The Secret Life of Pets

Critics Consensus

Fast-paced, funny, and blessed with a talented voice cast, The Secret Life of Pets offers a beautifully animated, cheerfully undemanding family-friendly diversion.

73%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 227

62%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 82,343
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Movie Info

For their fifth fully-animated feature-film collaboration, Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures present The Secret Life of Pets, a comedy about the lives our pets lead after we leave for work or school each day. Comedy superstars Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet and Kevin Hart make their animated feature-film debuts in The Secret Life of Pets, which co-stars Ellie Kemper, Lake Bell, Jenny Slate, Bobby Moynihan, Hannibal Buress and Albert Brooks. Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri and his longtime collaborator Janet Healy produce the film directed by Chris Renaud (Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2), co-directed by Yarrow Cheney and written by Brian Lynch and Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio.

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Critic Reviews for The Secret Life of Pets

All Critics (227) | Top Critics (48) | Fresh (166) | Rotten (61)

  • The film [is] loud, colourful, frantic in pace, but less than the sum of its parts.

    Sep 9, 2016 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • It is an incredibly simple yet irresistible idea for a movie. It's also exactly what you think it's going to be - no more, no less.

    Jul 26, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • There's something quietly therapeutic about spending 90 minutes with some nutty, heroic furballs on a hero's journey with very low stakes.

    Jul 10, 2016 | Full Review…
  • The Secret Life of Pets is strong enough that parents won't fall into a catatonic state while watching it with their offspring.

    Jul 9, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Draws on the universal experience of pet ownership to draw out the "awww" in all of us. But the film butt-scoots by on its premise. There's not much more going on, thematically or emotionally below the surface.

    Jul 8, 2016 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • As the owner of a Maine Coon I've weed-whacked into a goofy lion cut, I gulped when Snowball the bunny, a former magician's assistant, bellows, "All of us have suffered at the hands of man!"

    Jul 8, 2016 | Rating: B | Full Review…

    Amy Nicholson

    MTV
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Secret Life of Pets

  • Apr 24, 2018
    Disappointing animated movie that is more or less remaking Toy Story 1 just with Pets. And while the title promises lots of pets, it's mostly dogs that are running the show. Cats are just fat, bitchy or antagonizing, while dogs show all kinds of characteristics. That's frustratingly narrow minded and not particularly original. The animation is flawless and a few jokes work, but overall you can't shake off the feeling that you've seen it all before, and better.
    Jens S Super Reviewer
  • Apr 24, 2017
    http://cinephilecrocodile.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/the-secret-lifeof-pets-dir-chris-renaud.html
    Anthony L Super Reviewer
  • Apr 03, 2017
    From Illumination comes the entertaining family comedy The Secret Life of Pets. When his owner brings home a new dog Max plots to get rid of him, but his plans go awry and leaves the two of them lost in the streets of New York City. While it has a promising start (with all of the various pet and their different home lives) it quickly becomes a standard road film. Still, the characters are rather fun and interesting, with some really creative designs to them. And the comedy is fairly well-written, if a little broad and stereotypical. It delivers some laughs and has its moments, but The Secret Life of Pets loses its ambition early on and settles for mediocrity.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 04, 2017
    This review probably won't be very good. Then again, you could say that none of my reviews are any good to begin with. And to that I say, shush you. Seriously though, I'm on sort of a high that I don't think I could formulate my thoughts in coherent or interesting fashion. Again, you could say that I don't do that anyway, so this will be just like a regular review. I suppose I could write this later, but I really don't want to, plus I have to do other stuff. With that pointless and unnecessary tangent out of the way, on to this movie. Oh and another aside, the fucking minions, yes THOSE minions, are also infesting movies that they aren't even meant to be in. The Illumination Entertainment logo that plays prior to the film has a minion looking at the logo and screaming Illumination in his stupidly annoying minion voice. And another thing about Illumination Entertainment, and I only just thought about this right now, but they're a terrible studio. Perhaps terrible is too strong of a word, but I have not enjoyed any one of their films. That I've seen obviously. This covers Despicable Me 1 and 2, The Lorax, Minions (which I hated) and this one. I haven't seen Hop and I don't plan on it. Nor have I seen Sing yet, but I'm willing to give it a shot when it comes out on DVD. This just popped into my head when I started writing this review, Illumination just isn't very good at what they do. Yes, their animation is solid and colorful, but their stories are sorely lacking to truly push them to Laika, Pixar or even Dreamworks level. They're several notches below that. I can't even include Blue Sky Animation or Sony Animation, as both have several movies in their filmography that I've enjoyed. More Sony than Blue Sky, but still. So, yea, Illumination doesn't have the best track record. And to illustrate, or ILLUMINATE, that point, I'll tell you right now that this movie was the best one in their filmography. This is really sad when you take into consideration that this, realistically speaking, is an average movie at best. Yes, THIS is the best they can do. If that's not sad to you, at least those of you who've spent more than 10 years watching animated movies, then I don't know what to tell you. One thing I will never take away from Illumination Entertainment and their team of artists, is that they have some colorful films and, clearly, some very talented animators on their team. The technical aspects of their films have never been an issue for me, my issues have always been with the actual narrative content of their films, which has always lagged behind the animation. And this movie is absolutely no different. As far as comedy is concerned, this might be the 'funniest' film they've ever made. And I put that in quotation marks because it's not like it's truly hilarious or anything of the sort. They rely on a lot of the things that make us laugh about dogs or cats instead of actually relying on some well-written jokes. If I'm honest, at least that aspect of the humor, as in using the things dogs and cats already do to make us laugh, is really lazy. Because it's not like the movie told a clever joke or anything of the sort, they just used that as a crutch. Cats are assholes, dogs are scared of vacuums, shit like that. That's what constitutes a joke in this movie. Really. It's uninspired and lazy. Not to say there aren't some funny moments, because there are, but there's very little effort put into them. I will give the movie points for being fast-paced as it doesn't overstay its welcome in the slightest. But, because of that pacing, the characters don't really have time to actually develop past the necessary exposition. Nothing really ever sticks, because they want you to feel one thing in one scene without really giving it any time to actually sink in. They just throw you to the next scene as quickly as they can. This really is a movie for kids that way. They're obviously not gonna care about the narrative or anything like that. Just show them colorful worlds, with characters that are flexible and get into lots of slapstick-y antics. That's all kids want and this movie provides that in spades. Which is a shame, because I think they could have told a good story about the relationship pets have with their owners and they forego all that to do all the shit that's expected of them. And that's not necessarily a problem if, at least, the substitute was actually good. But when it's not, that's when I have problems. The voice acting is fairly solid, Jenny Slate is the highlight of the entire film. No one else really stuck out to me, but they all do their jobs well. I just wish the cast's effort would have been backed by a story that actually cared about its characters, instead of just getting by on the bare minimum. It is what it is and kids will certainly love this movie. I, on the other hand, can't really recommend this at all. Illumination Entertainment's average film efforts continue.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer

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