In Theatres: 
Oct 08, 2010

Secretariat is no Triple Crown winner but does place 1st in some aspects.

If you follow the sport of horse racing at all, then you're probably familiar with the name Secretariat. If not, then you should likely read up on your racing history. Secretariat has been said by many to be the greatest race horse that ever lived. Like all other things great, it was only a matter of time before there'd be a movie.

The film follows Penny Chenery (Diane Lane) as she takes on the arduous task of running her father's horse farm after the death of her mother. With the help of veteran trainer Lucian Laurin (John Malkovich), she manages to make her mark on a male dominated sport with her award winning stallion, Secretariat.

Disney has always been a great storyteller with its films, and Secretariat is no different. It has drama, heartbreak, and suspense. Despite knowing how things already turn out, you can't help but feel excited when the horses line up in their gates to race or when Secretariat and Sham are neck and neck in the final stretch. There are even some scenes that appear as if they used archive footage from the 70's although it could just be the filming style. When the horses are racing, there is never a dull moment.

That can't be said of the film's human cast. Diane Lane and John Malkovich manage to put on a convincing performance but the film drags on at times and can somewhat get out of hand. We understand that Penny is a strong and independent woman who is trying to do the unthinkable. There's no need to go over the top with her portrayal. Malkovich plays your typical quirky character who you can't help but wonder how they've made it this far in the first place.

Secretariat is an inspiring film with something for everyone to be found in it, even if you're not a fan of horse racing. Penny Chenery herself even makes a cameo appearance at one point. The film is no Triple Crown winner but does place 1st in some aspects. Give Secretariat a chance though, and you might end up enjoying it.

Follow me on Twitter @Majiesto


Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
Follow him @ Twitter
Friend him @ Facebook