Hope's Legacy

Movie review by
Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media
Hope's Legacy Movie Poster Image
Tame but boring horse drama sequel has some taunting.
  • NR
  • 2021
  • 102 minutes

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Focus is important when competing.

Positive Role Models

Liz is a wishy-washy and indecisive person who rarely stands up for herself. When a pathological and cruel woman badmouths Liz, Liz doesn't walk away, a poor example to set for young viewers. Liz is also quick to judge others without hearing all sides of a story and generally demonstrates immaturity and self absorption. Linda and James are patient and helpful.

Violence & Scariness

A fellow competitor confronts Liz cruelly, doling out unprovoked verbal abuse.

Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Hope's Legacy is the sequel to Christmas Ranch. Some parents may be happy to find a movie without curse words, sexuality, or violence to amuse younger kids, but the trade-off here is the amateur feel of the story, direction, script, and most of the acting. A fellow competitor confronts Liz cruelly, doling out unprovoked verbal abuse. Pretty horses trot around, providing the best, possibly only, reason to watch.

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What's the story?

HOPE'S LEGACY is a sequel to Christmas Ranch set years after troubled teen Liz (Taylor Lyons) was sent to her grandmother's horse ranch to shape up. Grandma has passed and she's left the ranch to Liz, who decides to live on it and train another jumper to compete and earn money. James (Allen Williamson), the neighbor who always liked her, is thrilled to have her back, and soon the two are engaged, although both sets of parents strongly object. Linda (Dyan Cannon), an experienced horsewoman, comes for Grandma's funeral and stays to help Liz train for competition. A fellow competitor challenges Liz; will Liz have the confidence to stand up for herself?

Is it any good?

Hope's Legacy is 103 minutes long, but feels much longer. This mindbogglingly boring family drama is a stunning mix of baseless and repetitive script contrivances that weakly substitute for drama, with clueless direction and incompetent acting. Dyan Cannon seems to know what she's doing, but she struggles to make herself look human while uttering the script's mechanical and lifeless dialogue. The plot could have been boiled down to provide the basis -- with different director, writer, and actors -- for a decent 30-minute after-school special. At least young horse lovers will be happy to gaze at the pretty horses.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what's the best mindset for competing in a sport. Do you agree with Linda's advice that Liz needs to focus and stop letting extraneous issues distract her? Why or why not?

  • What's the appeal of horse movies? What's your favorite horse tale, and why?

  • Did you see Christmas Ranch? If so, how does this sequel compare? If not, do you want to watch it now?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love horses

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