Strays: release date, reviews, trailer, cast and everything we know about the Will Ferrell comedy

Four dogs walking dog a street in Strays
(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

It's probably a safe bet that you haven't seen a dog movie like Strays before, as Will Ferrell voices an adorable canine at the center of an R-rated comedy. We're sensing a bit of a theme with 2023 new movies like this and Cocaine Bear — animals gone wild.

This is the latest big movie from Ferrell. The popular comedic actor is best known for roles in films that include Zoolander, Old School, Anchorman, Elf and Step Brothers.

If swearing dogs seems up your alley, here is everything you need to know about Strays.

Strays release date

Strays officially hits movie theaters on August 18, sharing the date with the latest superhero movie, Blue Beetle.

Strays plot

When you read the official synopsis for Strays, there is something you’ll take away real quick — this is no Lassie:

"They say a dog is a man's best friend, but what if the man is a total dirtbag? In that case, it might be time for some sweet revenge, doggy style. 

"When Reggie, a naïve, relentlessly optimistic Border Terrier, is abandoned on the mean city streets by his lowlife owner, Doug, Reggie is certain that his beloved owner would never leave him on purpose. 

"But once Reggie falls in with a fast-talking, foul-mouthed Boston Terrier named Bug, a stray who loves his freedom and believes that owners are for suckers, Reggie finally realizes he was in a toxic relationship and begins to see Doug for the heartless sleazeball that he is. 

"Determined to seek revenge, Reggie, Bug and Bug's pals — Maggie, a smart Australian Shepherd who has been sidelined by her owner's new puppy, and Hunter, an anxious Great Dane who's stressed out by his work as an emotional support animal — together hatch a plan and embark on an epic adventure to help Reggie find his way home … and make Doug pay by biting off the appendage he loves the most. (Hint: It’s not his foot)."

Dan Perrault (Players, American Vandal) wrote the script.

Strays cast

Will Ferrell voices Reggie in Strays, just one of the big 2023 summer blockbusters that Ferrell is set to star in. The other is Barbie, where he is going to play the Mattel CEO. In addition to the classic comedies we listed above, Ferrell has more recently starred in the likes of Spirited, The Shrink Next Door and Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.

The main group of supporting actors in Strays includes Jamie Foxx (Ray, Spider-Man: No Way Home) as a Boston Terrier named Bug who helps teach Reggie what it means to be a stray; Isla Fisher (Wedding Crashers, Blithe Spirit) as Maggie, an Australian Shepherd sidelined by her owner in favor of a puppy; Randall Park (WandaVision, Always Be My Maybe) as Great Dane Hunter, stressed out from his work as an emotional therapy dog; and Will Forte (MacGruber, The Last Man on Earth) as Reggie's dirtbag owner Doug.

Other Strays cast members include Josh Gad (Frozen), Harvey Guillén (What We Do in the Shadows), Brett Gellman (Stranger Things), Rob Riggle (The Hangover), Jamie Demetriou (The Afterparty) and Sofia Vergara (Modern Family).

Strays trailer

The first Strays trailer is an NSFW, red-band delight. At least in this two-minute form, watching these pooches swear and get into various hijinks seems like it's going to be a riot:

Check out the latest trailer for Strays right here:

Strays reviews

Is Strays the next big comedy? Our Strays review isn't convinced of that, finding that the jokes get stale pretty quick. But, how do other critics feel about the movie? When an official Rotten Tomatoes score becomes available, we'll share it here.

Strays director: Josh Greenbaum

Josh Greenbaum is the man behind the camera for Strays. Greenbaum has a lot of experience directing comedies on TV, directing episodes for the likes of New Girl, Single Parents, Fresh Off the Boat and more. His big feature comedy credit as the director to date was the cult hit Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar

Strays poster

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)
Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.