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The second movie version of Mary O’Hara’s book My Friend Flicka reverses the gender of the main character, now a teenage girl trying to convince her rancher father (played here by Tim McGraw) to let her keep a seemingly untamable wild horse. Flicka is predictable family fare that treats its central metaphor—the horse symbolizes the girl’s own wild spirit— with all the subtlety of a stampede. But the performances keep Flicka galloping along, especially Tim’s nuanced turn as a man torn between tradition and modernity, and between common sense and faith in his family.

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