Secretariat 2010

Secretariat

Critics Consensus

Rousing, heartwarming, and squarely traditional, Secretariat offers exactly what you'd expect from an inspirational Disney drama -- no more, and no less.

63%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 155

76%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 49,965

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Movie Info

Despite her lack of experience, housewife and mother Penny Chenery (Diane Lane) agrees to take over management of the family Thoroughbred farm after her father (Scott Glenn) becomes ill. Successfully navigating her way through the male-dominated world of horse racing, Chenery, together with veteran trainer Lucien Laurin (John Malkovich), fosters a gifted colt that ultimately crosses the finish line into history as the Triple Crown winner in 1973.

Cast & Crew

Diane Lane
Penny Chenery
John Malkovich
Lucien Laurin
Dylan Walsh
Jack Tweedy
Dylan Baker
Hollis Chenery
Nelsan Ellis
Eddie Sweat
Otto Thorwarth
Ron Turcotte
Scott Glenn
Chris Chenery
Mike Rich
Screenwriter
Bill Johnson
Executive Producer
Mike Rich
Executive Producer
Dean Semler
Cinematographer
Thomas E. Sanders
Production Design
John Wright
Film Editor
Michael Boyd
Costume Designer
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News & Interviews for Secretariat

Critic Reviews for Secretariat

All Critics (155) | Top Critics (39) | Fresh (98) | Rotten (57)

Audience Reviews for Secretariat

  • Jun 19, 2013
    Secretariat is a well crafted family film in the vein of Seabiscuit. With a great cast headed by Diane Lane and John Malkovich, Secretariat is an entertaining picture directed by Randall Wallace who previously directed We Were Soldiers, The Man in the Iron Mask and wrote the script to Braveheart. This is quite a different project for him to take on, but he crafts a great film here yet again, and Wallace is a fine director who is able to tell a great story. The cast here are great, and each brings something memorable to the screen. I personally preferred this film over Seabiscuit, and it is a highly engaging film from start to finish. If you love these films, then definitely give this one a shot. The racing scenes are well done and quite thrilling and are of course the highlight of the film. Horse themed movies tend to be bland nowadays and not too interesting, but this one has heart and charm, and is based by an incredible true story that is just worth seeing due to the fact that odds were against Secretariat to win the Triple Crown, and he astounded everyone and became the most famous racehorse who won the crown and became an icon of the sport. Although it is marred by predictability, this is worth seeing due to a strong cast, a great story and great direction. This is a must see for anyone looking for a great drama to watch, and although it follows the same formula as the traditional "horse race movies", it is also a bit different as well. Secretariat was unique, and this film is a fine tribute to that racing career. If you enjoyed Seabiscuit, then you'll most likely enjoy this one too.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • May 11, 2012
    An Extremely well produced film - glossy, shiny and well paced, this Disney production manages to get past some heavy handed Disneyesque sentimentality and deliver the goods in a ripping yarn about the greatest racehorse to ever run a race, and the woman who believed in him. Diane Lane is near oscar worthy in her presentation of Penny Chenery, mother of four, and a housewife to an attorney. They reside in Colorado, and as the story begins, Penny has to rush back to the familial homestead in Virginia upon the death of her mother. When she arrives she finds the farm in decline and disrepair due mainly from her father being in the throes of Altzheimers. Fortunately, in a lucid moment, Dad bred two of his mares to a famous stallion (Bold Ruler). The story is not only of how Penny saves the farm, risking quite a lot (including the ire of her brother for not selling), but her belief in the horse she calls Big Red. There's plenty scenes of bonding and horse sense, letting you know how noble these beasts are, and how smart and intuitive Big Red is. This is a bit over the top, as is the perhaps too constant reminders of a woman standing up to the status quo in what was at the time a man's sport and a man's world. Regardless, it makes for a good story, playing up the "us against them" aspect as well as the perhaps silent bond between horse and those closest to it. In fact, by showing us some "human" aspects of the legendary horse - his love for the limelight, etc. - the film draws you in and makes you seriously root for Secretariat. There's plenty of drama in the well shot racing scenes and, even if you know the ending of the races, somehow there's still drama and you're on the edge of your seat yelling "go Big Red". Perhaps it's because I'm old enough to remember those races and being totally in awe of what has to be the greatest performance by a horse ever (the Belmont Stakes). I still get chills recalling the Sport's Illustrated cover of that magnificent, sturdy beast pounding the track into submission with the simple title "super". But the film is not just about those iconic races and all the drama surrounding them. There's the human tale of how Penny chose her trainer and jockey. In yet another quirky, yet oddly effective performance, John Malkovich shines as the French Canadian trainer, frequently muttering in French. Then there is the joy of seeing the always wonderful Margo Martindale - just so natural in every role she plays. I found it interesting to see both Margo and ex congressman Fred Thompson in the same film; recalling the wonderful romance they portrayed over several episodes of the Sidney Lumet TV show 100 Centre St which aired several years ago. Both actors so fully able to just "be". There's a wonderfully filmed sequence that aptly sums up the allure of this film. As the Belmont is being run and fans and critics alike utter that there's no way any horse can sustain such a torrid pace, the film backs off and shows the empty far turn with the white shiny rail on the right hand side. A voice over narration repeats a bit of poetry from the film's beginning; talking about how a warrior will always answer the call of the bugle - and then here comes Big Red around the turn, all by himself, thundering down the straight away and into history.
    paul s Super Reviewer
  • Mar 31, 2012
    This feels all too real for a biopic about the legendary horse, and the apparent heartwarming nature (Disney tradition) kicks the story into high gear.
    Max G Super Reviewer
  • Mar 07, 2012
    It was an average movie of this sort. I didn't not like it, but I wouldn't "race" out to watch it again!
    Sarah P Super Reviewer

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