James Stewart stars as a railroad man hired to secretly carry a payroll despite his suspected connections to outlaws
Diane Lane and John Malkovich star in Disney's biographical film about the legendary American racing horse
Secretariat was an American thoroughbred horse who in 1973 became the first Triple Crown champion in 25 years and broke records that still stand today. If that sentence may as well be written in a foreign language, you'll probably have no interest in this saccharine Disney horse biography that should come with a warning of contracting diabetes.
After her mother's death and with her father's health in rapid decline, housewife Penny Chenery (Diane Lane) takes control of dad's stables despite having zero interest in or knowledge of horse-racing. She immediately ruffles the feathers of the men who run the racing world, with her assertive, skirt-wearing ways. And so she rounds up a small but loyal team, including trainer Lucien Laurin (John Malkovich, "dresses like Supafly"), who are determined to prove all the naysayers wrong and lead Secretariat ('Big Red' to his friends) to a momentous victory.
Who is this film for? The overly soft-focus, aggressively feel-good style won't work for most adults and its themes of dated sexism plus obscenely long running time will bore most children out of their tiny minds. That pretty much leaves an audience of only John McCririck and the few other people who may know what a Secretariat is.
It's not that horse-racing dramas can't be good films (Seabiscuit! Probably others!), it's just that the life-affirming message is not only served up with such a huge dollop of sickening sugar that it is impossible to care about the horse or any of the people who dedicated their lives to his success.
Bum-numbingly long bore that has a worrying number of talented actors seemingly involved for a cheque. Watch a film about dinosaurs instead; much more fun.
The Glasgow Film Festival programme is announced and features Film4-backed films Second Coming and Catch Me Daddy plus much, much more, from 18th February to 1st March It¿s almost time once more for
As Louise Osmond's inspirational documentary about an unlikely group of friends who breed themselves a racehorse is about to premiere at Sundance 2015, Catherine Bray catches up with the director for
Find out who voted for Film4.com's list of the top 100 must-see films of the 21st Century so far
A tooth-chattering voyage through the scariest movies ever made