Parents' Guide to

Ride Like a Girl

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Woman gallops through boundaries in inspiring sports drama.

Movie PG 2020 98 minutes
Ride Like a Girl Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 10+

Inspiring and real

Watched this with my kids and they weren't looking forward to it. We all stayed focused from start to end. True story with some sad moments and equally great moments. We loved it.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 5+

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6):
Kids say (6):

Even people who don't give a hang about horse racing are likely to thrill to this gorgeous, exhilarating biopic about a barrier-smashing female athlete. Palmer -- all sinewy grace, with determination radiating out of every pore -- is a terrific stand-in for Michelle Payne, making us feel both her efforts (one sequence shows her waking up at 3 a.m. morning after morning to stand waiting for work at a track, while male athletes easily get the chances she's denied) and the deep thrill of her successes, returning to race over and over again despite sexism and terrible injuries. All along, the camera work is simply beautiful: It pulls out wide to admire the sight of wheeling, stamping horses running freely over green hills and in the surf and sidles in close to catch the bits of sod flung up from flying hooves and the sweat on the brows of the hardworking jockeys thundering around the track.

The emotional beats ring true, too, especially the scenes in which the large, freewheeling Payne family gathers together for meals and to watch intently when one of their number competes in a race. Michelle is the youngest of 10 siblings, which doesn't sound fun, but Ride Like a Girl makes it feel like a blast with all of the overlapping dialogue and familial wisecracks. Best of all is the relationship between Michelle and her dad, Paddy, who alternately encourages and steadies his daughter. He's terrified of her recklessness, but the pride he feels at her extraordinary accomplishments is palpable. Michelle rebels against the strictures placed on her by society, the race world, and her cautious father, but, while she competes, it's Paddy's instruction that guides her to her ultimate victory. Hang some flowers on the neck of this lovely film and hand it a trophy: It's a winner.

Movie Details

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