Directed by John Robert Hoffman, starring Liam Aiken, Kevin Nealon, Molly Shannon, Matthew Broderick, Brittany Moldowan, Hunter Elliot, Donald Adeosun Faison, Brittany Murphy, Mikhael Speidel and Carl Reiner.

What Owen Baker (Aiken) wants more than anything in the world is his own dog and after a summer of walking the neighbours' mutts, his dream is about to come true. But there's more to his new friend, whom he has named Hubble, than meets the eye. Apparently he is "too smart" and after a technical glitch, which allows Owen to understand Hubble (voiced by Broderick), he learns why.

Hubble is actually from the Dog Star, Sirius. He has been sent to Earth to write a report on how Earth dogs, who originally came from Sirius, are faring in their mission to conquer the planet.

He is, of course, horrified to learn that, instead of the dominant creatures he expected to find, his kind have become pets. He enlists the help of Owen to whip the neighbourhood dogs into shape for the imminent arrival of Sirius' aloof leader, the Greater Dane. Things don't go according to plan however, and soon, it's up to Owen to save all Earth dogs from a fate worse than death.

The highlight, apart from the cute dogs, has got to be Aiken's nicely under-played defender of canine-kind. Many child actors over-act in a role like this but Aiken's performance is refreshing. Not so in the case of Molly Shannon, who plays Owen's mother. Her cheeriness seems false and becomes irksome. You can't help but agree with Hubble when he asks Owen if they can tie her up out back.

'Good Boy!' is pretty standard children's movie fare. There's nothing new about the format and the plot isn't stellar by any means. But the idea that dogs were sent to colonise Earth will appeal to anyone who has ever wondered what their pet canine makes of their antics.

Katie Moten