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Mixed or average reviews - based on 28 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 39 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story tells the story of a father who, for the love of his daughter, sacrifices almost everything to save the life of an injured racehorse and bring the promising filly back to her former glory. (DreamWorks)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    88
    Thebest sports movies aren't really about sports. Dreamer has a few thundering horse races, but its finest moments are beautifully still ones, like the one in which a little girl peeks through a fence to give a lame filly a Popsicle.
  2. 75
    Mom (Elisabeth Shue) suffers from the fatal movie ailment of being so underwritten she's practically see-through.
  3. 70
    This is as corny as it sounds, and yet not half as cloying and sentimental as you expect. At the end of the day, the horse may win the race, but the fate of the American heartland looms large and unresolved.
  4. 60
    There are no surprises in Dreamer--except that for all its visible and unselfconscious schmaltz, it's actually pretty enjoyable.
  5. Reviewed by: Gregory Kirschling
    58
    One more feel-great sports movie with a teen-poetry title and Kurt Russell will have himself a trilogy.
  6. Kurt Russell and Kris Kristofferson, both graceful and naturalistic actors, are the best things going in this formulaic drama.
  7. As a sports drama -- a genre that's gotten entirely too much play lately -- "Dreamer" is singularly unexciting.

See all 28 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 23
  2. Negative: 7 out of 23
  1. beccam.
    Nov 1, 2005
    10
    It was a very good movie it was tense and had the whole theater on their feet. I belive that it is good for all ages. My mom said it was the It was a very good movie it was tense and had the whole theater on their feet. I belive that it is good for all ages. My mom said it was the best movie she had seen all year. Expand
  2. ChristinaH.
    Nov 12, 2005
    10
    I must admit that the real reason that I went to see Dreamer was because large parts of the film were filmed in and around Lexington, KY, my I must admit that the real reason that I went to see Dreamer was because large parts of the film were filmed in and around Lexington, KY, my hometown. While I am a HUGE horse-racing fan, I cringe a little at sappy, feel-good, cheesy stories involving 11-year-old girls. And so, I almost passed on Dreamer because of the trailers with Dakota Fanning. I was pleasantly surprised though. In fact, reamer had far, far fewer moments that could be considered sappy or cloying than the much more publicized and well-regarded Seabiscuit. Dakota Fanning is a fantastic actor, and she plays the part of Cale Crane beautifully, only once (when Dreamer is reclaimed by her father as a surprise) striking a false note of over-enthusiastic cheesiness. The rest of the time, Fanning plays the horse-crazy, idealistic, and yet surprisingly level-headed Cale to a tee. Although it is true that the story follows a fairly predictable story arc, it is plainly clear that the writers and director are horse-racing fans. Despite the very economical story-telling (the movie almost felt too short and rushed from one scene to another), the story captured many of the fabulous quirks of horse-racing in Kentucky (not least the reference to the Saudi prince who flies his private 737 to Lexington to see his horse run against his brother's horse--the *real* sheik of Dubai has flown his 737 into Lexington for years, where he parks it on the tarmac at the airport across Versailles road from Keeneland...everyone *knows* when the sheik is in town to see or buy his horses). The cinematography captures the horse country around Lexington and Keeneland superbly--they look far better (and more realistic) here, unfussed with and pure, than they did in their limited exposure in Seabiscuit. The best testimony to the film's success as a crowd pleaser was its reception on a Saturday night, several weeks after the movie's release (mid-November), in a North Carolina theater. The majority of the audience were NOT horse-crazy adolescent girls, but rather adult couples, who spontaneously broke into applause at Sonya's triumph in the Breeder's Cup Classic, and who lingered at the end credits, clearly hoping for even more. (Actually, an infertile 3-year-old mare has got little ahead of her except to continue racing... How about a sequel where Sonador's earnings allow the Crane's to attempt to restore the family farm to its mysterious and mythical former glory?) All in all, Dreamer is a movie that promises a story about a horse overcoming the odds and a family coming together which delivers resoundingly and convincingly on both counts. (There are a handful of minor goofs in the movie in terms of accuracy, but they do not detract from the overall film. More amusing than anything else is the scene in the pasture where Sonador, who is supposed to be a filly, is very, VERY clearly played by a gelding.) Expand
  3. DonnaB.
    Oct 27, 2006
    10
    In a time of such violence, this is truly a welcomed movie. One based on unconditional love. Love for an injured animal that could have had In a time of such violence, this is truly a welcomed movie. One based on unconditional love. Love for an injured animal that could have had its life cut short instead of being given the time, care and love to heal, allowing it to do what it was meant to do... run. A truly heartwarming movie. Expand
  4. Froman
    Oct 26, 2005
    8
    To all the critics who gave this a 70 and below...idiots. Stop concentrating on the trees and remember what true storytelling is.
  5. DavieR.
    Oct 22, 2005
    6
    Wanted to love this film? But unfortunately it is so sterile that it is very hard to do so. The film is very slow moving, and for children, Wanted to love this film? But unfortunately it is so sterile that it is very hard to do so. The film is very slow moving, and for children, it will activate their ADD. Every cliche in the book is used with predictable results. As for the technical aspect of the film, there are more holes than swiss cheese. But unless you fully understand the thoroughbred racing business and how it truly works much of this will escape the audience. The sad part is that the actors really do a good job. Dakota Fanning is absolutely darling even if she's an 80-yr. old woman trapped in a ten-year old's body? Unfortunately, the bad guys are the bad guys and the good guys are the good guys with the moral of the story that good triumphs over evil. With just a little bit more imagination this film could have been so much more. Kurt Russell gives his best performance since playing the part of Herb Brooks. Kris demonstrates once again that he is an underused Hollywood star playing the part of Kurt's father. Overall, it's an okay movie but far from great. Even giving it a score of six is a bit of a stretch, but then again, I am a hopeless romantic at heart. Just wish they had placed more thought into this bland script. The film comes across as a dose of weak tea and dry toast. Expand
  6. RichardB.
    Oct 23, 2005
    5
    It is a wonderful children's story but offers no reality for any individual possessing any knowledge of the racetrack. Therefore, it It is a wonderful children's story but offers no reality for any individual possessing any knowledge of the racetrack. Therefore, it makes it very hard to like when presented in such a distorted manner. The acting is robotic with every cliche from racetrack lore used. And the ending is telegraphed about twenty minutes into the film. To see the studio obliterate all authenticity without so much as educating the viewers is simply awful. As I said, it makes a nice children's story but not much else. Expand
  7. Reggie
    Nov 18, 2005
    0
    I think I want to puke. Nothing could be this lame or could it?

See all 23 User Reviews

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