Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 7 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 7
  2. Negative: 1 out of 7
  1. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    100
    This touching and beautifully photographed, if slightly overlong, tale of a boy and his horse follows the escapades of young Alec Ramsey (Reno), who is traveling across the ocean with his father.
  2. Reviewed by: Michael Blowen
    100
    Generations from now, when people talk about horse movies, they won't be talking about "National Velvet" or "My Friend Flicka," they'll be talking about the majestic beauty of Carroll Ballard's The Black Stallion. [07 Feb 1980]
  3. The relationship between man and beast develops slowly and mystically - the island interlude, utterly without dialogue, lasts 50 minutes, and is one of the most sustained, lyrical, rapturous sequences in the history of motion pictures, a visual symphony whose beauty cannot be oversold. [15 Mar 1980]
  4. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    100
    The Black Stallion is a perfect gem.
  5. 90
    The film represents a studied, sophisticated approach to instinctual emotions: it's carefully, calculatingly naive, and amazingly it works.
  6. For all its pretty glimpses of the desert island, the film never offers a clear, overall sense of what the place looks like; neither the camera nor the boy really goes exploring.
  7. Reviewed by: Frank Rich
    30
    Though the freckle-faced Reno and Mickey Rooney (as the horse's crafty old trainer) are well cast, then-scenes together are perfunctory and impersonal. Emotions are provided in stead by a busy and overbearing musical score. The film's story begins to move in fits and starts.

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