Rated 4.0

The extraordinary career of the greatest racehorse ever is brought to vivid life by writer Mike Rich (from William Nack’s book) and director Randall Wallace. Without the kind of underdog we usually see in a sports movie like this (just about everybody knew at a glance that Secretariat was something special), the underdog role goes to the horse’s owner (Diane Lane), fighting to save her father’s farm and break the all-male grip on horseracing, aided by a flamboyant trainer (John Malkovich) and a no-nonsense jockey (Otto Thorwarth). There are some minor liberties taken with the facts (maybe some major ones, too), but no matter; the movie catches the spirit of the story and feel of the time perfectly, with racing scenes that put us right on the course in the middle of the pack. Fine performances all around.