The Ride (1997) Poster

(I) (1997)

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10/10
Great Movie!
jeffstone19603 December 2006
I agree most Christian movies barely get a B rating. This one was very well written and I enjoyed watching it. Rethink what???( last comment). This was a simple message about running from God and finally realizing through the love of others that God will never give up on you.

It was sincere and better than a lot of "entertainment" I see out there. The performances were believable even if they weren't polished. I liked how not everyone was a Christian in the movie. The girl was not a believer but appreciated the love that was present at the ranch. The dying boy might not have been the best actor but he did a pretty good job.

Lighten up. This film was probably targeted toward a younger crowd and it sent the Gospel message loud and clear. Not everything has to be an Oscar performance! Let's not be so cynical. Above being all things to all men God commands us to love one another.

I like watching a movie that doesn't resort to foul language to get it's point across.
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7/10
Good calibre cheese. Biehn is superb.
Lt_Coffey_18223 November 2005
The Ride is a very different kind of film that was never designed to break box office figures but rather convey a message. With strong religious themes throughout, the film is very much down to interpretation. As an atheist, I was angered at how Danny (Brock Pierce) appeared to be forcing Smokey (Michael Biehn) in to religion. This is how I saw it but it is entirely possible that Danny was simply trying to open Smokey's mind. Smokey's inevitable conversion to Christianity, whilst infuriating to me, was handled very well by Biehn.

Where the film flourishes is in the opposing sides to Smokey's character. On one hand he is a selfish drunk but also he is compassionate and cares deeply for Danny and Linette. Whilst not always reacting the best way to situations, Smokey knows what's right and eventually comes through. The relationship between Smokey and Danny is also very touching. Whilst not agreeing with Danny's behaviour, he displays great courage and a purely platonic love for the entire world. The bonds between the characters are visibly, very strong and you can't help but feel great empathy all the way through the film.

The main reason to watch this film is Michael Biehn. Whilst he should be in much better films than this, Biehn takes his role very seriously and gives one of his strongest performances in a very long time. Biehn walks a fine line between arrogance and charisma as he did in K2 and it is very convincing that he makes friends and enemies in equal measure. It is a very demanding role as Smokey Banks is a very complex character and Biehn as always exceeds all requirements.

Religion is still very much a taboo subject and whilst I myself am not Christian, I admire the film maker's courage in showing his beliefs. The major axe I have to grind with this film is the culture it portrays. I hate bull rodeos as they are immensely cruel and the whole cowboy way of life theme becomes a tad tiresome. The 'hicksville' ranch that Banks is staying at is so stereotyped that you can picture George W. Bush being extremely happy there.

The Ride is fantastic once you look through the cheesy themes as it touches the emotions with great power. It is the inner core of the film that remains in the mind after watching, making The Ride well worth watching.
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10/10
Excellent
john-salyer18 June 2005
This is a compelling story about some of the larger questions of life......childhood cancer, failure, love, life after death, spiritual questions..........and so on. Biehn brings the angst of his character to life. It is quite departure from what I am used to seeing him do, e.g. the military man. He still plays a tough guy, but in this case he is brought to his knees by the heart, mind and suffering of a boy. The movie is steeped in cowboy culture, which I very much liked. What is more utterly and uniquely American than the spectacle of rodeo. If you like rodeo you will like this movie. Admittedly, the movie is somewhat formulaic.....but not all formulas are bad. I thoroughly enjoyed it and thought the message powerful, poignant and ultimately uplifting without whitewashing the real pain of this world. There is a cameo appearance by Franklin Graham who speaks plainly about Jesus. I highly recommend this film
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7/10
Predictable, but enjoyable
Michael Satterwhite23 June 2002
At the beginning, I had no expectations. When I identified it as a religious film, my expectations came in low. I found the film to be quite enjoyable, however ... even though I was predicting events before they were shown. This is definitely a film the entire family can watch together, and those are rare today. Performances aren't Academy Award material, but they fit the film quite well. Enjoy.
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8/10
Fresh approach to the Modern Cowboy story
M HABBERSTAD1 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
The movie captures the life's challenge of a young cowboy whose goal in life is to be a rodeo bull rider. The story is full of twists and turns yet the characters take them in stride.

The chapel scene with Franklin Graham is unique in the World Wide Pictures modern format of films. Yet his message that Belief in what Christ has done for us by His death and Resurrection...not our good deeds is a message most forgotten by MODERN Religious teaching. What message is more important to know? In summary, The scenery is quite breath-taking! The cast has good chemistry.I thoroughly enjoyed this film! I hope you will, too!
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10/10
Excellent Family Movie
roger-1217 May 2003
This is one of the best movies made since the censors stopped "sensing" that can be viewed and loved by the whole family. It ranks alongside such family classics as "Lassie Come Home" and "20,000 Leagues under the Sea," but this is no fantasy. It is set in modern times and focuses on a wayward cowboy and the influence he has on a boy faced with a life-threatening illness. There's more drama than action here, but this movie will touch your heart. It would be a great addition to a family library or even a church library with its Christian principles.
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6/10
Praying For The Best Teacher
bkoganbing26 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Realizing that as a Christian based film it will follow certain parameters that you might not agree with personally, The Ride is still an enjoyable and dare I say inspiring film. The Ride stars Michael Biehn as an over the hill bullrider whose life gets turned around by a young fan who believes in him.

