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"SEABISCUIT"
(2003) (Jeff Bridges, Tobey Maguire) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy Heavy Moderate Moderate Minor
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild Minor Minor None Moderate
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Heavy Heavy Moderate Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: Various men get a second chance on life when they come into possession of a reportedly washed up and troublesome racehorse that they hope to turn into a winner.
PLOT:
It's the time of the Great Depression in America and businessman Charles Howard (JEFF BRIDGES) is trying to rebuild his life following tragedy in his family. While in Tijuana, he meets and falls for Marcela Zabala (ELIZABETH BANKS) and makes her his second wife. Following their marriage, they set out to buy a racehorse and employ the aid of former cowboy Tom Smith (CHRIS COOPER) to find a winner.

A man who has a way with horses, Tom picks Seabiscuit, a reportedly washed up and apparently troublesome three-year-old that never lived up to the champion heritage in his blood. He also chooses Johnny "Red" Pollard (TOBY MAGUIRE), a well-educated but unsuccessful boxer and jockey who's too small for the former but too big for the latter. Tom sees a kindred spirit in Johnny and Seabiscuit and quickly pares them together.

They soon start winning races, drawing the attention of flamboyant track announcer "Tick-Tock" McGlaughlin (WILLIAM H. MACY). Ever the salesman, Charles uses that to his advantage, as he wants his horse to take on War Admiral, the best thoroughbred out there. Yet, his owner, Samuel Riddle (EDDIE JONES), wants no part of the challenge. From that point on and despite facing adversity and various obstacles, Seabiscuit and the three men who handle him try for second chances in their lives, all while capturing the hearts and minds of the downtrodden American public.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're into horses and/or horse racing or are fans of anyone in the cast, it's a good bet they will.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For some sexual situations and violent sports-related images.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JEFF BRIDGES plays a businessman whose family life is shattered by tragedy. He eventually remarries and reinvents himself as a racehorse owner. He also smokes and drinks a bit and uses some profanity.
  • CHRIS COOPER plays a cowboy who has a special way with horses. He becomes Seabiscuit's trainer and is concerned about all of the publicity and promotion surrounding the thoroughbred.
  • TOBY MAGUIRE plays a failed and half-blind boxer and jockey who gets a second chance at life by riding Seabiscuit. He drinks, is with a hooker, uses some profanity and shows his perseverance in succeeding despite the odds and obstacles.
  • ELIZABETH BANKS plays Charles' second wife.
  • GARY STEVENS plays a jockey friend of Johnny's who steps in when the latter is injured.
  • WILLIAM H. MACY plays a flamboyant and boisterous radio announcer who promotes Seabiscuit. He also drinks and smokes.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this drama that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 10 "s" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also present. Some brief and non-explicit, sexually related talk occurs, and a hooker starts to disrobe in front of a young man (we see her bare back) before they possibly have sex.

    Violence consists of some boxing footage (with brutal blows and blood), other fighting, a bad horseback riding accident, a bloody bull in a bullfighting match, and the off-screen death of a child in a traffic accident. That leads to some tense family moments, while those scenes and others may be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers.

    Various characters drink and/or smoke, while a few have bad attitudes. Some imitative behavior is also present. Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • We see wine on the dinner table.
  • People have wine and champagne at a dinner where Charles raises his glass in a toast.
  • There's talk that people headed to Tijuana for the booze during Prohibition and we see a few people drinking. Charles and others there have drinks.
  • Miscellaneous people drink, including some who pour booze into a woman's cleavage and then hold a man upside down so that he can drink from her cleavage as she stands.
  • Johnny drinks several shots of liquor.
  • Charles and Marcela have drinks.
  • Charles has a drink.
  • McGlaughlin has a bottle of booze in front of him.
  • McGlaughlin thanks Charles for the champagne as others around them drink.
  • A comment is made about the rumor that Seabiscuit is fed ice cold beer before races. Later, and in response to that rumor, we see Johnny sitting on cases of beer and drinking from a bottle (with several other bottles beside him).
  • We hear that thousands of kegs of beer were at a race (and see some of them).
  • McGlaughlin drinks from a bottle.
  • People have wine with dinner.
  • People have wine with dinner in another scene.
  • McGlaughlin has a drink in front of him that he refers to as "hair of the dog."
  • A man comments to Charles about buying him a couple of beers.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Johnny participates in a boxing match and is brutally pummeled by his opponent (many severe blows and a great deal of blood on Johnny's face).
  • We see bruises and cuts on Johnny's face after that boxing match.
  • Johnny is hit and knocked out during an organized (betting) brawl and he has some blood on his face.
  • We hear Johnny vomiting (to keep his weight down for racing).
  • We see a bloody and injured bull during a bullfight.
  • We see some cuts on Johnny's face days after an accident.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • For those who don't like gambling, there are several scenes of that.
  • During a horse race, another jockey repeated hits Johnny.
  • We see Johnny going backwards after his boss apparently pushed him (for losing).
  • Another rider purposefully cuts off Johnny during a race.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • As a young boy drives a truck by himself, we see another truck headed down the winding road toward him (and know something bad will happen).
  • We see the results of a fatal truck accident (but only see the mangled truck).
  • For those who don't like violence or potential violence against animals, the following is present: A man prepares to shoot an injured horse with a shotgun, but Tom stops him and the shooting doesn't occur. We see a bloody and injured bull during a bullfight. A rider uses a riding crop on a horse (hitting him with it). A vet says he can put down a horse with a ruptured ligament, but that never happens.
  • A sudden sound causes a horse to spook and throw Johnny from its back and he hits his head on the ground (and the horse possibly falls on him). His foot, however, is still stuck in the stirrup and the horse takes off at full gallop, yanking him along behind it. He eventually crashes into a stall and is knocked unconscious. We also see his mangled-looking leg (no blood, but we hear it's broken in 11 or 12 places).
  • As a race occurs with Johnny riding Seabiscuit (both of whom have recovered from leg injuries), some viewers might be worried that they'll re-injure themselves (as there are warnings of that). During the race, Johnny appears to be in pain, but perseveres.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • A man prepares to shoot an injured horse with a shotgun or rifle, but Tom stops him and the shooting doesn't occur.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Ah, sh*t," "Sure as sh*t," "Piece of sh*t," "Get the hell out of here," "Crackpot," "G*ddamn sack of crap," "What the hell /are you looking at/are you thinking?" "Nuts" (crazy), "Screwed up," "Bastard," "To/the hell with it," "Jeez," "For crying out loud" and "Friggin."
  • The film could inspire kids to want to take up horse racing.
  • Young Frankie takes his father's truck without permission and heads off by himself to go fishing.
  • We hear Johnny vomiting (to keep his weight down for racing).
  • Miscellaneous people drink, including some who pour booze into a woman's cleavage and then hold a man upside down so that he can drink from her cleavage as she stands.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • The sudden flight of a flock of birds might startle some viewers.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A brief bit of suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 10 "s" words, 12 hells, 4 S.O.B.s, 3 craps, 3 damns, 6 uses of "G-damn," 4 of "Jesus Christ," 2 of "Oh my God" and 1 of "Christ's sakes."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see women who are presumably hookers in Tijuana as the narrator talks about people going there for "companionship."
  • Miscellaneous people drink, including some who pour booze into a woman's cleavage and then hold a man upside down so that he can drink from her cleavage as she stands.
  • We briefly see some people in what looked like their undergarments on the street in a piggyback race (nothing explicit).
  • We see Johnny and a hooker lying on a bed (apart) talking. She comments that he paid her and then asks, "You wanna, you know, get going?" (have sex). He says yes, we see her lower her lingerie top (we see her bare back and maybe a fleeting, brief glimpse of part of the side of her bare breast) and he stares at her, but we don't see anything happen between them.
  • Some pin-up drawings on a wall show women in varying degrees of revealing attire (some of which show cleavage).
  • SMOKING
  • McGlaughlin, Charles and Marcela each smoke several times, Johnny smokes once and various miscellaneous people smoke in many scenes (cigarettes and cigars, including in a movie theater).
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Johnny's father makes him stay with another family (due to the Depression and Johnny potentially having a future with the others) and the teenager is upset about this sudden revelation.
  • We see a father holding his dead son and then briefly see a funeral scene. The father then grieves over this and we later hear and see that his marriage to his wife suffered and they were divorced.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Losing a child.
  • Never giving up.
  • The historical accuracy of the story.
  • Second chances in life.
  • Gambling on horse races and such.
  • The Great Depression.
  • The notion that the little guy can do a lot when he doesn't know he's little.
  • Johnny being half-blind (and keeping that secret from others).
  • VIOLENCE
  • During a horse race, another jockey repeated hits at Johnny with his riding crop. A rider is pushed off his ride to the track, while another hits Johnny. In turn, he punches that rider and more riding crop hitting occurs.
  • We see Johnny going backwards after his boss apparently pushed him (for losing).
  • We see the results of a fatal truck accident (but only see the mangled truck).
  • Johnny participates in a boxing match and is brutally pummeled by his opponent (many severe blows and a great deal of blood on Johnny's face).
  • We see a bloody and injured bull during a bullfight.
  • Johnny is hit and knocked out during an organized (betting) brawl and he has some blood on his face.
  • A rider uses a riding crop on a horse (hitting him with it).
  • We see Johnny fighting off some guys by swinging something wildly at them.
  • After a goat is put into the stall in an effort to calm down Seabiscuit, we see the goat flying through the air (apparently from Seabiscuit kicking him out and played for laughs).
  • A sudden sound causes a horse to spook and throw Johnny from its back and he hits his head on the ground (and the horse possibly falls on him). His foot, however, is still stuck in the stirrup and the horse takes off at full gallop, yanking him along behind it. He eventually crashes into a stall and is knocked unconscious. We also see his mangled-looking leg (no blood, but we hear it's broken in 11 or 12 places).



  • Reviewed July 22, 2003 / Posted July 25, 2003

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