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Parents' Guide to

The Horse Whisperer

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Gorgeous, slow-paced '90s horse drama has mature themes.

Movie PG-13 1998 168 minutes
The Horse Whisperer Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 1 parent review

age 16+

Majestic drama about the process of loss, not for young teens or children

If you are or your youngster is the type of person that can really ‘live in the world of a movie’ for a few hours, this magnificent movie will invite you to do just that. The review by CSM is excellent in this respect. Just want to add that the character of Redford is based on a real-life horse whisperer: Buck Brannaman. Whose excellent auto-biography “The faraway horses” is even more of an inspiration than this fictional story. Age 16+: Usually we use the age of the (main) character of a film as a guideline if the subjects depicted in the film are suitable and/or can be related to by children. Due to the storyline of the mother in this movie, the movie is more suited for adults. However, I think by 16 that plot line can at least be taken in, if not related to. Also, the movie’s beginning is truly shocking for the sensitive, which are the (horse loving) people who can really appreciate this movie for its beauty and ease of pace. So steer away if this is what your child is like. When they’re older, they will really appreciate this movie all the more. Don’t watch this with young children! Lastly, I highly recommend to experience this great story first through the excellent book by Nicholas Evans. And then read the rest of his titles.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

As directed with serene intensity by Redford, viewers get to move in and live in this movie for its nearly three-hour running time, and it's a memorable stay. Redford plays the whisperer of the title, a gentle rancher who waits patiently for a frightened horse, a wounded girl, and her tightly wound mother to trust him and thereby find peace in themselves. Performances are as beautiful as the scenery is magnificent. The young and eerily precocious Scarlett Johansson already has the stillness and intelligence of her later work. Kristin Scott Thomas as the high-strung mother is both pitiable and magnetizing, ready to be humanized by her attraction to the sensitive rancher. The Horse Whisperer is about letting go of old pain, useless baggage, and self-destructive ways. Although it does not advise that love conquers all, it does advocate for love's healing power.

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