Young Brock Pierce has to believe in something because he's about 14 years old and has terminal cancer. He wants to ride a bull in a rodeo before he dies and wants the best teacher around to show him the ropes.

That would be Biehn who's so far down on his luck he steals the boys ranch trailer where Pierce is a guest and gets himself roughed up by some bookies he owes money to. He gets an unusual kind of community service, he's sentenced to the boys ranch run by Clarence Felder and Jennifer O'Neill and because young Mr. Pierce has prayed for it, Biehn assigned to make him a bullrider.

Bullriders are the elite of the cowboys and they've even spun out on their own organization the Professional Bull Riders. As that organization does have a significant Christian contingent, I'm sure The Ride is a favorite film among the riders and the staff. It's not in the class of such rodeo films as Junior Bonner, The Lusty Men, or Arena, but it's not a bad film, given it doesn't have quite the production values of those Hollywood based films.

Young Brock Pierce gives a most moving performance as the terminally ill kid. And he comes across as a real kid, not some child movie star. The adult cast members had some job keeping pace with him.

As a fan of the PBR, I want to dedicate this review to a pair of young bullriders who have the right stuff to make it to the very top of the profession. The two Ryans, McConnel and Dirteater, sustained some serious injuries last season and young Mr. Dirteater is still on the mend for a second injury. I've got faith in both of them.
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10/10
A Really Good Story
connie329213 August 2003
One of those movies that make you think a little about our fragile life is and how we take it for granted. A movie the whole family can enjoy. I have shared this movie with friends family and co-workers and others have went and bought since seeing it. Hope you watch and enjoy just like we all have.
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10/10
A ride for the entire family
couple4fun116 May 2000
It's nice to just sit down every once in a while and have a film really touch the heart. Michael Biehn stars as a washed up rodeo star who now only rides the bottle and gambles until he gets stuck as a ranch hand. His life is changed as he trains a terminal 14 year old to ride. If you have a chance, see this film with the whole family.
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10/10
Powerful film, but enjoyable for all!
janbers28 February 1999
This movie has an awesome message, as well and a very compelling story. It is very easy to identify with Smoky Banks, and it is heartwarming to see how Danny's persistence and unconditional love can help change even the hardest heart. I would recommend it for every family! But don't stop there; let your friends and relatives see it also, because it has a message that you will never forget!
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3/10
Predictable and boring, but somewhat touching
ted-2512125 June 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I clicked spoiler, but you'll know the end, long before you see it.

What I liked: Mike, the owner, sounds like "Fat Tony" about 75% of the time. In fact, I waited for the credits to see his name, Clarence Felder. Checking "The Simpsons" cast, he's NOT "Fat Tony." Anyway, I loved to listen to his mobster voice throughout the movie. Smokey, the has-been bull rider will always be Johnny Ringo to me. I kept waiting for Val Kilmer to step out from the shadows and say, "I'm your huckleberry." Back to Mike, when he had the loan collectors in his office, it was like "Fat Tony" getting ready to pass judgment on Homer Simpson. Classic. What I didn't like: Just not reality. Of course, neither is "The Matrix," which I'll never watch, because people don't fly or walk up walls. At least "The Ride" didn't rely on anything more than stuntmen who were really physically at risk. Why I started to watch it: The Dish on-screen guide said it was about someone getting in an NYC taxi and things getting crazy from there or something like that. Why I kept watching it: I hoped it would get better. I have to change my rating from 4 to 3 before submitting this. By the way: I'm a Christian...a confirmed Lutheran, if that's considered Christian, anymore, with all the born-agains and revivalists.
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10/10
A kid with leukemia wants to be a bull rider. A real bull rider gets hurt so cant ride anymore and helps him succeed that goal.
michaela_6430 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I love this movie so much, I watched it a lot when I was younger but its been like 8 years since I've seen it because unfortunately we lost it. I would recommend it to anybody, its safe for kids, and inspirational for adults. This was literally one of the best movies I've seen in my lifetime along with 8 seconds, and cowboy up. Like me the cowboy movies, ha ha. But yeah for real guys don't miss a chance its a good movie. Im hoping this website will help me be able to see it again because I really am not to fond of the fact that its been so long, Me and my twin want to watch it super bad! So if you have a lot of young kids in your family this is definitely a safe movie and I think you guys will love it.
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1/10
Tripe
Scott Migaldi25 January 2005
So here I am sitting in a hotel in Sanya, China with only one, sometimes, English TV station. This movie comes on and of course I have to watch, if only to hear English spoken. The movie revolves around a has-been rodeo cowboy played by Micheal Biehn of Terminator fame and his problems with life, alcohol, women, and his new problem, the Christian far right.

