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Best movie I've seen in years deserves a very High Rating
barneyharvey17 March 2012
Top Movie and well deserved as well , This was just an exceptional movie and Brendan Gleeson once again superb he just keeps getting better and better . This was one roller-coaster of a movie and very much emotional and no it was not boring at all only someone that has very limited intelligence and that knows nothing whatsoever about horse racing would say it was a boring movie .

I am really glad i didn't pay any attention to the miss-guided and hopeless reviews that some peeps wrote here about this movie as they were so inaccurate and false its incredible .

Its been many years since i watched a real genuine top class movie like this one , THE Cup 2011 and all actors played their part fantastic and an excellent True story-line which we just don't see enuff of these days and no daft special effects and far fetched garbage this is just a pure good movie with excellent Actors and a fantastic end which made this movie very special indeed .

i give this 10/10 Rating and very much advise anyone to sit down and watch it even if your not a massive horse racing fan its still gonna be well worth watching you wont be sorry so forget the negative clueless peeps that failed to give this the positive Review it deserves and go watch it and you'll remember this for a long time to come because it could well be many more years before another movie comes along thats anywhere as good as this one was .
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The Cup
peoplesno111 March 2012
Excellent Film, Recommended for Horse Racing Fans as is based on true events, Gets you en-thrilled with the action, Hopefully there will be other films done Similar to this on some of the UK's main Races such as the Grand National, Epsom Derby, Cheltenham Gold Cup etc.

Simiarilities to this film are Secretriat, which is nowhere near as realistic as The Cup, I thought Brendon Gleeson Did a excellent job playing the trainer Dermot Weld. To improve this film the only thing I think they could of done to improve it is have the Jockey's played by themselves.

As mentioned at the start though, a brilliant film to watch for all horse racing lovers, whether thats owners, trainers, jockey's or backers.
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A very entertaining true horse racing movie that can stand side by side with "Seabiscuit". Very much worth seeing. I say B+
cosmo_tiger13 September 2012
"Remember anything can happen, it's the Melbourne Cup." This is a movie based on the true story of the 2002 Melbourne Cup horse race in Australia. After winning the best jockey award for the 4th year in a row Damien Oliver (Curry) surprises everyone, including his brother in announcing he will race for the hated Irish trainer Dermot Weld (Gleeson). After tragedy strikes during the qualifying races for the cup Damien must decide if racing is still for him and if he can regain the spark. I may have to rethink the way I feel about certain movies. I was not interested in seeing "Seabiscuit" because it was about horse racing and I really enjoyed that movie. I was still not looking forward to "Secretariat" and that movie blew me away with how good it was. For the third time I was really reluctant to see this movie and again I was shocked at how good it was. The movie is pretty cheesy in parts and even the tragedies are kind of glossed over but this is still very much worth watching. Whether you are a horse racing fan or not this is still a very good movie that is very entertaining and a very good watch. I highly recommend this. Overall, pretty cheesy and acting is iffy at best but the fact that this is a true story helps overcome those short-comings and makes it very much worth watching. I give it a B+.
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Excellent and uplifting true story
MattyGibbs25 May 2014
This is a true story based on the 2002 Melbourne Cup horse race. As a Brit although I'm aware of the Melbourne Cup I didn't know of this particular story. It's a modestly budgeted film but the intriguing and fantastic story more than makes up for that. I was a bit put off by the relatively low rating (5.6) before I watched it but it's a far far better film than that rating suggests.

With a well paced and easy to follow plot it's a touching tale with plenty of weepy moments but also interspersed with great moments of triumph. It has a decent cast and is well acted throughout with a top performances from Brendan Gleeson and Stephen Curry. It maybe is a little slow to get going so you will need a bit of patience at the beginning. However once it hits it's stride it does keep you riveted.

The story has all the necessary ingredients this genre needs. Whilst not as good as the brilliant Seabiscuit, this is a very good entry to the genre. If you enjoy these kind of movies then you really can't go wrong watching this.
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Fantastic Movie
wteamtiger3 July 2012
How someone could give this a negative review is beyond me. It is a great story and was well acted.

Me thinks the rotten tomatoes people need to go back to their site where their self appointed movie critiquing expertise is welcomed. I generally never watch below a 5.0 as I trust this site but this 4.8 (which is beyond me as it should be in the 7 range) was poorly mis-rated. I was lucky enough to see someone's post that said these people are crazy this is a great movie.

The movie is heart is a real story and is all around a great watch. You won't be sorry for watching it. Enjoy.
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This One Doesn't Quite Runeth Over
Chris_Pandolfi11 May 2012
Warning: Spoilers
"The Cup" is a sincere inspirational sports drama with a lot of heart. This is not to say that it's an especially great or even memorable film; it does everything it's supposed to do on technical, emotional, and performance levels, but when it comes to narrative, it lacks the style and the spark of imagination necessary for it to stand out above the others. I use the word "imagination" in the grand cinematic sense. I know full well that the film is based on the true story of Damien Oliver, the Australian jockey who in 2002 competed in the Melbourne Cup horse race and won. His ride was the horse Media Puzzle, who was foaled in the United States and raised in Ireland by renowned racehorse trainer Dermot Weld. Media Puzzle would ultimately be put down in 2006 after shattering his one of his legs at the Ascot Gold Cup in England.

