Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 21
  2. Negative: 3 out of 21
  1. Reviewed by: Toddy Burton
    No doubt the most devoted horse lovers in the tween set will get their fill, but parents should sneak out for a very long popcorn break.
  2. 75
    The best parts of Flicka are its pinch-me optimism and its old-fashioned-movie flourishes.
  3. Another miscalculation by sophomore director Michael Mayer.
  4. A modernized version of that great sentimental horse movie, 1943's "My Friend Flicka," and it comes with the shiny trappings, high professionalism and glamorous accessories you might expect...Something is missing though.
  5. As for our heroine (Lohman), her archetypal struggle with crusty Pa (uncrusty Tim McGraw) feels attitude-heavy and life-lesson-light.
  6. 40
    It takes a pristine gift for mediocrity to ruin Mary O'Hara’s muscular children's novel about a wild boy and his wild horse, but director Michael Mayer has brought off the massacre with aplomb.
  7. 75
    The film paints a fairly realistic portrait of four people bound by blood but -- like all of us -- all too capable of underestimating each other.
  8. With some movies, you know exactly what you're going to see before you even enter the theater, and Michael Mayer's Flicka is one of them: You've got your girl, you've got your horse, and you've got your strict father trying to keep them apart.
  9. 38
    As misconceived as it is corny and predictable.
  10. If all you ask of a movie is that it have scenic stars and some scenery (here the Sierras of California substitute for the Rockies of Wyoming), then Flicka is adequate. Me, I expected some conflict, some resolution, and a horse that took me on a wild ride. This one really never gets out of the gate.
  11. It's hard to argue with the movie's big heart, solid craftsmanship, likable characters, decent acting, gorgeous scenery or the fact that it's going to leave its audience blubbering and smiling.
  12. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    One casting wild card is the country singer Tim McGraw, and he's very solid in the role of Katie's horse-rancher dad, the kind of guy whose hard-headedness can't mask the size of his heart.
  13. There are some nice moments and beautiful scenery, but the film is often slow and the dialogue is overwrought.
  14. It is purely and fearlessly a girl-and-her-horse movie that isn't trying to be all things for all audiences.
  15. 67
    Give Flicka credit for one thing: It stays on message. Set against the gorgeous backdrop of a Wyoming mountain range--a view this time unobstructed by the gay cowboys who so alarm family audiences--the film offers up fantasy footage for every strong-willed girl who ever straddled a saddle, and little more.
  16. Reviewed by: David Gilmour
    Yet -- and this must be said in all fairness -- as things progress, the magic of the story asserts itself over the audience.
  17. A thoroughly uninspiring drama that ultimately buckles under Michael Mayer's weighty direction.
  18. An entertainingly ridiculous update of Mary O’Hara’s 1941 children’s novel, “My Friend Flicka.”
  19. Reviewed by: Angel Cohn
    Mayer knows how to tug at the heartstrings, and his admirably restrained cast keeps the family drama from becoming too sugary.
  20. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    It's not really either an animal or a kids' film but rather a young adult drama that rings emotionally true.
  21. So those seeking a softer approach to the realities of both child- and animal-rearing should search elsewhere. The rest of us, meanwhile, are free to enjoy a well-made family drama pitched to young adults that's honest, tough and surprisingly engaging.

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