The movie reminds me of those drivers ed type movies you may have seen in high school. There are predictable, barely believable issues that are resolved with prayer and faith. Smokey continues to have problems even as he is given a chance by the local sheriff to rehabilitate himself after a DUI. He is asked to be a counselor at a boys ranch and to teach one of the kids how to ride a bull. There are many predictable problems and even though Smokey keeps messing up the rest of the camp counselors continue to have faith in him and, as he eventually sees the error of his way, embraces Jesus thus making his life better.

Unless you are also trapped on a remote island of the coast of China I recommend missing this one.
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Christian film makers need to do some work...
sarawoah19 October 2003
I was forced to watch this movie at school in 8th grade & I thought it was pretty boring. It was kinda sad that the Danny kid had cancer but you KNEW he was going to die and then Smokey would be all "Oh I see now! I think I'll be a Christian!". In order for Christian movies to actually get out there and be a major force people need to re think how they write movies, who they're writting it for. As Paul(I think it was paul) said "to those with the law I became as those with the law. to those w/o the law I became as those w/o the law..." you finish the rest.
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1/10
One of the stupidest, most cliched movies ever
fan4ad16 June 2002
Christian movies are such bores. They are cliched, middle of the road films that only the converted would watch and enjoy. Here of course you have the bald cancer patient kid, the sinful rancher who no longer rides, and the sweet Christians. Always funny--the Christians are always good natured and great, but the sinners are judgemental. Of course the kid wins a great victory and dies; the rancher will come to Christ after he struggles with his own nature (he doesn't want to help that kid because he is not a Christian and the kid is bald). There is the moment of course where everyone will shave their heads to make the cancer kid feel good. A heart-warming moment every 5 minutes or so, and it make me sick. THe Christian world view is so romanticized--no life is not like this, and it would be boring if it was. Avoid like a Christian crusade.
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10/10
Biehn is Brilliant
guil fisher20 September 2014
I have followed Michael Biehn through the years and have found his work interesting and often incredibly good. Starting with his role in THE FAN where he played a crazed fan of Lauren Bacall, also good. I have just viewed THE RIDE and thought he was wonderful as a sort of displaced rodeo bull rider with ghosts of the past. Working at a Boys Ranch as part of his small crimes from bar drinking and drunken fights, he suddenly finds a competition he never reckoned with. A young boy dying with cancer and dreams of being a bull rider like Biehn.

Through trials both emotionally and physically they both seem to learn something from each other. Many of the scenes were touching and real and both actors brought something special to the table.

I see Biehn has more on the rise in film, including directing and wish him well and more praise and honors that have overlooked him. He's that good.
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7/10
Actually a good film, possibly great depending on your attitude
rooster_davis30 May 2010
Looking at the other reviews posted for this film I can draw some conclusions. 1 - if you are religion-intolerant or filled with hatred for Christianity you will probably not like this movie. 2 - if #1 is your mindset then you probably don't like the sport of bull riding anyhow, which has a strong Christian presence, so you might as well find some something else more suited to you.

By the way, despite what some (another reviewer) believe, bull riding is NOT a sport which is cruel to the animal. I've done it. The wives' tales abound but simply Are. Not. True.

Now that I've gotten past that, I'll talk about the movie itself. This is not really a movie about bull riding, it's a movie about how a terminally ill boy causes a hard-luck bull rider to reassess his life and his attitudes about many things, including how he feels about God. Brock Pierce plays Danny O'Neill, the terminally ill boy who wants to learn to ride a bull, and is really quite good in this role. Michael Biehn plays the role of Smokey, a once-famous bull rider down on his luck. After being arrested for 'borrowing' someone's truck, he's sentenced to teach Danny to ride bull as 'community service'. Smokey originally wants nothing to do with the idea of teaching Danny to ride a bull - but it's either that or go to county jail, so he relents but is not happy at all about teaching Danny.

While Danny is on the bucking machine, his hat comes off, revealing his chemo-caused bald head. Smokey learns now that Danny is very ill and might not survive. With this Smokey's shell begins to crack a bit though his initial reaction is that he can't go through with this, knowing that Danny may be dying. Eventually he changes his mind and continues teaching him.

Along the way he can't help but notice the example Danny sets, though he himself resists any attempts to get him to see Christianity. Danny learns to ride the bull and in fact does so successfully at a junior rodeo. When Smokey finally goes to 'cowboy church' with Danny afterward, as he promised Danny he would, he finds he can't accept God. The idea of someone (Christ) dying for another doesn't ring true to him, and he's mad that if God exists, that he is letting Danny be so sick.

Near the end of the movie, Smokey comes to realize that it is love which would make one person offer up their life in the stead of another, and in an emotional scene, out in a desolate wilderness, he tells God he would give up his life if he could, to save Danny.

Bull riding is a heavily Christian sport, and if you're an atheist or not Christianity-tolerant you are not likely to like the sport itself and you will definitely not like this movie. Find something else more suited to your attitudes. For those who have some heart, for those who enjoy and understand that bull riding has a heavy Christian component, this is a movie you will enjoy.
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