Writer-director Gary Ross (wrote “Dave,” directed “Pleasantville,” among others) takes on the surprise bestseller by Laura Hillenbrand about an underachieving thoroughbred who was nurtured by an iconoclastic trainer, a doting owner and a hard-luck jockey into the top racehorse of his day, the Depression-shadowed mid-1930s. A period film with an equine topliner, the film also offers rich human casting: a post-"Spider-Man” Tobey Maguire and recent Oscar winner Chris Cooper. It’s been awhile for a racing movie, but the book was a phenomenon and there’s a real Hollywood ending.


Drama (July 25)



With: Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges, Chris Cooper, Gary Stevens.

The idea: Three men and a horse thrill the nation during the Great Depression.

Writer-director: Gary Ross; based on the book by Laura Hillenbrand.