Hidalgo (2004) - Rotten Tomatoes

Hidalgo (2004)



Critic Consensus: The scenery looks great, but this overstuffed horse story contains too much cheese.

Movie Info

Held yearly for centuries, the Ocean of Fire--a 3,000 mile survival race across the Arabian desert--was a challenge restricted to the finest Arabian horses ever bred, the purest and noblest lines, owned by the greatest royal families. In 1890, a wealthy sheik invited an American, Frank T. Hopkins, and his horse to enter the race for the first time. During the course of his career, Hopkins was a cowboy and dispatch rider for the U.S. cavalry--and had once been billed as the greatest rider the West had ever known. The Sheik puts his claim to the test, pitting the American cowboy and his mustang, Hidalgo, against the world's greatest Arabian horses and Bedouin riders--some of whom are determined to prevent a foreigner from finishing the race. For Frank, the Ocean of Fire becomes not only a matter of pride and honor, but a race for his very survival as he and his horse attempt the impossible.more
Rating: PG-13 (for adventure violence and some mild innuendo)
Genre: Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By: John Fusco
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 3, 2004
Box Office: $67.2M
Buena Vista Pictures - Official Site


Viggo Mortensen
as Frank Hopkins
Omar Sharif
as Sheikh Riyadh
Louise Lombard
as Lady Anne Davenport
Said Taghmaoui
as Prince Bin al Reeh
J.K. Simmons
as Buffalo Bill Cody
Victor Talmadge
as Rau Rasmussen
Franky Mwangi
as Slave Boy
Floyd 'Red Crow' Wes...
as Chief Eagle Horn
Elizabeth Berridge
as Annie Oakley
C. Thomas Howell
as Preston Webb
Stevan Rimkus
as Military Cistern Lie...
Jerry Hardin
as Nate Salisbury
Frank Collison
as Texas Jack
Chris Owen
as First Soldier
Marshall Manesh (II)
as Camel Skinner
George Gerdes
as Major Whitside
Todd Kimsey
as Corporal at Wounded ...
Ed Nah New Rider Web...
as Old Lakota Woman
Adam Ozturk
as Bedouin Rider
John Prosky
as Officer at Horse Cor...
Michael Canavan
as Cattleman
David Midthunder
as Black Coyote
Lee Trotter
as Soldier at Wounded K...
Dave Florek
as Sentry at Wounded Kn...
Jeff Kober
as Sergeant at Wounded ...
Sam Sako
as Call to Prayer Singe...
Jake Miller
as Ghost Dance Singer
Clement Richards
as Lakota Wagon Driver
Zachary Badasci
as Young Frank Hopkins
Malcolm McDowell
as Lord Davenport (uncr...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Hidalgo

Critic Reviews for Hidalgo

All Critics (167) | Top Critics (41)

An adventure that never met a cliche it couldn't saddle, mount and ride for a butt-numbing two hours and sixteen minutes.

April 9, 2004
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

An exciting, colorful and very appealing movie.

Full Review… | March 18, 2004
New York Observer
Top Critic

Whether or not the events depicted really happened to Hopkins, it's still a damn fun story.

Full Review… | April 18, 2014
Cinema Crazed

Formulaic, overly simple, too violent for tweens.

Full Review… | December 24, 2010
Common Sense Media

The event around which the movie revolves is a desert mirage, since there is no record of any such race ever being staged. Nonetheless, those able to ignore this outrageous historical distortion might enjoy this triumph of an underdog aganst the odds.

Full Review… | April 25, 2007
Princeton Town Topics

Even if the story were true, the film's events have been fictionalized beyond belief.

September 25, 2006
Christianity Today

Audience Reviews for Hidalgo


This is a period piece centering around a rugged western hero who decides to prove himself by being the first westerner to enter into a gruelling desert horse race in the Middle East, hoping ot prove that his American horse Hidalgo is just as good if not better than any of the Arabian horses he's up against.

The film is very schmaltzy, sappy, and emotionally manipulative, and some of it does work, but a lot of it fell flat for me. Viggo Mortensen's presence helps things out a lot, and there;s some wonderful cinematography, but some of this was just really too cheesy for me. That, and I really don't care for the opening stuff involving the Native Americans. It jsut comes off as forced, unnecessary, pandering, and really mishandled. It shouldn't even be in here, really. Also, Omar Sharif is a great guy, but give him some better material to work with, especially a character who we're supposed to like (in the end), but can't buy how it gets to that point.

Yeah, I'm ripping on this movie, and some of it is just nitpicking and personal issues, but really, this film just isn't that special or all that memorable even. Go with Seabiscuit instead, or, now that it's out, War Horse.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Hidalgo is a terrific action adventure following the legend of Frank T. Hopkins and his Mustang horse, Hidalgo. The film is about a race known as the Ocean of fire a long distance race across the Arabian desert. Hidalgo is a fairly entertaining adventure and is a film that deserves a lot more credit than it deserves. Sure the film is at times uneven, but it manages to be an entertaining and thrilling adventure that is simply loads of fun. Viggo Mortensen is good in his portrayal of Frank Hopkins. Hidalgo is basically a story of attempting the impossible. The film has Western elements, but it doesn't evoke a sense of nostalgia found in viewing such epic Spaghetti Westerns of old. The film is pretty well crafted and the pacing of the story is well thought out meaning the film is never too dull or boring, it's always exciting and thrilling. October Sky director Joe Johnson helms this film and does yet another terrific job and making a film that doesn't have a specific demographic in mind. Johnson is a splendid filmmaker and Hidalgo is yet another solid picture that proves his talents further. A surprising casting choice is Omar Shariff (I thought he was dead long ago) He plays a decent role in Hidalgo also was more famous for playing Ali in the epic masterpiece Lawrence Of Arabia. Hidalgo is an action packed film that the whole family will surely enjoy. The film is never boring, or dull and theres always something going on to keep the pace of the film going.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer


Different from most any western this crossbred tale of a crossbred cowboy horseracing in arabia is itself a crossbreed, has interesting legs and succeeds in entertaining.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Hidalgo Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Hidalgo on our Movie forum!