Prefontaine - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Prefontaine Reviews

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Top Critic
James Berardinelli
January 1, 2000
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 | Original Score: 2.5/4
Madeleine Williams
January 1, 2000
The by-the-numbers athlete story is interesting, but leaves no lasting impression.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Steve Rhodes
Internet Reviews
January 1, 2000
The biggest problem is the script, which rarely rings true and is full of trite little phrases.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Mark Bazer
Boston Phoenix
January 1, 2000
A poorly acted, cheesily scripted narrative that feels more like the ABC Movie of the Week than a big-screen release.
Jeff Vice
Deseret News, Salt Lake City
January 1, 2000
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 | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
February 14, 2001
Though it is always pleasant and agreeable, this film has the bland and undemanding texture that characterizes movies made for network TV.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Wade Major
Boxoffice Magazine
June 5, 2002
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 | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Janet Maslin
New York Times
May 20, 2003
Disappointingly colorless and squeaky-clean.
Read More | Original Score: 2/5
Michael Dequina
January 13, 2004
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 | Original Score: 2/4

TV Guide
March 14, 2007
Steve Prefontaine must have been something special -- everyone says so -- but there's no magic on the screen.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic

Entertainment Weekly
January 24, 1997
We never do catch the magic that made Steve Prefontaine a towering figure. Instead, this Pre is a shaggy-haired, sentimental favorite - a teen angel rather than an Olympian.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
January 7, 2005
Read More | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 1, 2000
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 | Original Score: 3/4
Clint Morris
March 11, 2005
A touching, poignant movie with a great performance by Leto
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
March 14, 2007
Prefontaine gets to the finish line in reasonable shape despite plenty of sloppy running along the way.
Christopher Null
January 1, 2000
A reasonably good retelling of the life story of Steve Prefontaine.
| Original Score: 3/5
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice
February 26, 2002
A runner learns some invaluable lessons from his defeat in the Olympics.
Jeanne Aufmuth
Palo Alto Weekly
May 14, 2003
Now Steve Prefontaine can be immortalized for the complex and shining star that he was.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Mike Clark
USA Today
January 1, 2000
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.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
Dragan Antulov
February 19, 2004
One of the better sports movies to come from Hollywood in recent years.
Full Review| Original Score: 7/10
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