The Black Stallion

Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 10
  2. Negative: 1 out of 10
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Gary Arnold
    Jul 8, 2015
    100
    The Black Stallion is one of the few movies that justifies the word "sublime." It casts an immediate pictorial spell of wonder and discovery and sustains it until a fadeout that leaves you in a euphoric mood, lingering over images whose beauty and emotional intensity you want to prolong and savor. [9 Dec 1979, p.G1]
  2. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Jul 8, 2015
    100
    The first hour of this movie belongs among the great filmgoing experiences. It is described as an epic, and earns the description.
  3. 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.
  4. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    100
    The Black Stallion is a perfect gem.
  5. 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]
  6. 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]
  7. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    Jul 8, 2015
    90
    Shot in stunning color by a gifted cinematographer named Caleb Deschanel, beautifully scored by Carmine Coppola in moods ranging from Arabian Nights impressionism to Wagnerian exaltation, the first hour of The Black Stallion is a state-of-the-art demonstration of film as a purely visual medium, a formal exercise that is nonetheless suffused with feeling. [29 Oct 1979, p.105]
  8. 90
    The film represents a studied, sophisticated approach to instinctual emotions: it's carefully, calculatingly naive, and amazingly it works.
  9. 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.
  10. Reviewed by: Frank Rich
    30
    Though the freckle-faced Reno and Mickey Rooney (as the horse's crafty old trainer) are well cast, their 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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