“Megan Leavey”

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – You’d swear that “Megan Leavey” was plucked from the old heartwarming Hollywood handbook of a girl bonding with her dog. If Megan and Rex weren’t actually real life characters in a contemporary setting during the Iraq war.

“Megan Leavey” has all the ingredients for a lump in your throat experience.

Just like Rex, your emotions will react right on cue when civilian misfit Kate Mara finds redemption  in the military along with her four legged source of trust.

Fellow dog handler Marine Roman Rodriguez helps but Megan in touch with her even more intimate feelings.

What’s not to like about “Megan Leavey” with its themes of discovering inner strength without exhausting the audience with heavy handed emotion?

I don’t mean to be condescending calling “Megan Leavey” a nice, sweet natured picture, the kind of which they hardly make anymore.

With just the right amount of conflict to keep this true story rolling right along.

“Megan Leavey” will keep your Saturday night from being a wash out. Kate Mara makes the most of this rare starring role, helped along with a sincere low budget supporting cast who don’t often appear in major releases.

“Megan Leavey” stands tall receiving her well-earned decoration of 3 stars.

And she’s better be sharing it with Rex.

It’s a movie with heart and warmth, all products of an irresistible relationship.

3 stars

Rated PG-13

1 hour 45 minutes

Kate Mara, Ramon Rodriguez, Edie Falco, Will Patton