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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Is Cooper really an "angel dog", or is he just incredibly compassionate and thus, angelic by his nature only?
    • A few detractors have pointed out that Cooper was always coincidentally at the scene of several tragedies, which they interpret as meaning that he somehow caused them. Although a more optimistic interpretation is that he knows something bad is about to happen, so he shows up conveniently to comfort those in need.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: A common criticism of the film is that it's too depressing, and as such, unwatchable.
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  • Jerkass Woobie: Caroline, who comes across as selfish, but her problems are rooted in her mother's fall into depression after her father left the family.
  • The Scrappy: Even those who liked the movie tend to hate Caroline for her selfish demeanor, never mind her Character Development.
  • Wangst: Caroline is often accused of this. Her reasons for her dislike of other people can seem rather irrational, especially given her behavior towards her mother.
    • Jake is guilty of this as well. It's understandable that he would be in mourning and barely able to even get up after the accident, but his refusal to pick up Cooper — nearly resulted in him being put to sleep — is a bit much.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: An entire family dies in the first scene, so for it to be called a family movie seems ... a little dubious.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: There's a lot of pro-Christian imagery in the film, and it's called Angel Dog. While nothing's ever actually spelled out in-universe, it should be pretty obvious what exactly the filmmakers are selling.
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  • The Woobie: Jake, who lost his family and now, only a dog who survived the crash that killed them can bring him joy.
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