Movie Review – Secretariat (2010)

First, let me start this post by saying that I really like movies. I try to go every week (doesn’t always work out that way) and see something when I can afford it. Add to that my love of horses and it is pretty obvious that I love “horse movies”. I have been looking forward to seeing the movie about Secretariat for a long time.

Overall Movie Grade: B+

What I liked about the movie: I loved the acting. Everyone was spot on, even the kids. You could totally loose yourself in the movie. Speaking as someone who was not alive during the time in which this movie was based, I thought that the wardrobe and sets were fantastic. I also was not that familiar with the story of Secretariat so I found it to be very riveting. I cried several times during the movie and I can’t even really tell you why (nothing tragic happens). You would think that it would be hard to care all that much about a story in which you knew the ending, but watching “big red” up on the screen brought up so many emotions. It was much better than I thought it would be.

What I didn’t like about the movie: I am sure it is just a horse person thing, but the horses they used to play Secretariat all looked so different. I know I shouldn’t care because it is a movie, but I did care. It also bothered me because one of them (the almost liver Chestnut one) looked dead behind the eyes and that just kills me. I am sure that most people wouldn’t notice that, it is just the horse lover in me coming out. I also didn’t like how they tried to play with your heart strings. I know that they wanted to make you feel, but it just felt like a little overkill sometimes (coming from the woman who cried many times during the movie). It is a good story, but I love my come from behind stories like Dreamer or Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken. This movie was the story of a family that was impacted by a horse, not the story of a horse.

So should you go see it?: Yes! It was a good movie, and not every movie can be a truly great film. If you can go during discount hours I know that you wont be disappointed, I am on the fence of whether or not it is worth full movie price. So grab some barn friends and go check it out. The only way they will keep making horse movies is if people keep seeing them.

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5 thoughts on “Movie Review – Secretariat (2010)

  1. I do remember Secretariat and his Triple Crown wins, but I wasn’t glued to my TV during any of the races. I just remember hearing the news and seeing that fantastic picture from the Belmont with Ron Turcotte looking over his shoulder at the little dots far behind him.

    I’ve seen the previews and the dry bay colt with little star that “gets up faster than any newborn” the big expert has ever seen bothered me, but then watching, say, a chestnut horse jump (with “cut to closeup” of a set of “bay” legs landing) bothers me, too. (Seen that in too many films to mention).

    There were other discrepancies in the prelude to the Triple Crown, but again, I’m going to suspend the disbelief and just go enjoy a movie about one of the greatest racehorses of all time.

    One of the racing bloggers linked on Paulick Report listed his top 10 favorite horse movies and I thought about MY favorite, “Champions” with John Hurt as steeplechase jockey Bob Champion and the “real horse” in the true story playing himself. Sure enough, that was this blogger’s second favorite movie.

    I couldn’t see Secretariat this weekend, but I will definitely go–and squint during the foaling scene and probably cry, too.

  2. I went and saw it and was a little dissapointed with the movie. it reminded me too much of seabuscuit….even thought the horses are different, it was still the same basic story. they even called him big red, just like in seabiscuit. also it was reaaaaalllly melodramatic and they focused more on the woman than the horse, whom many can argue was the greatest racehorse of all time (even though i disagree-man o war was my horse 🙂 ). however, the horse shots were amazing, ive never seen a shot like the one under his legs facing the tail. pretty sweet. for a non horse person they might like this, but I give it a C.

  3. I’ll give it a try if I get the chance. I remember watching this great horse win. My mom was a big fan of racing horses and watched all the races all the time, so we never missed a good race on TV. I’m sure it’s a little melodramatic, they always seem to do that with horse movies don’t they.

  4. There was plenty of emotion there for me in this movie, too. For me it’s about believing in the dream even when no one else does. That was a big part of this story.

    I must admit that I was taken aback by the foaling scene as well. The changes in color of the foal. The incomplete marking on the face not to mention the start was just too small all jumped out at me. Still I liked the movie even though it was more about the woman behind him than the horse himself.

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