 1. What I Loved And Hated and 2. Whether You Should Check it out, all that without spoiling the movie so without wasting anymore time, lets begin.

1. What I Loved And Hated

What I Loved:

The Cast

The Power of the Dog Review

The Power Of The Dog has a pretty top tier cast with the MCU’s Doctor Strange Benedict Cumberbatch, The Raimi Verse Mary Jane Kirsten Dunst and Game Night’s Jesse Plemons. The cast really give good performances especially Benedict, Cumberbatch gives a great western cowboy performance and delivers in every scene he is in while Kirsten Dunst also gives a good performance throughout the film.

Jesse Plemons gives a good performance too but only has a few scenes in the movies over 2 hours run time only delivering in the first and third act, his character is not super interesting if not at all interesting but Jesse just gives the usual great performance which myself and a lot others always expect from him.

The Cinematography

The largely takes place at a ranch surrounded by mountains and we are given some great shots throughout the movie which I may even compare to being as good-looking as the shots we got on Dune. I liked the cinematography, it was definitely one of the highlights for me.

What I did not like:

The Runtime

The Power of the Dog is a little over 2 hours long and with it’s story everything sort of moves at a sluggish pace throughout the first and some of the second act and waiting for the story to get interesting feels more like a test of patience to be honest.

The movie feels like it could have been at least 30 minutes shorter because of how somethings just felt sort of unnecessary and while watching, felt like they made the movie slow down on top of it’s already slow pace.

The Story

The Power Of The Dog is not a big action blockbuster in fact it’s not an action movie at all but a Western Drama movie which, depending on who you are, may not be your favorite scoop of ice cream. In other words, the movie feels like it has it’s own group of people who’d absolutely love it’s story and catch the deeper meanings fast.

If you’re like me though (A person who like good story lines that actually keep me hooked by surprising me and etc.) you may not like this movie’s story THAT much if not at all. While other drama movies sort of have some mystery and thrill mixed in, this is just a full on drama movie that needs you to know the book.

Hey fun fact actually, the movie is based on a 1967 book of the same name by Thomas Savage. People who read the book know what is happening throughout but people like me who haven’t, feel like their watching paint dry.

2. Should You Watch It?

No, The Power Of The Dog is a movie that’s completely for people who’ve read the book as they get to see what they read being accurately and well delivered on screen while for people who haven’t it feels a lot like a really slow burn. Benedict Cumberbatch gives a top tier performance but it does not really matter when you don’t know what you’re watching.

I’m not saying this movie is awful I’m just saying I did not like it but I do understand there are multiple people who did, the movie is sitting on 95% on Rotten Tomatoes with a 75% audience score.

I give it a 4/10 because I really did like the cast and the cinematography but I just couldn’t vibe with the movie in its entirety. It felt like it was more for people who really knew the books and not just some dude who tuned in because “Hey, it’s that guy from the hit movie The Grinch”.

Check out my review of Netflix’s live action remake of Cowboy Bebop here.


While The Power Of The Dog has a great cast, the movie is not one you may just tune into because you wanna watch something but a movie that feels like you need to have read the books in order to completely enjoy it, a lot of the themes feel sort of hidden when you walk into it blindly.

If you want to walk in blindly into something and absolutely enjoy it I’d recommend The Harder They Fall which I reviewed a few weeks ago, check that review here

Did you watch the movie? Did you enjoy it? Do you agree with the rotten tomatoes score? talk to me in the comments below or on twitter.

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[…] The Unforgivable is a good movie packing a cast of great actors and a pretty great story that takes it’s own time to get to it’s highest point but when it does, it is absolutely entertaining. I definitely enjoyed it a lot more than I did The Power Of The Dog, check out my review here. […]