• PG-13, 1 hr. 47 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Steve James
    In Theaters:
    Jan 24, 1997 Wide
    On DVD:
    Sep 3, 2002


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Prefontaine Reviews

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TV Guide's Movie Guide

Steve Prefontaine must have been something special -- everyone says so -- but there's no magic on the screen.

Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Original Score: 2/4

March 14, 2007
Todd McCarthy
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Prefontaine gets to the finish line in reasonable shape despite plenty of sloppy running along the way.

Full Review Source: Variety

March 14, 2007
Clint Morris

A touching, poignant movie with a great performance by Leto

| Original Score: 3/5

March 11, 2005
Alison Macor
Austin Chronicle

With its moving final scenes and well-developed subject, the story of Steve Prefontaine is a decidedly well-told American tale.

Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle | Original Score: 3/5

October 19, 2004
Dragan Antulov

One of the better sports movies to come from Hollywood in recent years.

Full Review | Original Score: 7/10

February 19, 2004
Michael Dequina

Nothing more than a glorified, profanity-sprinkled made-for-TV movie, from the cast right down to the shallow treatment of its subject.

Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com | Original Score: 2/4

January 13, 2004
Janet Maslin
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Disappointingly colorless and squeaky-clean.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 2/5

May 20, 2003
Jeanne Aufmuth
Palo Alto Weekly

Now Steve Prefontaine can be immortalized for the complex and shining star that he was.

| Original Score: 3/4

May 14, 2003
Wade Major
Boxoffice Magazine

Leto is the greatest beneficiary of these moments, seizing upon the opportunity to convincingly capture Prefontaine's egotistical, enigmatic, obsessive, charismatic personality even when the script fails to do so.

Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine | Original Score: 2.5/5

June 5, 2002
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice

A runner learns some invaluable lessons from his defeat in the Olympics.

Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice

February 26, 2002
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Though it is always pleasant and agreeable, this film has the bland and undemanding texture that characterizes movies made for network TV.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 2.5/5

February 14, 2001
Steve Rhodes
Internet Reviews

The biggest problem is the script, which rarely rings true and is full of trite little phrases.

Full Review Source: Internet Reviews | Original Score: 2/4

January 1, 2000
Jeff Vice
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Ultimately, the script doesn't give us any real insights into Prefontaine's prickly personality or show us why he needed to prove himself.

Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City | Original Score: 2.5/4

January 1, 2000
Christopher Null

A reasonably good retelling of the life story of Steve Prefontaine.

Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com | Original Score: 3/5

January 1, 2000
Madeleine Williams

The by-the-numbers athlete story is interesting, but leaves no lasting impression.

Full Review Source: Cinematter | Original Score: 2.5/4

January 1, 2000
James Berardinelli
Top Critic IconTop Critic

James tries too hard to bring closure to Pre's life, and, as a result, strays a little too far into melodrama. The tearful reminiscences at the end, not to mention some of the stuff at the funeral, lay it on thickly.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 2.5/4

January 1, 2000
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Here is a sports movie in the tradition of the best sportswriting, where athletes are portrayed warts and all. You do not have to be nice to win races, but you have to be good.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3/4

January 1, 2000
Cynthia Fuchs
Philadelphia City Paper

The film is refreshingly unsentimental, intelligent, and compelling (the race scenes areparticularly effective: even if you know the outcomes, these function as mini-dramas in themselves).

Full Review Source: Philadelphia City Paper

January 1, 2000
Mike Clark
USA Today
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Super-16mm film stock gives the film a grainy look that blends in artfully with the vintage videotape of ABC's '72 Olympics coverage.

| Original Score: 3/4

January 1, 2000
Scott Renshaw

Steve James knows his film-making, whether the subject is fact or fiction.

Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews | Original Score: 7/10

January 1, 2000
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