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"DREAMER: INSPIRED BY A TRUE STORY"
(2005) (Kurt Russell, Dakota Fanning) (PG)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: Hoping to reconnect with his daughter, a former horse trainer risks everything by helping her nurse an injured racehorse back into shape so that it can compete in a prestigious race.
PLOT:
Ben Crane (KURT RUSSELL) is a veteran horse trainer who's sold off most of his family's horse farm but still works for Everett Palmer (DAVID MORSE) at the local track. Much to the chagrin of his wife, Lily (ELISABETH SHUE), Ben has little time for their young daughter, Cale (DAKOTA FANNING), and certainly doesn't want his estranged horseman father, Pop (KRIS KRISTOFFERSON), who still lives next door to them, giving her any ideas of getting into the horse racing business.

That all changes when Palmer overrules Ben regarding the race status of Soņador and enters the promising filly in a race during which the horse goes down, spilling her jockey and breaking her leg. Palmer orders that she be put down right there, but Ben doesn't want Cale to see that, and later reconsiders that altogether.

That prompts Palmer to fire him, but rather than take his severance pay, Ben takes the horse with hopes of breeding her with another champion and then selling the offspring. That's a promising enough plan to convince his track workers Balon (LUIZ GUZMAN) and former jockey Manolin (FREDDY RODRIGUEZ) to join him in nursing the horse, now known as Sonya, back to health.

Yet, when the breeding plan falls through, they go for broke with their last ditch effort of getting the filly back into racing form. With their hard work from all around, and the financial help of investor Prince Sadir (ODED FEHR), Ben bets the farm on making the horse a contender in the upcoming Breeders' Cup Classic.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Younger girls are the most likely audience, although any who likes horses and/or are fans of someone in the cast may also want to see it.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For brief mild language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • KURT RUSSELL plays a racehorse trainer who clashes with his boss over Sonya. When he refuses to put the filly down after she breaks her leg in a race, he's fired but takes the horse rather than any severance pay. When his initial plan for her fails, he gives her to Cale in hopes that he can reconnect with her as they work to get the horse back into racing shape. He also reconnects with his estranged father during this.
  • DAKOTA FANNING plays his young daughter who takes a liking to Sonya during her healing process and then becomes involved in her training when she becomes the majority owner of the filly.
  • KRIS KRISTOFFERSON plays Ben's father, a former horseman who lives nearby despite Ben pushing him aside due to past failures and problems but still lives nearby. He then helps his son and granddaughter when things get tough.
  • ELISABETH SHUE plays Ben's wife who's concerned that he's too busy to spend time with his daughter who needs him.
  • DAVID MORSE plays Ben's mean, racist boss who fires him for refusing to put down Sonya and then does what he can to belittle Ben and Cale and their attempt to enter Sonya in a race.
  • FREDDY RODRIGUEZ plays a former jockey who works for Ben and is thus fired when Ben is. He then sets out to help them heal Sonya and get her back in racing form.
  • LUIZ GUZMAN plays his associate, another trainer who does the same.
  • ODED FEHR plays a wealthy prince who decides to sponsor the Cranes and their horse in the big race, at least partially to compete against his brother.
  • 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 PG-rated drama. Profanity consists of a handful of minor expletives, while some colorful phrases are also uttered and there's brief talk of equine stud services (but no related activity is seen). Other thematic elements include the near euthanizing of an injured horse, and various strained family relationships (an estranged father/adult son one and a girl being upset with her father).

    A few moments -- including a bad accident during a race where a horse and jockey go down hard and another where a horse runs out of control with a frightened girl on its back -- might be unsettling or suspenseful to some younger kids, while some bad attitudes are present (including some ethnically-based ones) as is some potentially imitative behavior.

