The Horse Whisperer - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Horse Whisperer Reviews

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April 17, 2018
It was ok. A bit too long. Didn't jerk teh tears in the way it had been described to me.
October 29, 2017
Why can't people see that this is a mean, boring and chiched film?
½ October 21, 2017
Great scenery. Far too overlong
½ September 6, 2017
I learned to tame a wild mustang through touch in the ring with Monty Roberts. This film is based on Monty. The scene where he forces the horse to submit is a lie. Monty would never and has never done such a thing (that from the horses mouth). Monty spent years as a youngster observing wild mustangs behavior in the wild. He is an amazing human and this film does not do justice to the gift of whispering. I would have thought that Mr. Redford would have done justice...great disappointment.
February 19, 2017
It's good movie to watch
½ January 19, 2017
a bad cut in the middle of the movie
January 15, 2017
It's worth watching. Montana is so beautiful it makes your heart hurt. It's a good movie , it let's you care about the characters I didn't mind spending 3 hours with them.
½ January 4, 2017
A bit long but superb photography and acting.
½ November 2, 2016
Robert Redford stars as god, is this self directed vanity project about his ability to whisper to horses and people. This is 2 hours and 49 minutes long, and it could of easily been compacted into 90 minutes (every second is felt). The scenery was nice but it was shot so strangely that it was difficult at times to understand what was happening on screen. Extreme close ups of scrambled eggs is not attractive.
½ July 11, 2016
A film of patience and some heart in the healing process and what comes in the duration justified the tediousness albeit stretching the focus narrative, benefitting from a suitable cast, especially Redford's guiding direction. (B)

(Full review TBD)
½ May 3, 2016
Annie MacLean (Kristin Scott Thomas) didn't think her life was going to end up this way. Had you asked her what her current level of emotional satisfaction was a couple years earlier and she might have told you that there's not a thing in her life that she would change. She loves her job (she's an obsessive magazine editor), has married the perfect man (Sam Neill), and has a daughter (Scarlett Johansson) with potential any parent would be envious of. Everything's worked out the way she thought it would - she lives the life everyone dreams of during their first few years of college, when unknowns fly left and right and a solidified existence is questionable.
But as 1998's "The Horse Whisperer" opens, something has changed. Her occupation is as thrilling as it's ever been, but it's taken over her life. We get a sense that her marriage is in comfortability mode, passion hardly present, and we get the sense that Annie's relationship with her child isn't as intimate and all-encompassing as it could be. So her world is rocked when a tragic accident shatters this family dynamic: while out horseback riding with her best friend (Kate Bosworth), Annie's daughter, Grace, gets in a traumatic accident that leaves her horse physically and psychologically damaged and her riding partner dead. Grace leaves the hospital with part of her right leg amputated.
Understandably, recovery isn't easy. As she's experienced something that's going to sit in the back of her mind every day for the rest of her life, returning to her usual routine is next to impossible. Pressure is being placed upon her to put down her horse, Pilgrim. But Annie, deeply concerned and unwilling to take the easy way out, does the unthinkable. Figuring that Grace will only be able to heal so long as Pilgrim does too, she contacts Tom Booker (Robert Redford), a renowned horse "whisperer" whose methods have brought several animals out of their warped states. Though he lives in rural Montana, and though Grace is reluctant, Annie packs up the car, Pilgrim in tow, to spend the next few months undergoing what will hopefully be a successful restorative process. Her husband, Robert, stays behind.
And so begins a strange siesta of psychiatric recuperation and self-discovery. Slowly but surely, Tom is able to lift Pilgrim and Grace out of their respective pits of despair, and Annie, for the first time in years, begins to put all her attention onto her daughter, strengthening their once shaky bond. Disconcerting, however, is the mutual attraction between Tom and Annie, which seems to be more extensive than mere school day crushing.
At 162 minutes, "The Horse Whisperer" is slow-burning and sweeping, always languid but never listless in its spirit. As it marks the first time Redford both directed and starred in a film, one can expect bravura filmmaking to be foremost, self-indulgence there but nevertheless subtly maintained.
Some have complained that the movie is too long-winded and patient for its story. And yet I find myself transfixed by its pacing, which is sleepy but epic, thoughtful but fluid. It works. It's a mature movie of magnetic poignancy, and its attentiveness toward the emotional standpoints of its characters is thoroughly felt and never artificial. Because "The Horse Whisperer" takes its time creeping to its climax (which somehow feels rushed; the film could drone on and on and we'd still be intrigued), these characters come to life in ways rarely seen in film. We can feel their pains and their hesitancies, and it's sneakily exhilarating.
