(If you’re curious, my review process. It’s also pasted at the end of this post. I don’t believe in Rotten Tomatoes. I just believe in me.)
(***all-purpose SPOILER ALERT*** there may be some in this review)
SW score: 35
3.5 out of 5 octopi
++ Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges, Elizabeth Banks, Chris Cooper, and William H. Macy are the acting powerhouses in this underdog (horse?) story. A broken man and a disregarded racehorse play the archetypal little engines that could. It’s a tale as old as time but one that’s usually satisfying. Laura Hillenbrand’s wonderful source material is faithfully guided by Gary Ross’ direction. We all know what’s going to happen but it doesn’t matter. It’s the execution. Also, horses hold a rarefied position in the animal kingdom when it comes to human esteem. Dogs rule that particular roost but horses command respect and awe that dogs do not. Dogs we can relate to, horses we literally and figuratively look up to. They are majestic. They are smart. They have huge hearts and bigger souls. And who doesn’t want to root for Rudolph the Non-Red-Nosed Rein-horse? The actors play their roles well. This quintet has an impossibly small amount of poor performances in their collective resume. They smoothly play their classic parts here. Go ahead. Go and make yourself feel good.
(1) Shark Wrighter (SW) Score: Based on a sum of 5 sub-scores (acting, directing, writing/story, effects: cinematography &/or animation &/or effects, editing) with 1 being terrible and 10 being terrific.
(2) Octopuses (0-5 🐙, with 5 being fantastic and 0 being feces)
(3) Octopuses are my unquantifiable feeling…not that SW score is scientific…but this one is even less so
(4) ++ This optional section includes any incredibly *brilliant observations that don’t fit into simple quantitative slices like the scores and octopuses *(they are likely NOT brilliant)