Megan Leavey

Rated 3.0

A Marine corporal (Kate Mara) bonds with her canine bomb-sniffing partner during two tours in Iraq; when a roadside bomb nearly kills them both, she sets out to adopt the dog, which has been returned to active duty. Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite delivers the goods in the surefire scenes in country, as the two partners sweep roads, buildings and vehicles looking for explosives (it’s hard to muff setups like that), and Mara holds the movie together with a strong performance. But the script by Pamela Gray, Annie Mumolo and Tim Lovestedt is slapdash and choppy, leaving plot threads dangling undeveloped; major scenes seem to be missing. The movie is pretty good, but it’s hard to escape the feeling that there’s a much better movie in Megan Leavey’s true story, one that never got off the drawing board. J.L.