Feature

Buck

Cindy Meehl’s first film is a documentary about Buck Brannaman, the cowboy and horse trainer who is known as the Horse Whisperer.

Directed by Cindy Meehl
(PG)

***

This “touching but somewhat superficial” documentary is about the man some call the real-life Horse Whisperer, said Roger Moore in the Orlando Sentinel. Buck Brannaman doesn’t actually whisper to horses, but in a field where cruelty is common, he’s a “soft-spoken soul who uses gentleness and patience” to condition them to behave. Cindy Meehl’s first film “comes at you with the understated eloquence” of its protagonist, said Betsy Sharkey in the Los Angeles Times. There must have been a temptation to amp up Brannaman’s backstory, given that he was raised to be a trick-roping child star by a father who viciously beat him. But Meehl mostly just fills the frame with beautiful images of Brannaman at work and “allows the facts, simply told, to carry the weight.” Unfortunately, we’re never given a clear idea of exactly how Brannaman’s techniques work, said Sam Adams in the A.V. Club. Robert Redford, who came to admire Brannaman while creating The Horse Whisperer, is among the many ranchers who testify to the trainer’s wizardry but fail to explain it. Perhaps the man’s art is “too subtle to be captured on camera.”

Recommended

10 things you need to know today: January 28, 2023
Former President Donald Trump.
Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: January 28, 2023

North Korea imposes 5-day lockdown on capital to fight 'respiratory illness'
North Koreans walk in Pyongchang.
sure ...

North Korea imposes 5-day lockdown on capital to fight 'respiratory illness'

Former U.S. generals explain how U.S. and German tanks can help Ukraine
Leopard 2 battle tanks
Many tanks

Former U.S. generals explain how U.S. and German tanks can help Ukraine

Can climate change lose Russia the war in Ukraine?
A destroyed Russian tank
Briefing

Can climate change lose Russia the war in Ukraine?

Most Popular

The big debate about alcohol
Alcohol.
In depth

The big debate about alcohol

Andrea Riseborough's Oscar nomination sparks Academy scrutiny
Andrea Riseborough
andrea fallborough?

Andrea Riseborough's Oscar nomination sparks Academy scrutiny

Durham's criminal investigation reportedly involved Trump, not the FBI
John Durham
Plot Twist

Durham's criminal investigation reportedly involved Trump, not the FBI