    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.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, there's some of that from lightning during a thunderstorm.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Manolin sarcastically says something about buying wine for Palmer should they accept his offer to buy their horse.
  • Miscellaneous people have wine on the table in front of them at Prince Sadir's estate.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see what appear to be old surgery related scars on Manolin's shoulders and one on his chest.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Ben isn't happy when Lily comments about getting a job.
  • Despite Ben's advice not to race their horse, Palmer overrules him, resulting in the horse breaking its leg during a race.
  • Palmer complains about there being too many Mexicans around (referring to Balon and Manolin).
  • Palmer fires Ben for not allowing the horse to be euthanized, telling him he can "take the Mexicans with you."
  • Disobeying her father to stay away from the horse, Cale sneaks out at night from her bedroom window, down part of the roof and then jumps down into a pile of hay to get to the barn.
  • Ben isn't grateful or happy when Pop gives him a lot of money to pay for a stud service for their horse.
  • Palmer still has a bad attitude, mocking Cale at a race committee meeting.
  • Palmer visits the farm, again with a bad attitude and then tries to persuade Cale to sell the horse for varying amounts of money, including an offer that would also give Ben his job back (she refuses).
  • Palmer gets his horse to rear up, thus causing Cale's horse to do the same, all in hopes of having the latter re-injure its leg on race day.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • The following might be unsettling or suspenseful to younger viewers, but probably not too much, if at all, for older kids or adults.
  • During the race, Soņador suddenly collapses when its front legs give out beneath it, sending it to the ground head first and throwing its jockey forward onto the track. We don't know about the jockey (although he lives), but the horse's leg is broken and a man nearly gives it a lethal injection to "put it down," but Ben won't let that happen (so that Cale doesn't see it occur). Later, Palmer wants the horse put down in the stables, but Ben again won't allow it.
  • Manolin tells Cale the story of when he fell off his horse during a race, was run over by three other horses and suffering various bad injuries. We then see what appear to be old surgery related scars on his shoulders and one on his chest.
  • The horse is startled as Cale sits atop her and then races off, out of control. Ben then chases after and then alongside the horse, reaching out to try to help his daughter. He eventually races ahead, parks, gets out and catches Cale as she jumps off the horse (both tumble down a hill but are fine).
  • Palmer gets his horse to rear up, thus causing Cale's horse to do the same, all in hopes of having the latter re-injure its leg on race day (and it briefly seems like he succeeds, but Sonya races anyway).
  • During the big race, Manolin's foot comes out of the stirrup and he looks like he might fall, but he grabs it with his hand, puts his foot back in it, and is fine after that.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "What the hell is this?" "Damn if I know," "Shoveling horse squat for shakes," "Get the hell off our farm" and "Damn few."
  • Manolin has a gold tooth.
  • It sounded like one of the guy jokes that another likes to wear a dress.
  • Disobeying her father to stay away from the horse, Cale sneaks out at night from her bedroom window, down part of the roof and then jumps down into a pile of hay to get to the barn.
  • Cale asks if Palmer's horse remembers what Sonia's butt looks like (the horse), saying that's all he'll be seeing on race day.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A mild bit of dramatic and suspenseful music plays in a few scenes.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 3 damns, 2 hells (and another possible one) and 1 use each of "God" and "Oh God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Lily shows a little cleavage in various outfits in several scenes (but nothing explicit).
  • A stud farm owner says that a small horse -- identified as a teaser pony -- is going to help Sonia get ready for the real stud picked out for her, but that never happens.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Ben isn't happy when Lily comments about getting a job and she isn't happy that he doesn't spend enough time with Cale.
  • Ben is estranged from Pop (his father), although they live next to each other.
  • We hear that Ben has sold off piece after piece of his once large farm until only a small part (where they live) is left. Later, we hear that Ben has received their first foreclosure notice.
  • Cale overhears Ben telling Lily that if Cale had not been present during the horse's initial injury, he would have put her down. As a result, Cale decides to run away.
  • Cale is upset when Ben sells the horse for much needed money, saying that he lied to her about the horse always being there for her.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Following one's dreams.
  • What happens to most horses that break their legs.
  • 'The strained family relationships in the story and how they heal through everyone striving for a unified goal.
  • Horse racing.
  • The comment that there are two sides to each story.
  • The concept of stud horses and breeding. A stud farm owner says that a small horse -- identified as a teaser pony -- is going to help Sonia get ready for the real stud picked out for her, but that never happens.
  • Pop says he hasn't been to the races in years and that Ben doesn't want him teaching Cale about the racing business.
  • VIOLENCE
  • During the race, Soņador suddenly collapses when its front legs give out beneath it, sending it to the ground head first and throwing its jockey forward onto the track. We don't know about the jockey (although he lives), but the horse's leg is broken and a man nearly gives it a lethal injection to "put it down," but Ben won't let that happen (so that Cale doesn't see it occur).



  • Reviewed October 11, 2005 / Posted October 21, 2005

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