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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Provides a sensitive portrait of mental illness.
Positive Role Models
Mental health providers and friends show positive and compassionate ways of dealing with those suffering from such disorders.
Violence & Scariness
Spooky and suspenseful sequences (with scary music and dark visuals) -- from the point of view of someone who's struggling to retain her sanity. A teen is thrown from a horse and injured; she lies motionless on the ground. Brief glimpses of corpses. Recurring, sometimes startling nosebleeds.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kissing, foreplay, undressing. Sexual intercourse with camera holding on face of female almost entirely. Full-frontal female nudity.
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Cursing includes: "f--k," "a--hole," "s--t."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drinking, excessively in one sequence. The four participants also roll joints, get stoned.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Horse Girl is an intense, sympathetic tale of one young woman's spiraling mental decline. Alison Brie (a cowriter of the film) plays Sarah, whose path takes her to strange places which, at times, suggest the supernatural or otherworldly events. There are spooky, suspenseful scenes -- all from Sarah's point of view -- in which the heroine feels threatened. She also suffers from sudden nosebleeds and bouts of upsetting memory loss. The movie includes brief glimpses of corpses, a shot of a young woman, thrown from a horse, lying motionless. A couple kisses and engages in foreplay and sexual intercourse, which is shown with the camera holding almost entirely on Sarah's face. Viewers should expect full-frontal female nudity, as well. Language includes "f--k," "s--t," "ass." At a party, the participants drink to excess, roll a joint, and get stoned. This movie with mature themes, some disturbing sequences, and sad moments won't appeal to most kids. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Along with director Jeff Baena, Alison Brie has written a complicated, tragic heroine deserving of compassion; her performance is the best thing about this heartfelt exploration of mental illness. As unbalanced as she is, the filmmakers build strong rooting interest for Sarah as she tries to navigate reality against impossible odds. Horse Girl is an offbeat movie, intensely focused on the protagonist's descent, but giving supporting players some nice moments to play as well. And, with its supernatural story elements, the final sequence is just enigmatic enough to keep viewers wondering in spite of themselves. An entrant at the 2020 Sundance Festival, the film is well-made and impactful, though not a movie everyone will like.
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Our Editors Recommend
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate