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Overall Rating

Awesome: 27.45%
Worth A Look44.12%
Average: 18.63%
Pretty Bad: 0.98%
Total Crap: 8.82%

6 reviews, 66 user ratings

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by Stephen Groenewegen

"Simplistic biscuit"
3 stars

Seabiscuit makes a promising start out of the gate but fumbles in the final stretch. It’s the inspirational story of a written-off, Depression-era racehorse that makes a startling comeback.

Writer-director Gary Ross (Pleasantville) attributes Seabiscuit’s phenomenal popularity to unemployed and working-poor American empathy with the horse’s struggles. Unfortunately, he labours the point through sloganeering and hokey dialogue, and clumsy visual parallels between characters human and equine. In his favour, he has a sharp eye for old-fashioned sweeping images, and for faces, too. The characters and extras of Seabiscuit have something of that strange, hard, distant look of 1930s sepia photographs.

Also working to Ross’s advantage is the rich source material. Laura Hillenbrand’s factual novel offers a wealth of detail from which an adaptor can pick and choose. Ross uses it to fill in the varied backgrounds of Seabiscuit’s owner (Jeff Bridges), trainer (a nicely understated Chris Cooper) and jockey (Tobey Maguire). He even has time to include a woman in all this. Elizabeth Banks is eye-catching in a decorative role as Bridges’ wife. Her forbearance here should hopefully lead her to future, more rewarding parts.

Ross captures the vital synergy of owner-trainer-jockey behind Seabiscuit’s success. Unfortunately, he’s too intent on moulding the horse’s real-life triumphs into a string of predictably rousing movie moments (abetted by Randy Newman’s clichéd musical score). He’s taken the edge off Hillenbrand’s tale. The texture is lost and the action becomes increasingly simplistic. The longer this film runs, the less truthful it feels.

