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'The Power of the Dog' — release date, cast, and everything we know

The Power of the Dog star Benedict Cumberbatch
Benedict Cumberbatch stars in 'The Power of the Dog'. (Image credit: Netflix)

The Power of the Dog is a new film launching in December, telling the story of rancher Phil Burbank, whose life changes when his brother brings home a new wife and her son.

The film is based on the 1967 novel of the same name by Thomas Savage. It premiered at Venice Film Festival but is now headed to Netflix so it can reach a wider audience, and there'll be a limited cinematic release too for those who want to see it on the big screen.

Directed by Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog focuses on themes such as toxic masculinity, power, and wealth. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, she said: "Cowboys are seen as being about the natural life, the simple life. However, the Burbanks had one of the wealthiest ranches in Montana. 

"They wield a lot of power, and I think power is always the real issue. It comes through with women too, when they have power and how they choose to use it. Power is always it. And money is often power."

Here's everything we know about the film ahead of its Netflix release...

When is 'The Power of the Dog' on Netflix?

The film will see a limited cinema release in on November 17, before it arrives globally on Netflix on December 1. To find out if it's coming to a cinema near you, you can visit IMDb and type in your ZIP or Postal Code. 

What is the plot of 'The Power of the Dog'?

According to Netflix the official synopsis is: "A domineering rancher responds with mocking cruelty when his brother brings home a new wife and her son, until the unexpected comes to pass."

The film is based on the book of the same name, and is set in a small town in 1920s Montana. The story examines masculinity from the perspective of a deeply homophobic rancher and takes a look at complex themes like prejudice, relationships, masculinity, and more.

Who stars in the film?

The Power of the Dog has an all-star cast, with Benedict Cumberbatch taking on the lead role of rancher Phil Burbank.

Supporting cast include Kirsten Dunst as Rose Gordon, Jesse Plemons as George Burbank, Kodi Smit-McPhee as Peter Gordon, Thomasin McKenzie as Lola, Genevieve Lemon as Mrs. Lewis, and Keith Carradine as Governor Edward.

Is there a trailer?

Yes! You can watch the trailer for the Netflix film below, which gives us a look at Benedict Cumberbatch as the unpleasant rancher and the way he interacts with those around him. 

Lucy Buglass

Lucy is a digital writer with WhatToWatch.com, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University in 2016 with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.


She is also a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema, setting up her own website Lucy Goes to Hollywood in 2017 to review films in her spare time. Her favourite genres are horror, thriller and anything crime related. When she's not writing about film and TV, you'll likely find her playing video games, reading, and trying her hand at podcasting.