(I'm a girl) My mother and I LOVED it. I'm a horse nut, so that isn't surprising, but she isn't; I'm not even sure it's a horse thing. I just thought it was a really good "underdog" movie with great race scenes, and it just happened to be about horses (could have been about stock-car racing, too, and it probably would have worked).
I thought Tobey Maguire was pretty good. I've never liked him but I liked him in this. I thought Jeff Bridges was adequate (Mom loved him), and Elizabeth Banks did fine considering hers was a secondary role at the most. I've been a Chris Cooper fan for years--since "Matewan"--so I'm just glad he's finally getting star billing.