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originally posted: 12/01/03 19:47:46
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell very good 4 stars
4/25/10 Monday Morning One of the best. Solidly in my top 5. 5 stars
1/13/09 Anonymous. one of my favorite movies, so inspiring :] 5 stars
10/22/08 Shaun Wallner Great story! 4 stars
4/21/08 action movie fan a bore from start to finish-tobey should be ashamed 1 stars
3/08/08 Pamela White inspiring and heartfelt story 5 stars
10/29/07 mb beautiful movie, deserved its oscar nomination. 4 stars
1/27/07 Tamara Leonard Loved the movie. Great cinematography. 5 stars
10/19/06 David Pollastrini not great, not terrible 4 stars
5/18/06 chienne Phar Lap was better, same sort of story, but good all the same. 4 stars
5/08/06 R.W.Welch Fine acting and cinematography. Macy does a great bit as flaky sportscaster. 4 stars
5/02/06 Shit on a stick My name says it all 1 stars
10/16/05 Quigley good acting, story and directing, but this is no hidalgo. 4 stars
8/31/05 Captain Craig Great production values and a wonderfull story. 5 stars
8/13/05 ES Many times I thought this horse destine to be nothing more than a glue stick, yet never was 3 stars
7/01/05 Eddie Very good acting+a good story=Seabiscut 5 stars
6/01/05 Suan Lee I loved this movie and the horse won my heart 5 stars
5/08/05 Bluto Chris Cooper and Jeff Bridges are master craftsmen 4 stars
3/03/05 Steve Newman Very enjoyable, easy to the eye. Definately rent this on eout 4 stars
2/12/05 Sylvia Belle enjoyed the movie 4 stars
2/06/05 choser It is my life 4 stars
11/24/04 Emperor's New Clothes You just can't hate on something so sweet 4 stars
10/22/04 T thoroughly enjoyable film. some top-notch performances 4 stars
10/17/04 Elisheva Rison It was Spiderman--but on a horse! Cool! 4 stars
10/17/04 Charlene Javier Like riding a mule. 3 stars
8/10/04 Peeved Prufrock Hollywood tries to write a better story than God- not even adequate Cliffs Notes 3 stars
8/08/04 psychotic black dwarf Substance is there, but the horse just doesn't captivate...bummer. 3 stars
7/21/04 Harry J If you like great movies, this one definitely fills the bill. 5 stars
6/01/04 Frazier A good movie with a lot of heart, worth a look 4 stars
4/18/04 valerie hart very good movie its touching and emotional and heartfull 5 stars
3/24/04 Margie i'm a sucker for underdogs. good movie. Beautiful scenery, music and costumes added lots. 4 stars
2/26/04 Stephanie Throckmorton Ultimately poignant, after taking forever to get started. 4 stars
2/21/04 Denise Duspiva A good story 4 stars
2/17/04 Lindsay Fantastic!!!! What a great movie. 5 stars
2/01/04 britney this movie should win this years OSCARS awards 5 stars
1/16/04 earthling This is the most formulaic, predictable piece of sentimental crap I have seen since 1 stars
1/02/04 Andy a fun movie 5 stars
12/30/03 HorrorScribbler Kinda like "Rocky" only with a horse instead of a beefy Italian. 4 stars
12/20/03 Kent Wonderful, heartfelt movie. Great movie! 5 stars
12/18/03 alien assassin Captivating historic drama 4 stars
12/02/03 My Two Cents Seabiscuit and Pumpkin and Tic Tock are great. The history is captivating. Holds your inter 4 stars
12/02/03 Chris I really loved this great drama with so much crap out there this was a delight. 5 stars
11/26/03 Gi Gi havn't seen it, but the name SUX 5 stars
11/22/03 Law Feelgood, really true, interesting, a little long 4 stars
11/09/03 EthelbertP Enjoyed it. 4 stars
8/28/03 Mr. Hat Great horses.1st hour's OK, but gets shallow. Holds record 4 slo-mo shots w/dramatic music. 3 stars
8/28/03 JJ from da block Sea biscuits are good, but the butt biscuits they cause are sickening 1 stars
8/19/03 chris i can only handle so much "if you believe in yourself you can accomplish anything" crap. 3 stars
8/17/03 Lord Chu Inspirational & heartfelt. Though I couldn't help but expect Red to start wall-crawling:p. 5 stars
8/05/03 jeremy loathsome, boring, pathetic, uninspiring, melodramatic hooey. 1 stars
8/05/03 KINKO horse is dead, fall in a bed, cut of his head, forever DEAD hahahahahaHA!!!!!!! 1 stars
8/05/03 T Owens Brilliant 5 stars
8/05/03 Tiffany It had a slow start but a great finish. It kept you cheering for the little guy. 4 stars
8/04/03 Movie Guy Bah! It was boring as hell. Gag me. 1 stars
8/04/03 Joman the best feel good sports movie since Rocky 5 stars
7/30/03 ownerofdajoint what an awesome movie.go see it!!!!!! 5 stars
7/30/03 A disappointment 3 stars
7/29/03 Asshat Like we really needed all of those lingering shots of Tobey's face. What a wuss... 1 stars
7/29/03 Rod Johnston I had a Seabiscuit yesterday and it tasted like crap. It tasted like Kurts girlfriend Lish 5 stars
7/29/03 Susannah The audience cheered and gave a standing ovation when the movie ended. That's rare! 5 stars
7/29/03 Taylor Fladgate Heartfelt story succeeds in spite of the script. 4 stars
7/28/03 Haggs Wonderful. Theatre applause. How/where can I obtain an answer to a question I have? 4 stars
7/27/03 leonard An INSULT on ever level. Garbage at it's best. 1 stars
7/26/03 Shaq Okay. 3...words. TOBEY...MAGUIRE...NAKED. 5 stars 5 stars
7/23/03 Ryan Parmele Good but not great 4 stars
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  25-Jul-2003 (PG-13)



Directed by
  Gary Ross

Written by
  Gary Ross

  Tobey Maguire
  Jeff Bridges
  Chris Cooper
  Elizabeth Banks
  William H. Macy
  Annie Corley

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