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Parents' Guide to

The Mustang

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Soulful horse movie has moments of shocking violence.

Movie R 2019 96 minutes
The Mustang Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 15+

This title has:

Great messages
age 11+

A deep dive

The director manages to totally bring us in the story. I had an amazing series of different feelings going through me all along the movie

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (1 ):

This horse drama doesn't break any new ground, but it's a simple, soulful movie that's told gently, and all the pieces fit together with beauty and grace. Actress Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec) makes her feature directing debut with The Mustang, which is based on a real program that exists in certain states and reportedly has a strong track record in rehabilitating prisoners. The movie provides a handful of written notes about the program at the beginning and ending, freeing the film to concentrate on its ebb and flow rather than a need to hammer home big messages.

The Mustang has the feel of a familiar old Western, with some vaguely underdeveloped minor elements, but with new life breathed into it. Light is used vividly, especially beaming through windows into the tiny prison cells. The exterior shots are beautifully sun-dappled but also chilly, perfectly capturing the juxtaposition between fury and tranquility in both human and horse. Schoenaerts is part of what makes the movie work so well, with his fearsome frame that's unpredictable and explosive and his soft, expressive eyes. Even though he commits a scene of shocking violence against the animal, it's possible to eventually forgive him. Best of all is Dern, a cranky old-timer straight out of a John Wayne movie, but with his heart in the right place.

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