Secretariat - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Secretariat Reviews

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Derek Adams
Time Out
December 1, 2010
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 | Original Score: 3/5
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Dana Stevens
Slate
October 9, 2010
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.
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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
October 8, 2010
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 | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
October 8, 2010
Secretariat is a winner, but only by a few lengths.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
October 8, 2010
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.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
October 8, 2010
The racing scenes, easily the best thing in this otherwise uninspired piece of inspirationalism, come as a distinct relief.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
October 8, 2010
Predictable but thoroughly entertaining and largely accurate story of the greatest racehorse of all time.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Laremy Legel
Film.com
October 8, 2010
The film seeks to honor the memory of the great racehorse, and it largely succeeds.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
October 8, 2010
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 | Original Score: 2/4
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
October 8, 2010
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.
Read More | Original Score: 4.5/5
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
October 8, 2010
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 | Original Score: 3/4
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Mary F. Pols
TIME Magazine
October 8, 2010
This is an undeniably well-crafted genre piece.
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
October 8, 2010
Secretariat" ultimately delivers where it matters, in the home stretch.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
October 8, 2010
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 | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
October 7, 2010
Don't fret when the film gets stuck in stodgy mud. Just bask in the glory that was Secretariat, and watch that horse ride.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
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USA Today
October 7, 2010
The true story of the recordbreaking Secretariat is pretty stupendous as is. It didn't need schmaltzing up.
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
October 7, 2010
A family film about one of the fastest racehorses in history, Secretariat stumbles along beneath the weight of leaden life lessons.
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
October 7, 2010
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 | Original Score: 3/5
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Kathleen Murphy
MSN Movies
October 7, 2010
Unimaginatively directed by Randall Wallace, Secretariat often visibly strains to avoid painful or messy reality...
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
October 7, 2010
This one's all about the horse -- and he's a winner.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
October 7, 2010
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.
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
October 7, 2010
Randall Wallace's Secretariat knows which beats to hit: come-from-behind winner, historical setting, colorful characters -- check, check, check.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
October 7, 2010
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 | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
October 7, 2010
Wallace is a director of moments, not of cohesive wholes. His movie is a parade of confrontations punctuated by a thrilling race.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Keith Phipps
AV Club
October 7, 2010
There's adversity, triumph, and lessons learned on the way to a happy ending. And upbeat scenes set to stirring, era-appropriate songs? Do you even have to ask?
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
October 7, 2010
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 | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Andrea Gronvall
Chicago Reader
October 7, 2010
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.
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
October 7, 2010
Secretariat isn't bad but it's precisely what you'd expect.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
October 7, 2010
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 | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
October 7, 2010
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 | Original Score: 4/4
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David Germain
Associated Press
October 6, 2010
Anyone remotely familiar with the story of Secretariat knows the outcome before the movie begins, but that Belmont climax still is intoxicating to watch.
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
October 6, 2010
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 | Original Score: B-
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
October 6, 2010
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.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
October 6, 2010
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 | Original Score: 3/5
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Nick Schager
Village Voice
October 5, 2010
The formulaic race footage itself is vigorous; the schmaltzy mythmaking script, on the other hand, deserves a one-way trip to the glue factory.
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Justin Chang
Variety
October 4, 2010
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.
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
October 4, 2010
An engaging sports movie about the greatest racehorse ever and his female owner who literally bets the farm on his supremacy.