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Seabiscuit (2003)



Average Rating: 7.1/10
Reviews Counted: 201
Fresh: 155 | Rotten: 46

A life-affirming, if saccharine, epic treatment of a spirit-lifting figure in sports history.


Average Rating: 6.8/10
Critic Reviews: 47
Fresh: 36 | Rotten: 11

A life-affirming, if saccharine, epic treatment of a spirit-lifting figure in sports history.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 117,757

My Rating

Movie Info

For his sophomore effort, director Gary Ross re-teams with Tobey Maguire and William H. Macy, stars of his directorial debut Pleasantville, for this depression-era sports drama about the legendary racehorse, Seabiscuit. Unlike 1949's fictionalized The Story of Seabiscuit starring Shirley Temple, this version attempts to present a factual account of the story, which centers around the three men who saw the famed horse to victory. Jeff Bridges stars as Charles Howard, an entrepreneur who owns the



Laura Hillenbrand, Charlie Mitchell, Gary Ross

Dec 16, 2003


Universal Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (208) | Top Critics (49) | Fresh (155) | Rotten (46) | DVD (22)

Respectable when it should be thrilling, honorable when it should be rough and ready.

July 31, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[It] may be too airbrushed for its own good, but in the end nothing can stop this story from putting a lump in your throat.

November 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Newsweek
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I found this film stultifyingly self-important and, despite the regularity with which it cuts to the chase, weirdly static.

March 26, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For a film about an unfancied underdog, Seabiscuit is just far too pleased with itself.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Watching this movie, you get the feeling that the Depression existed so that Seabiscuit could be memorialized.

August 7, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In the structure of his screenplay Ross has taken a risk, and he has not quite brought it off.

August 27, 2003
The New Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

promises filet mignon, only to deliver oats and hay

May 19, 2013 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews
Old School Reviews

An inspiring story for teens and up.

December 28, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

It's inspiring despite a sobering thesis: The future is intoxicating, but progress is a kind way of rendering someone's livelihood obsolete. Gary Ross probed the underdog principle's heart: Success outside the comfort zone is the sweetest of all.

September 23, 2010 Full Review Source:

Writer-director Ross's true-believer American salesmanship%u2014inspired by Frank Capra and honed in Dave and Pleasantville--suits this story of American entrepreneurship, optimism, and resilience. [Blu-ray]

June 19, 2009 Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews
Groucho Reviews

Becomes a tale about beating the odds, the triumph of competition, and how one small animal can bring a nation together to forget its miseries.

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Seabiscuit is not a work of great art, but it tells its solid story with grace and dignity.

August 18, 2007 Full Review Source:

We root for Seabiscuit, of course, but more out of obligation than devotion -- after all, we paid to see him.

July 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Big Picture Big Sound
Big Picture Big Sound

So predictable that even this true story--the one so few people today know anything about -- seems like an accomplished fact before the opening credits are through.

May 20, 2006 Full Review Source: Baltimore City Paper
Baltimore City Paper

It's a well-made film with some nice performances, but it lacks any sort of dramatic fire.

March 5, 2005 Full Review Source: NYC Film Critic | Comment (1)
NYC Film Critic

The foolproof recipe for an old-fashioned, crowd-pleasing slice of summer counterprogramming, and Gary Ross hasn't botched the ready-made job.

January 3, 2005 Full Review Source:

The film becomes a parable about the power of seeing potential and cultivating it, even in those who do not aim so high themselves.

December 6, 2004
Looking Closer

The terrific horse racing sequences, exciting as they are, complement the base story of human dignity and perseverance.

October 14, 2004 Full Review
Kansas City Kansan

It's a good story well told, most of the actors are good, and the cinematography should win awards.

October 7, 2004 Full Review Source:

A quiet film, oftentimes silent for moments on end, in reflection of both tragedy and triumph.

August 14, 2004 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

There's nothing for the audience to observe except the construction presented. Seabiscuit makes all its connections and observations for you.

July 7, 2004 Full Review Source: F5 (Wichita, KS)
F5 (Wichita, KS)

Audience Reviews for Seabiscuit

The Rocky Balboa story set in horse-racing, about making good on second chances, and directly related to the tough times of the Depression, when many people felt they needed a second chance. David McCullough adds a qualifying touch as narrator and William Macy delights as color man. Still, its more a psuedo-quality work than a work of actual quality.
April 2, 2014

Super Reviewer

Seabiscuit is a wonderful sports drama film about the race horse Seabiscuit. Set during the Great Depression, Seabiscuit tells the famed story of the men who would make Seabiscuit a winning race horse. This is a superb film with a great story and above all, a great cast. The talent involved make this a must see film alone. But the story of this film along with the great performances is really what makes this film soar. The film of course, like every other picture, is not perfect; but what we've got here in Seabiscuit is an incredible true story set during hard times. Seabiscuit has something for everyone and the story and the acting are all top notch. Jeff Bridges, Chris Cooper, William H. Macy and of course Seabiscuit's Jockey, Tobey McGuire all shine on screen. If you're looking for a sports film that's different from all the rest, you might want to check this one out. This is a splendid film that the whole family can enjoy. The end result of Seabiscuit is an entertaining film that has an inspiring true story that has some stunning horse race scenes, good amounts of drama, and the cast consisting of established talent make this quite the film to watch. I enjoyed this film, and though it follows the trend of "inspiring" films, the viewer can appreciate that this is set during the great depression, which adds so much genuine inspiring moments than your usual "inspiring" film because most "inspiring" films are fictional, while this one is not. An entertaining and unforgettable film.
August 28, 2011
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

This exquisitely produced, based-on-fact drama is a throwback to those wonderful 1940s tales of the little guy toughing it out. As Americans suffer through the Depression, a plucky racehorse brings three men together: a failed jockey (Tobey Maguire), a dispossessed cowboy (Chris Cooper) and a millionaire (Jeff Bridges) trying to forget family tragedy. Poignant news photographs of the era's suffering poor enhance the riff about social justice.
The well-shot races are genuinely thrilling; the period details perfect. Maguire leads an impeccable cast, with humour from William H. Macy as an excitable radio announcer. Great, classic storytelling.
March 30, 2011
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

    1. Red Pollard: Brick by brick, my citizens. Brick by brick.
    – Submitted by Fauzia A (21 months ago)
    1. Red Pollard: And this, the most unkindest cut of all.
    – Submitted by Joel S (2 years ago)
    1. George Woolf: Wanta know what I think?
    2. Charles Howard: Of course.
    3. George Woolf: I think it's better to break a man's leg than his heart.
    – Submitted by Stu P (3 years ago)
    1. Charles Howard: You could be crippled for the rest of your life.
    2. Red Pollard: I *was* crippled for the rest of my life. I got better. He made me better.
    – Submitted by Stu P (3 years ago)
    1. Tick Tock McGlaughlin: No more match races for this little horse because frankly they're all out of matches. Who's he gonna race? Pegasus? I pity these horses.
    – Submitted by Stu P (3 years ago)
    1. Charles Howard: The horse is too small, the jockey too big, the trainer too old, and I'm too dumb to know the difference.
    – Submitted by Stu P (3 years ago)
View all quotes (7)

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