User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 79 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 79
  2. Negative: 7 out of 79

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User Reviews

  1. Oct 8, 2010
    7
    Throughout watching Secretariat, you know exactly what the film is trying to do: it so openly wants you to be moved and inspired, and the melodrama just oozes of the screen. However, that desperate need for emotion doesn't ruin the film, it actually works out in it's favor: it works. The performances are good enough, Lane is capable in a "Blind Side" Sandra Bullock type of "strong" womanThroughout watching Secretariat, you know exactly what the film is trying to do: it so openly wants you to be moved and inspired, and the melodrama just oozes of the screen. However, that desperate need for emotion doesn't ruin the film, it actually works out in it's favor: it works. The performances are good enough, Lane is capable in a "Blind Side" Sandra Bullock type of "strong" woman role, and Malkovich gives a hilarious performances as the horse's trainer. It's a film that some will be moved by, and some just won't feel much of anything during. And that's okay. I implore you: don't go into it actively trying not to feel anything, but rather just be open and receptive to anything that may happen. You might find yourself surprised. Expand
  2. DVR
    Oct 10, 2010
    8
    I liked the movie but was very interested in fantasy's review. Sounds like you were there. The movie piqued my interest in Secretariat. I saw John Maklovich on Charlie Rose and he said that Secretariat had a heart double the size of a normal horse.. Fascinating. So for a movie to get you thinking, it was good. Disappointing that it was not more truthful of the events surrounding thisI liked the movie but was very interested in fantasy's review. Sounds like you were there. The movie piqued my interest in Secretariat. I saw John Maklovich on Charlie Rose and he said that Secretariat had a heart double the size of a normal horse.. Fascinating. So for a movie to get you thinking, it was good. Disappointing that it was not more truthful of the events surrounding this great horse. Expand
  3. May 31, 2011
    7
    Full disclosure: I met Secretariat, standing at stud at Claiborne Farm outside Paris, Kentucky, in 1974. Let me tell you, that Red was one very impressive horse. He bolted across the pasture to where we stood at the rail and tried to bite my wife's, um, well, let's not go into anatomical detail. But alas, Big Red was more impressive than the movie about him. Alas, I couldn't help comparingFull disclosure: I met Secretariat, standing at stud at Claiborne Farm outside Paris, Kentucky, in 1974. Let me tell you, that Red was one very impressive horse. He bolted across the pasture to where we stood at the rail and tried to bite my wife's, um, well, let's not go into anatomical detail. But alas, Big Red was more impressive than the movie about him. Alas, I couldn't help comparing it (the film) with Seabiscuit (the film), and it doesn't nearly shine like that one did. Also I kept seeing Diane Lane as little Liz Taylor all growed up and dealing with a horse a whole lot more memorable than National Velvet. Plucky owner, plucky horse. Still, the film has its moments. I still remember seeing the Belmont live on TV in '73 and being absolutely blown away by Secretariat's unprecedented performance, so this flick made that experience come alive for me again. Kudos to John Malkovich and Margo Martindale (lately of TV's "Justified" fame) for entertaining supporting roles. I don't know how many nags played the role of Secretariat but frankly they just didn't quite do him justice. He was one awesome dude! Collapse
  4. Oct 12, 2010
    8
    Very nice horse movie - incredible how the director was able to build excitement even though we already knew the outcome of the races. Diane Lane's performance is close to brilliant as the smart, tough Ms. Chenery.

    A few quibbles, of course. The Belmont portion should have focused more on the race - it's probably the single most exciting event in sports history and I thought all the
    Very nice horse movie - incredible how the director was able to build excitement even though we already knew the outcome of the races. Diane Lane's performance is close to brilliant as the smart, tough Ms. Chenery.

    A few quibbles, of course. The Belmont portion should have focused more on the race - it's probably the single most exciting event in sports history and I thought all the cutaways to the stands dispelled some of the excitement. Also, the absence of Riva Ridge was notable, and some geographical blunders (Ms. Chenery apparently has the ability to teleport from her farm in Virginia to the **** farm in Kentucky).

    But the quibbles are fairly minor. In its favor, I was surprised that the film actually did show the price Penny Chenery paid in the distance from her family. In real life, choices have costs, and although the movie did not completely explore that, the fact that it spent so much time on it was quite courageous.

    For anyone who enjoys a good horse movie, I highly recommend it. It's better than 'Seabiscuit', IMHO, although perhaps not as good cinematically as 'The Black Stallion', but it's better in characterization than that film.
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  5. Feb 12, 2011
    10
    This movie is surprisingly good. The horse race scenes are the best to date in terms of visuals, sounds, and camera angles. This movie puts SeaBiscuit to shame. Secretariat was a great horse. But Man-of-war was also a great horse. The race between War Admiral and Secretariat was awesome. The movie focuses on the owner and her struggles which was played wonderfully by Diane Lane. TheThis movie is surprisingly good. The horse race scenes are the best to date in terms of visuals, sounds, and camera angles. This movie puts SeaBiscuit to shame. Secretariat was a great horse. But Man-of-war was also a great horse. The race between War Admiral and Secretariat was awesome. The movie focuses on the owner and her struggles which was played wonderfully by Diane Lane. The actor over all is great. But the Horse was simply beautiful. If you are a fan of horses and horse racing, I do not see any way you should not see this movie. Expand
  6. Feb 11, 2011
    7
    If you liked seabiscuit you will like this. An old fashioned movie with a good performance by Diane Lane. Nice background history for those who never heard of secretariat and why he merits a movie
  7. Feb 22, 2011
    8
    Secretariat is a beautifully shot film, both on and off the track, with careful thought given to the people behind this incredible animal. Though it doesn't stray too far from a family drama formula, with humor and social tension feeling a bit generic and familiar, it still manages to be quite touching and convincing throughout its telling, especially in its final act.
  8. RJV
    Oct 8, 2011
    8
    This was actually pretty good, and a lot better than I thought it would be when we rented it, if you're looking for a good movie to watch with dinner and don't want one of those movies where they're all fight scenes, I would recommend it, not bad, not bad at all.
  9. Apr 26, 2014
    10
    This movie remains true to the story, it is a good movie for all horse lovers. Looking back on this horses life through the movie is extraordinary. This movie is also a family friendly movie, you do not have to worry about what your kids might hear or see. Also at the end of the movie is the owner of Secretariat Penny, she is at the end of the movie in the crowd.
  10. Nov 3, 2015
    10
    Unlivable, out standing, are things that this movie got spot on. It's a great movie, a good horse/sports movie.It literally beat all the other sports and horse movies that year by 31 lengths.
Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 36
  2. Negative: 1 out of 36
  1. 58
    The film ultimately feels like a well-trod journey to a familiar destination with not enough wonder along the way.
  2. Wallace layers on some era-specific meaning to Chenery, who seems to be simply following her lineage, thanks to Lane's quietly dignified performance. Malkovich is more fun, though Laurin isn't as outrageous as the movie thinks he is.
  3. 88
    Grace is grace, and however it arrives, there's no denying its presence.