How to Kill Your Neighbor's Dog (2000)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  5 March 2003 (France)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 3,064 users   Metascore: 40/100
Reviews: 46 user | 24 critic | 13 from

Shy, chain-smoking, insomniac Peter McGowan is an L.A. playwright with a string of hits that preceded his current ten years of failed productions. His mother-in-law is sinking into senility... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter McGowen
Melanie McGowen (as Robin Wright Penn)
False Peter
Brian Sellars
Trina Walsh
Derek Kellock ...
Amy's Father
Debra Salhany


Shy, chain-smoking, insomniac Peter McGowan is an L.A. playwright with a string of hits that preceded his current ten years of failed productions. His mother-in-law is sinking into senility, a stranger is meandering the neighborhood claiming to be him, neighbors have a new dog that barks all night; his wife wants to have a child, and he does not: he's become impotent. He's working on a new play when a single mom moves in next door with her 8-year-old daughter. His wife immediately invites the girl into the McGowan household. Will this child stir Peter's paternal feelings? Will she also help him get his dialogue right? And what of his doppelganger and the neighbor's dog? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


One man's pet is another man's peeve.


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

5 March 2003 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Comment tuer le chien de son voisin  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$7,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$18,956 (USA) (22 February 2002)


$48,564 (USA) (19 April 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Outside of festivals, the film did not receive a major theatrical release and wound up going directly to cable. See more »


[first lines]
Handler: Mr. McGowen, I think we're ready. This way, please.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the credits roll, there is a short break showing the scene portraying the dog after it had been shot. The director shouts "cut," and the dog gets off the ground and barks. See more »


References Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997) See more »


Sign of the Times
Written by Tony Hatch
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User Reviews

Intelligent Comedy, Worth Watching
10 May 2003 | by (Herzlya, Israel) – See all my reviews

I liked this movie - for a change we have here an intelligent comedy, smart dialogs, a conventional story that succeeds to almost never fall in the romantic routine. The story is set in Los Angeles. A British-American play-writer goes through a mid-life, mid-career, mid-relationship crisis. He is happily married, but the couple is childless, mostly probably because he is a champion of egocentrism and does not seem to like children very much. All this changes when a neighbor with an eight-year old daughter moves in. You have indeed seen the story in many other movies, but the masterful acting of Branagh with good support from the rest of the team, the sarcastic description of the content-empty life in the artistic circles in Los Angeles, and the witty relationship between the European roots of the character and his Americanized life make the film both interesting to watch, as well as true in message. 8 out of 10 on my personal scale.

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