Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 16
  2. Negative: 1 out of 16
  1. Turns into a lyrical and stirring meditation on the mystery of autism.
  2. 80
    A lovely, amazing, wonderfully provocative film.
  3. A staggering document of the lengths parents will go to for the sake of their child.
  4. 75
    The whole enterprise seems to be Isaacson's project. He narrates the film. Kristin, his wife, seems fully in accord with him, and they're both courageous, but I would have liked more insights from the side of her that teaches psychology.
  5. Reviewed by: Lana Berkowitz
    Provides a powerful look at the complex condition of autism and family dedication.
  6. It's a film that will both captivate and divide audiences.
  7. It is an inspiring, well-assembled portrait of one man's love for his autistic 6-year-old son and the measures he's willing to go to help the boy -- and the family -- cope with his neurological challenges.
  8. Reviewed by: Kevin Lally
    For both the parents and the filmmakers, the journey of The Horse Boy was tough and utterly unpredictable, but their act of faith has produced a film that's surprisingly upbeat, evenhanded and imbued with wonder.
  9. Reviewed by: Gary Goldstein
    Tthe film, which also contains brief interviews with several autism experts, proves an extraordinary journey of the heart and spirit, and a stirring testament to parenthood.
  10. The film is not a primer on this heartbreaking condition. Instead it recounts a deeply personal, highly subjective and inarguably thought-provoking story of one family’s quest for a certain kind of peace.
  11. 63
    The story is nothing if not uplifting, but it unfolds in a conventional, uninspired documentary style better suited to the small screen, where it soon will reside. Wait.
  12. Raises more questions than it can answer in its travelogue format. It's because the premise is so intriguing and the drama is so compelling that the result is so confounding.
  13. The Horse Boy comes off as both an edifying work of advocacy and an invasive home movie.
  14. 50
    Well-meaning but trying documentary.
  15. Reviewed by: Nick Pinkerton
    The Horse Boy may excuse itself as a "raising awareness" tract on autism, but the exotic travelogue isn't a practicable care option for most cases, and it certainly isn't worthy cinema.
  16. Reviewed by: Cliff Doerksen
    The film reveals its true colors at the end, with a plug for the New Age dude ranch the entrepreneurial couple has since established in Texas.
User Score

No user score yet- Awaiting 1 more rating

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. MaryH.
    Jan 18, 2010
    This is a respectful reverent film that opens a small window to view a culture where the most powerful healing for this young boy seems to come from the people most connected to their relationship with nature. It is also a film where one family not only finds the help for their son but leaves the shamans of Mongolia with a confidence to help others who are struggling. Full Review »