It boldly echoes the trajectory of the legendary racehorse who learned how to channel his herky-jerky energy into a fierce and indomitable running style. With its own unusual gait, the movie cuts among the individual stories of the men who took an unlikely animal from neglect to acclaim as a four-legged hero of the Depression. Owner Charles Howard (Jeff Bridges), trainer Tom Smith (Chris Cooper) and jockey Red Pollard (Tobey Maguire) forge a joint destiny with the small, knobby horse with the commoner's name. Director Gary Ross subsumes his considerable virtuosity into the drama: the wizardry that has gone into putting an audience in the saddle can't be separated from Ross' passion to show how Seabiscuit, Pollard and super-jockey George Woolf (played by real super-jockey Gary Stevens) outwitted the other horses and riders and achieved immortality. --Mike Sragow
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