Hidalgo reviews mixed

I’m personally not sure that I’m going to drop the $12 it takes to get in to see this film. I doubt I’ll ever see another horse movie that inspires me like Seabiscuit did. Kudos to Viggo Mortensen for taking a role like this one to follow up his huge Lord of the Rings success. Here are what some of the reviewers are saying:

“Never quite settles into its paces.”

“There is enough compelling adventure, awesome cinematography and dynamic stunt work involving horses to keep one entertained.”

“A sporadically entertaining adventure movie that is hampered by poor pacing, a badly focused screenplay, and cheesy special effects.”
— James Berardinelli, REELVIEWS

Read more critics of Hidalgo over at RottenTomatoes.

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19 thoughts on “Hidalgo reviews mixed

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  2. I agree with Rowena entirely! The movie IS about
    personal integrity, spirit, courage and being true to yourself…I am disgusted by most movies because beyond the special effects; there isn’t much else! But “HIDALGO” blew me away with it’s
    understanding of the many cultures it personified.
    I did not feel the Arab/Moslem people would be insulted by this-they’ve seen worse in movies-and
    the American cowboy (I’ve traveled a lot) is beloved worldwide! If you’ve ever met a vanishing
    culture: it is the true cowboy; they had the stamina and love of horses and the REAL West to
    work like few would do today to get this country settled. I experienced it as a California girl in
    my late teens on a REAL ranch in Texas and deeply
    admired the soft-spoken,hard-working true gentlemen who,like Hopkins,were keen-witted and
    able to work the long,terrible hours at low-pay
    simply because they loved working with horses and
    I saw the special love between them, and the only time they relaxed was at night with their guitars
    by the fireside and I heard songs that went back
    to the old West and hoped someday they would make a movie about these wonderful people and their
    beloved horses that ‘read their minds’. Setting it in the Middle East,to me,gave respect and showed we could work together for a common goal:
    which is the understanding of different cultures. Sure,it may have gone to the extreme in some ways,but I have NO doubt that a TRUE cowboy and his beloved horse,could do what may seem impossible to some! It certainly wasn’t impossible to the hundreds of dedicated Arabs who ran that race for decades! Why should it be so odd for a man with ‘true grit’ & his Mustang stallion to have entered and won! We should rejoice that that cowboy had no predisposition and was simply there to win a tough race. HOORAY & YIPPIE YI YO for the film makers of that heartfelt movie that shows how deep is the love between human and beast and how foolish is the rivalry & hate between different cultures! THAT was the point! Got it now? Lisa did! Didn’t every kid, Worldwide, want to grow up to be cowboys?

  3. Hidalgo bothered me incredibly as a movie, yes the editing was bad and the plot was cliche, but what is more dangerous is the obvious use of the plot to bolster current events… the hearty american cowboy going to a certainly cruel, savage and religiously fundamental society and winning.. beating them at their own game. The anti-muslim/anti-arab tone was obvious and offensive. When one writes a screen play why is it necessary to add lines like “when you die your soul will burn in hell because you are an infidel.” This only reinforces uneducated perceptions americans have of arab culture, is not truthful to the story or plot and does nothing bridge the gap between our assumptions and the truth.

  4. A Landmark Film. Finally, Middle Easterners and Native Americans who actually speak to each other in their own languages, rather than conveniently spouting pidgin English for the benefit of lazy American audiences. I cannot remember when I’ve seen that in a family film. My husband and kids and I loved this movie. The scene of the man whose horse has died, praying as he dragged the empty bridle through the sand, still makes me ache. How did they so convince me, in such a short scene, that the man wasn’t mourning his own terrible fate, but the loss of his loved companion? Very well done.

  5. I hesitated seeing the movie due to the awful reviews and did not want to see Mr. Mortenson in such light, specially after watching LOTR 4 times. Soon realized that Hidalgo is all about being true to yourself, integrity, perseverance, indomitable spirit and courage. These are tenets that are almost taken for granted in most modern movies. We are so used to special effects that either leave us totally grossed out or breathless that the simple values that make up a person & how he perceives the world around him is neglected. If you want an inspiring, light & entertaining movie to watch with your kids, I highly recommend HIDALGO!

  6. The desert storm was stunningly impressive. The horse took the movie, they played on his good looks and charm. I wanted to see more of the horse. Without the horse, it was just another “stir about and up and eventually you get to throw knives and kick the shit out of the bad guys.”

  7. I think it is very interesting that Frank Hopkins may have embroidered the truth, because the end of the race strained my incredulity. But I still enjoyed the movie and cried when (This part of the message has been edited by The Movie Blog. Please do not spoil parts of the movie for the readers. Remember, not everyone has seen this film yet). To have the story come full circle is dramatically satisfying if unrealistic. “The willing suspension of disbelief” is part of the cimematic experience. The movie was good, not great, but a pleasant escape from reality.

  8. I couldn’t care less about the editing or the cheesiness of anything. “Hidalgo” was a ripping good yarn, and all the swords and guns were mind-boggling. Jazira as a character was all the restrained but valiant Daddy-girl adventuress a girl could identify with, and Lady Ann inspired much silent booing. Properly dastardly! As for Hopkins – Whooooeeee! What great fun and only for $12 measly bucks. (PS The horse was quite lovely as well.)

  9. Crapfest of a movie. YUUUUCCCKKKK!!!! It was terrible terrible terrible. Especially with the obvious parallels with Last Samurai this movie had. That Bardanelli fellow got it right. The movie is very very badly paced with very terrble
    editing where they literally carelessly cut out some scenes. (MINI SPOILER) When Hopkins is fighting 3 guys on a ship, they are interupted by
    Lady Ann. The scene abruptly ends and you see two non descript individuals stumbling back into a cabin. Small thing but it was done so clumsily you feel really insulted by such crappy editing.
    Also Viggo. M’s character saves some kid being sold on the slave bloke, this scene is similarly roughly cut, you see the camera pan to the beginning of the auction with a shot of the boy’s legs and then scene is cut. You just get to see Viggo ordering the boy around and you have to deduce for yourself as to what happened.

    Cheesy weezy special effects ripped right out of last Samurai.


  10. I think this movie will be at our local imax and thats where i first saw the trailer. If it is i am going to see it regardless of what the critics say (not that i give a F@ck about them especially when they rated Kill bill as one of the best movies from last year yet almost no one even gives a damn about its late release)

    I am a sucker for films done from remote locations
    and will tuck my tail under my ass like a good sheep and go see Hidalgo

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