Much of these triumphs can be brought back to Nicholas Evans, Eric Roth, and Richard LaGravenese's excellent screenplay, which defiantly makes the concoction of suffering, self-actualization, and longing ring with escapist purity. While watching "The Horse Whisperer," I was reminded of 1995's "The Bridges of Madison County," a romantic film similarly poetic and similarly written by LaGravenese. Both films used the space of a sizable running time as a way to allow for its characters to become more than just characters, to allow us to experience their feelings in a beautifully cinematic way. In some respect, though, "The Horse Whisperer" is more successful of a film than "Bridges" was, maybe because its larger cast emphasizes a wider range of emotions (therefore deepening its fantastical realism), or maybe because trauma is something that can hardly be romanticized in a feature film.
I think the biggest difference lies in the ensemble, which is effectively ardent and more humanely sympathetic. Thomas finds a lush middle-ground between control and desperation as a woman who's sharp as a tack when it comes to logistics but perhaps not so dextrous when it comes to serving the needs of herself and those she loves. Redford is strong and grounded - he's a good romantic lead but is even better behind the camera - and supporting performances from Dianne Wiest and Neill are critical in shaping the movie's backbone.
But the thing we remember most in "The Horse Whisperer" is Johansson, who was only thirteen during filming and who delivers the most evocative performance amongst the cast. Such is not an easy thing to do, considering she's surrounded by veterans who have arguably done nothing but terrific work in the majority of their films. But there's a reason why Johansson is one of the most extraordinary stars of her generation: while she possesses timeless good looks, she's able to convey enduring plaintiveness that makes her alluring to watch on a humanistic level. And watching her carry a film at such a young age is nothing short of a wonder. As Grace, Johansson is heart-rending, a tragic figure made all the more tragic because of her juvenility. This is one of her greatest performances.
But in regards to the whole, "The Horse Whisperer" remains to be filmmaking of the highest quality. Redford's vision, which is grand and exuberant, is invigorating to behold, the writing and performances supplementing his prowess rather delectably. The film is, by any standard, a little long for even the most accommodating of viewers, and the conclusion doesn't quite fit - it's too bittersweet, too rushed, for a movie that finds the silver lining in all the worst aspects of life, that finds nuances in even the most mundane of details. Cinematically, though, it doesn't get any better than this.
February 14, 2016
This is cinematic perfection! It is now 18 years old, and just 2 years away from being a classic! And it will be, and that status will be well deserved! I recommend this movie very highly! And one more thing, you can see this movie with your family!
December 27, 2015
This film completely overwhelms me. It is utterly beautiful. However, it isn't without an agenda. It encourages comparison between Diane and Annie, between the country wife and city professional respectively. I'm not sure that it reserved judgment either way, but it's clear that Diane doesn't approve of Annie. She fears Annie will take Tom away from his life, or moreover, that she will somehow corrupt Tom. However that the film deals in healing, we can honestly say that everyone comes out of it basically unscathed, but Annie. She loses her job and the man she really loves. Granted she sacrifices her desires for the sake of her family, but she made the greatest sacrifice and took on the greatest risk for her family, and is ultimately sent home in emotional shambles. The film also deals in usefulness, of which ironically, Annie is utterly stripped upon her journey home.
½ October 30, 2015
Robert Redford's "The Horse Whisperer".It's an excellent movie with brilliant acting Robert Redford himself,Kristin Scott Thomas and Scarlett Johansson(when she was a child).It's a brilliant movie! Don't miss it!
June 30, 2015
Emotional, inspiring, shocking.
June 21, 2015
thought the movie was well done and all the acting was really good. all of the camera work was done well for it was not boring throughout the whole movie. it is well worth getting
June 9, 2015
Generically made and dull.
May 15, 2015
This takes slow burn to a new level that is just to excruciating to think about again.
April 27, 2015
I do not understand why some reviewers do not like it. I think it is full of passion.... I love the score too. Favorite scenes: the dance! That is a Cajun move he used with the legs. Now that is passion.... that obviously the reviewer who said the movie lacked passion for their love to be believable missed entirely (or just does not know about). It was passion with integrity. Other favorites were their rides and the beautiful countryside. I also love every scene Dianne Wiest is in. The kids are also great. Robert Redford... THANK YOU for one of my favorite feel-good movies, which I enjoy watching over and over.
March 28, 2015
I'm a sucker for movies about horses and on top of that, Scarlett Johannson does a fantastic job in her breakout role.
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