The Horse Whisperer

User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 14 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 14
  2. Negative: 1 out of 14
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  1. PatC.
    May 5, 2004
    4
    The plot lumbers around as if the beautiful Montana landscape was meant to be the setting for New Age revelations. What is revealed is that Redford, for all his counterculture leanings, is quite harmless.
  2. AndrewM
    Jul 13, 2004
    5
    This is a well made drama film, a moving story that digs deep into its character's personalities and exposes many a scar. It's viewing power comes from showing these scars slowly heal. Also it takes full advantage of the setting, and the cinematography delivers some beautifully pacific scenes of the American landscape. This is why I liked this film. Now for why I didn't: This is a well made drama film, a moving story that digs deep into its character's personalities and exposes many a scar. It's viewing power comes from showing these scars slowly heal. Also it takes full advantage of the setting, and the cinematography delivers some beautifully pacific scenes of the American landscape. This is why I liked this film. Now for why I didn't: why, oh why, do filmmakers have to change significant plot events from highly successful and popular novels, in order to make them more palatable for the big screen! I won't describe the change made for this film (for those who wish to read the novel) but it was significant to the overall experience, and in the end was just not satisfying. Obviously done to the "improve the cinematic experience" it instead greatly detracted from it, at least for those like myself who have read the book, and the end result is nothing more than a dumbing-down of the audience. And that stinks! Now, I'm off my soapbox. This film would have been worth at least an 8, if not for the above. Redford believes in his character, and he is entirely credible. Same goes for Johannson. Neill and Weist are simply class acts, and Scott Thomas is suitable for the role she plays. The directing is solid (as usual by Redford), the cinematography gorgeous, and the screenplay generally effective. But I just can't get past this Hollywood method of changing book plots to suit what they think viewers want to see in the movies.....how often they are wrong! Expand
Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 19
  2. Negative: 1 out of 19
  1. 88
    A film as rich in its visual presentation as it is in its emotional resonance.
  2. 40
    The Horse Whisperer is just the latest example of tab-A-into-slot-B moviemaking to come out of Hollywood, a weeper that's built according to a solid set of rules.
  3. Robert Redford, who for the first time stars in a movie he's also directed, has taken this soap opera material and treated it like something inscribed on yak vellum by the Dalai Lama.