A remarkably assured feature debut by Bennett Miller, a longtime director of commercials (and the documentary "The Cruise") whose no-frills style trusts that the powerful material and the uniformly excellent performances need little embellishment.
Thebest sports movies aren't really about sports. Dreamer has a few thundering horse races, but its finest moments are beautifully still ones, like the one in which a little girl peeks through a fence to give a lame filly a Popsicle.
It's not always clear exactly what's happening in this dark tale, full of barking dogs and slabs of meat. But you won't be able to take your eyes from the screen; nor will you quickly forget this fiercely original eye-popper.
It's a long, brutal and honest look at a shattering event some Americans would apparently prefer not to see depicted - but also a respectful, inspiring one that's in no way exploitative or emotionally manipulative.