Marley & Me celebrates two ordinary people as they try to fit love, work, children, and one volcanically misbehaved pooch into a single space. Marley may be the dog from hell, but we're meant to see that the Grogans, in their hearts, wouldn't have it any other way. Marley stands in for all the unruliness that can never be domesticated out of life.
You can domesticate Owen Wilson, but the shock is how good the role of beleaguered breadwinner looks on him. He and Aniston forge a nimble connection (they even get mad in style), and Wilson has a scene near the end with Marley that's the most wrenchingly tender acting of his career. Using his scratchy, lackadaisical warmth to voice a testament to family, and to where dogs fit into it, he makes you feel like it's a wonderful life indeed.
By Owen Gleiberman, from Entertainment Weekly
Marley & Me may not work for those who've never succumbed to the charms of a dog, but for anyone who has ever had a canine companion this movie's for you. Marley & Me is sweet, has a lot of heart, and best of all it features not only an adorable dog (actually there were nearly 2 dozen dogs used in the film) but also great performances by Marley's two-legged co-stars and a more realistic look at married life than most cinematic offerings. Their fights feel genuine. Their conversations about ordinary marital matters aren't forced, and Aniston and Wilson are totally believable as a married team facing life's ups and downs. It's one of the best portrayals of an average married couple I've seen in a decade.
Marley & Me grabs you from the opening moments and never lets go. Bring a tissue. Scratch that – bring a box of tissues. Marley & Me is a real tearjerker. I honestly believe you'd have to have a heart of stone not to fall in love with Marley & Me.
By Rebecca Murray