2023 Film Dogman

Dogman (or DogMan) is a 2023 English-language French drama thriller film written and directed by Luc Besson and starring Caleb Landry Jones, Jojo T.

Gibbs">Jojo T. Gibbs, Christopher Denham, John Charles Aguilar and Grace Palma. Set in New Jersey, it depicts a man who was abused by his father and loves dogs.

2023 Film Dogman
Theatrical release poster
Directed byLuc Besson
Screenplay byLuc Besson
Produced byVirginie Besson-Silla
CinematographyColin Wandersman
Edited byJulien Rey
Music byÉric Serra
Distributed by
  • Apollo Films Distribution
  • EuropaCorp Distribution
Release dates
  • 31 August 2023 (2023-08-31) (Venice)
  • 27 September 2023 (2023-09-27) (France)
Running time
114 minutes
Box office$3.9 million

Dogman was selected to compete for the Golden Lion at the 80th Venice International Film Festival, where it premiered on 31 August 2023. It was released in France on 27 September 2023. The film received generally mixed reviews from critics.


Doug is arrested in New Jersey while driving a truck full of dogs.

Evelyn, a psychiatrist, is sent to the police station to interrogate him. Through flashbacks he tells the story of his life. First, as a child victim of his father's violence to the point of having lost the use of his legs; his brief time in a juvenile institution where he falls in love with his theatre teacher, Salma, who introduces Shakespeare to him (he later states that he knows all the playwright's plays by heart); then as the master of numerous dogs helping him steal jewellery and precious objects as well as protect people in need. Doug also reveals he has performed weekly as drag queen in a cabaret act.



Dogman was filmed in a virtual production facility in Essonne, France, from February to July 2022, and on location in Newark, New Jersey, in June 2022.


Dogman was selected to compete for the Golden Lion at the 80th Venice International Film Festival, where it had its world premiere on 31 August 2023. It was released in French cinemas on 27 September 2023 by Apollo Films Distribution and EuropaCorp Distribution. Originally scheduled for 19 April 2023, the release was pushed back in hopes to secure a premiere at an autumn film festival after positive reception from buyers at the European Film Market in February 2023. It was also invited at the 28th Busan International Film Festival in the Open Cinema section and was screened on 6 October 2023. The film was released in select theaters in the United States on 15 March 2024 by Briarcliff Entertainment, before expanding to a wide release on 22 March.


Critical response

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 57% based on 61 reviews, with an average rating of 5.3/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "While Besson, Landry Jones, and a pack of mutts lend DogMan their roaring souls, this entry offers ample creative risks and kibbled returns." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 45 out of 100 from 23 critics, indicating "mixed or average" reviews.

Catherine Bray, in her review for The Guardian, called Dogman "the most ludicrous film you'll see all year, maybe ever". Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian awarded the movie three stars out of five, describing it as odd, but well-executed and amusing. French film critics of Radio France criticized the accumulation of clichés and the lack of cohesion of the plot. Jean-Luc Wachthausen of Le Point, however, found the film "disturbing and keeping its promises".

Awards and nominations

Awards and nominations for Dogman
Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
Venice Film Festival 9 September 2023 Golden Lion Luc Besson Nominated
Queer Lion Nominated
Fanheart3 Award – Graffetta d'Oro for Best Film Won



2023 Film Dogman Plot2023 Film Dogman Cast2023 Film Dogman Production2023 Film Dogman Release2023 Film Dogman Reception2023 Film Dogman

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