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Secretariat Reviews

Leah Rozen
The Wrap
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October 7, 2011
Derek Adams
Time Out
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This horsey, 1970s-set Disney film doesn't boast the most imaginative script and is too long and businesslike for youngsters -- yet it still produces a lump in the throat.

Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 3/5

December 1, 2010
Dana Stevens
Slate
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My advice: If you're looking for a nostalgic, inspirational horse-race biopic that doesn't isolate itself completely from economic, historical, and racial reality, go rent Seabiscuit.

Full Review Source: Slate

October 9, 2010
Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
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Just how much you enjoy Secretariat, Disney's glossy-coated biopic of the celebrated racehorse, depends in large part on how much you know of his career. If you know zilch, you'll be thrilled.

Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle | Original Score: 2.5/4

October 8, 2010
Tom Long
Detroit News
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Secretariat is a winner, but only by a few lengths.

Full Review Source: Detroit News | Original Score: B

October 8, 2010
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
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Secretariat earns its best accolades for asking even larger questions as it highlights the story not just of a terrific horse but of his greatest champion, owner Penny Chenery, portrayed with grace, edge and a growing sense of self by Diane Lane.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 3.5/4

October 8, 2010
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
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The racing scenes, easily the best thing in this otherwise uninspired piece of inspirationalism, come as a distinct relief.

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Original Score: C

October 8, 2010
Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
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Predictable but thoroughly entertaining and largely accurate story of the greatest racehorse of all time.

Full Review Source: Richard Roeper.com | Original Score: 3.5/5

October 8, 2010
Laremy Legel
Film.com
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The film seeks to honor the memory of the great racehorse, and it largely succeeds.

Full Review Source: Film.com | Original Score: B+

October 8, 2010
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
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When the movie climactically reproduces that exhilarating Belmont, the fiction is just a pale shadow of the fact, and the realized myth that lives in our memory dies on the screen.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 2/4

October 8, 2010
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
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A finely constructed feel-good movie, gorgeous to look at, suspenseful when it's supposed to be and firmly in control of the sports movie archetypes and tropes that it wields like an experienced jockey using a riding crop.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: 4.5/5

October 8, 2010
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
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It's a pleasurable, seductive fantasy partly because, as we have known from the start of cinema, the sight of a running horse is a beautiful thing.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 3/4

October 8, 2010
Mary F. Pols
TIME Magazine
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This is an undeniably well-crafted genre piece.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

October 8, 2010
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
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Secretariat" ultimately delivers where it matters, in the home stretch.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 2.5/4

October 8, 2010
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
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Director Randall Wallace has achieved the next to impossible, injecting genuine tension and suspense into a narrative we all know the ending to.

Full Review Source: Washington Post | Original Score: 3/4

October 8, 2010
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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Don't fret when the film gets stuck in stodgy mud. Just bask in the glory that was Secretariat, and watch that horse ride.

Full Review Source: Rolling Stone | Original Score: 2.5/4

October 7, 2010

USA Today
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The true story of the recordbreaking Secretariat is pretty stupendous as is. It didn't need schmaltzing up.

Full Review Source: USA Today

October 7, 2010
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
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A family film about one of the fastest racehorses in history, Secretariat stumbles along beneath the weight of leaden life lessons.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

October 7, 2010
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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With a film like this, moments of emotion-run-amok excessiveness are inevitable, but a trio of interlocking factors keep the winces at a minimum and stop the film from going too far off the rails.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 3/5

October 7, 2010
Kathleen Murphy
MSN Movies
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Unimaginatively directed by Randall Wallace, Secretariat often visibly strains to avoid painful or messy reality...

Full Review Source: MSN Movies | Original Score: 2.5/5

October 7, 2010
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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This one's all about the horse -- and he's a winner.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 2.5/4

October 7, 2010
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
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The welcoming glow that imbues every corner of this nostalgic horse-racing yarn with rich, lambent color comes from within, as if the movie itself is ablaze with its own crazy sense of purpose.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

October 7, 2010
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
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Randall Wallace's Secretariat knows which beats to hit: come-from-behind winner, historical setting, colorful characters -- check, check, check.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 3/5

October 7, 2010
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
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The achievement of both the movie and what Lane does with the part is that it's all bait to write her off as a sufferer, a role that Lane, due to bad movies and the bad men in them, knows too well. Not this time.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3.5/4

October 7, 2010
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
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Wallace is a director of moments, not of cohesive wholes. His movie is a parade of confrontations punctuated by a thrilling race.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 3/4

October 7, 2010
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
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Secretariat is a traditional, by-the-numbers feel-good movie that's likely to leave you cheering in the end anyway, even though you know what's coming.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 3.5/5

October 7, 2010
Andrea Gronvall
Chicago Reader
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Diane Lane inhabits roles with the naturalness of someone who's spent nearly a lifetime in front of the camera, and she's the bedrock of this inspirational sports story.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

October 7, 2010
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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Secretariat isn't bad but it's precisely what you'd expect.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 2/4

October 7, 2010
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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The racing sequences are effectively done and Secretariat's quest for horse racing's Triple Crown concludes with one of those stand-up-and-cheer moments, but the story as a whole seems stale and overly familiar.

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

October 7, 2010
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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It is a great film about greatness, the story of the horse and the no less brave woman who had faith in him.

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

October 7, 2010
David Germain
Associated Press
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Anyone remotely familiar with the story of Secretariat knows the outcome before the movie begins, but that Belmont climax still is intoxicating to watch.

Full Review Source: Associated Press

October 6, 2010
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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Secretariat, a benignly inspirational Disney sports drama about the legendary racehorse who won the Triple Crown in 1973, offers a fascinating test case for how much spoilers sometimes don't matter.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: B-

October 6, 2010
Rex Reed
New York Observer
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I'm a sucker for this kind of stuff, and there is plenty of it in Secretariat. This is one terrific movie about one terrific horse.

Full Review Source: New York Observer | Original Score: 3/4

October 6, 2010
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out New York
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A family entertainment that the Brady Bunch would have enjoyed (if not actually starred in), Disney's real-life horse story, about the 1973 Triple Crown winner, is a solid shot straight up the middle.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 3/5

October 6, 2010
Nick Schager
Village Voice
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The formulaic race footage itself is vigorous; the schmaltzy mythmaking script, on the other hand, deserves a one-way trip to the glue factory.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

October 5, 2010
Justin Chang
Variety
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This conventional but rousingly effective picture pulls through its occasional faltering stretches by focusing on the essentials of its incredible real-life saga, even if the details have been massaged for maximum uplift.

Full Review Source: Variety

October 4, 2010
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
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An engaging sports movie about the greatest racehorse ever and his female owner who literally bets the farm on his supremacy.

Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter

October 4, 2010
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