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Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Hidalgo Movie Poster Image
Formulaic, overly simple, too violent for tweens.
  • PG-13
  • 2004
  • 120 minutes
Parents recommend

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 8 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.


Killing, battle violence, knife, gun, sword fights, Indian massacre.


Brief crude humor, reference to castration.


Mild profanity.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking, smoking, character with drinking problem, hookah.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie has a lot of violence, including swords, knives, and guns. We see the result of the massacre of Native Americans at Wounded Knee, with dead bodies everywhere. Characters and horses are shot, impaled, stabbed, and beheaded and one is threatened with castration. There are many tense scenes of peril, including quicksand. Characters drink, and Hopkins develops a drinking problem. A character smokes a hookah. There is some strong language and some crude humor. A woman offers Hopkins money and sex to get him to throw the race. The problem of prejudice against women and against those of other races, particularly mixed races, is a theme of the movie.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bySteve890 April 9, 2008

5 Stars

Excellent movie for young and old.
Adult Written bysbdreamin April 9, 2008

If you like horses, you will like Hidalgo!

Hidalgo is about a guy and his horse who are invited to the hardest cross-country race in the world. It is based on a real man and his real horse, but then the... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written bysurfrgirl April 9, 2008

Great action

Hidalgo is a great action movie. There is violance with knives, swords, and guns but i thought it was great. there are 2 parts that will make all horse lovers... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bymoldoon March 9, 2012

What's the story?

In 1890, courier Frank Hopkins (Viggo Mortenson) and his dappled mustang Hidalgo were the undefeated champions of endurance riding competitions, races of hundreds, even thousands of miles. After Hopkins delivers a dispatch that leads to the massacre of Native Americans at Wounded Knee, he starts drinking, stops racing, and gets a job re-enacting cowboy and Indian battles in the Buffalo Bill show. Then he is challenged to compete in the world's oldest endurance race, a 3000 mile race across the Arabian desert. Also entering the competition is a horse owned by a powerful Shiekh (Omar Sharif), for whom winning is a matter of pride, and one owned by a titled Englishwoman (Louise Lombard), for whom it is a matter of money. A win would give her access to the finest thoroughbred Arabians for breeding. Hopkins and Hidalgo face treacherous conditions and even more treacherous competitors. A sandstorm, locusts, quicksand, and a detour to rescue a kidnapped princess provide many opportunities for swashbuckling action and spectacular cinematography.

Is it any good?

The action and scenery of HIDALGO are entertaining. But the script is overly simple and formulaic. It's too violent for a PG audience, but not thoughtful or original enough for a PG-13 audience. There is a lot for the eyes, but not enough for the heart.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why Hopkins was so conflicted about his heritage and how his experience in the race made him understand it differently. They might want to look this tribute to "the legend of Frank Hopkins" and comments like these from historians who say that he fabricated his stories.

Movie details

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