The Horse Boy
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A family takes some very unusual steps to help their son in this documentary from filmmaker Michel Orion Scott. Rupert Isaacson and Kristen Neff first met when they were both traveling through India; Rupert was an activist representing the rights of indigenous peoples in the Third World, while Kristen was a college professor with a degree in psychology. While Rupert and Kristen expected that their nomadic life might change when they married and had a child, they weren't quite prepared for what happened when their son, Rowan Isaacson, was diagnosed with autism. Rowan was given to long… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 76%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's because the premise is so intriguing and the drama is so compelling that the result is so confounding."
‑ Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"In the footage taken after the healing, we never see Rowan, except when he is happily playing with his new friends or smiling with his parents. Is that the whole story? You decide."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"A sensitive and compelling portrait of the lengths one family is willing to go -- specifically, to the wilds of Mongolia -- to reach their autistic child."
‑ Mike Scott, Times-Picayune
"What it might contribute to the topic of autism and change -- over and above the mysterious (but documented) healing power of hanging around horses -- appears to be hope."
‑ Liz Braun, Jam! Movies
"By failing to break new ground in the non-fiction genre, Scott misses out on all the dramatic potential Horse Boy has to offer."
‑ Steve Ramos, Boxoffice Magazine
"The film's particular story serves as a powerful reminder to all parents that a child's unique strengths and personality may suggest the best path toward healing."
‑ Jennie Punter, Globe and Mail
"The Horse Boy is a lovely, amazing, wonderfully provocative film."
‑ Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
"The story it tells is little short of incredible."
‑ Robert W. Butler, Kansas City Star
"The Horse Boy is a nicely photographed real-life adventure, and with some wisdom about autism for everyone along the pathway."
‑ Gerald Peary, Boston Phoenix
"A fascinating examination of parental love and the blind faith that sometimes is required in what otherwise seems like a cold and cruel world."
‑ Marshall Fine, Hollywood & Fine
"The Horse Boy succeeds both as a provocative inquiry into the mysteries of autism and as a true-life adventure tale."
‑ Jason Anderson, Toronto Star
"An extraordinary journey of the heart and spirit, and a stirring testament to parenthood."
‑ Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times
"True-to-life stories about the personal growth of attractive white people are all the cinematic rage these days ... and at its worst The Horse Boy seems both an invasion of privacy...and a cold-hearted attempt to cash in on a trendy topic."
‑ Sarah Boslaugh, Playback:stl
"Horse Boy is a valuable, stirring motion picture. It's a poignant step to understanding the mysteries of the mind and a critical, exquisite reminder of unconditional parental love."
‑ Brian Orndorf,
"A well-edited, profoundly engrossing, inspirational and thoroughly captivating documentary."
‑ Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru
More reviews for The Horse Boy on Rotten Tomatoes