But I'm making this film sound like a retread of "Seabiscuit" or "Secretariat." Unlike those films, "The Cup" is less about the horse and more about the jockey that rode him. Oliver, now on the verge of turning forty, came from a horse racing family, his grandfather, father, and brother all having been jockeys. His father, Ray, and brother, Jason, were both killed in racing accidents, the former when Oliver was only a small boy, the latter just weeks before the 2002 Melbourne Cup. In the film, Jason's death comes about rather suddenly and is just sentimental enough to be touching but not so sentimental that it seems manipulative. The correct approach was to show it largely from the perspective of the mother, who when first entering the hospital has spontaneous flashbacks of the day she visited her braindead husband. I cannot imagine the pain of losing both your spouse and your child to the exact same cause.

Damien and Jason are portrayed by Stephen Curry and Daniel MacPherson respectively. I can't begin to speculate on the strength of their real-life relationship, but in the film, theirs is the epitome of brotherly love – loyal and understanding, their occasional spats never escalating above innocent goading. You firmly believe that these men came from a good place and truly do care for each other. Damien's goodbye to Jason as he lies on a hospital bed on life support is perhaps a bit scripted but is nonetheless poignant. Immediately following Jason's death, Damien understandably begins to worry about his own physical and psychological well-being at the Melbourne Cup, wondering if perhaps his family is cursed. This is in part brought on by Jason's widow, Trish (Jodi Gordon); in her grief, she asks Damien how many more Olivers have to die before enough is enough.

Weld is portrayed by Brendan Gleeson as a firm but affable man who believes more in performance than in winnings. He's not the eccentric typical of movies like this, although he does practice a few unorthodox methods, and his confidence in his horses is second to none. He's likable enough, although there's nothing especially memorable about this character. The same can be said for all the characters – and, for that matter, the story. The screenplay by Eric O'Keefe and director Simon Wincer is one of such basic human decency that it's actually a little jarring; generally speaking, we've been conditioned to expect overwhelming conflict and drama from an inspirational sports movie. Even with Jason's death, we're continuously made aware of the love and support all the characters feel for one another, and therefore have already felt an emotional resolution. This approach may be more natural, but it certainly does little to enliven the experience.

There's also a problem with narrative tangents that are either inadequately developed or so distantly related to the plot that they really had no business being included. An example of the former is a sheik from Dubai who enters his horse at the Melbourne Cup and watches the race from his master suite. His right hand man (Harli Ames) is the one who actually goes to Australia; apart from the occasional friendly conversation with Weld, he contributes just about nothing to the story. An example of the latter are repeated references to the 2002 Bali bombings, in which 202 people were killed, eighty-eight of which were Australians. This was indeed a tragedy, but its relevance to the story of Damien Oliver is never adequately addressed. The best we get is a vague connection to an injured football player, who Damien and Jason both saw play not long before the attacks.

"The Cup" was well cast, decently acted, and well intentioned, although I seriously doubt this will find a place on the same shelf as films like "Rocky" or "Hoosiers" or "Rudy." I've said of many films that they have their heart in the right place, and this one is no exception. It's pleasant and uplifting, but I suspect those emotional reactions will last only in the moment; as soon as the film is over, they will have faded, and by the time you get home, you may already have forgotten what you had seen. Having said that, I cannot speculate on how the film could have resonated on a deeper level. The ingredients were already there. All that was missing was someone who could stir them together into something truly satisfying. At best, one can say that this movie is edible – harmless enough but lacking texture and flavor.

-- Chris Pandolfi (
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Entertaining but cheesy.
doyobimas10 October 2011
The Cup is based on the true events that happened during the 2008 Melbourne Cup and the dedication, motivation and tragedy of the trainers, jockeys and all those closest to them.

It's directed by Simon Wincer who's most familiar pieces of work was Free Willy, The Phantom and Phap Lap.

The story is primarily told from the perspective of Damien Oliver and is semi auto biographical. It show's his struggles with the death of his brother who was killed while horse racing only two weeks before the Cup, and the anticipation of all those closest to him as Oliver is faced with the heavy decision, to follow is heart and keep racing or his head and pull out.

Stephen Curry is great as Damien Oliver he both acts and looks the part of the famous jockey. His supporting cast includes many well known Australian actors like Shaun Micallef and Daniel MacPherson but its Brendon Gleeson from Harry Potter fame that really give a likable performance.

There are a few things that do let this film down. One criticism was the overall feel of the movie which felt like a day time soap opera with cheesy editing, over use of montages and at times poor acting.

The major problem for me was the flash back sequence's which showed Damien Oliver's Mother re-live the memories of her Husband's fateful fall off a race horse. Not only were they not needed they were over dramatised and gave it a genuine Neighbour's feel.

While may people know who wins the race, the behind the scene's insight into the weeks of preparation it takes to compete in the Cup is very entertaining and the film also does a good job of showing the challenges Damien Oliver had to go through, which I had little knowledge of.
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The Cup certainly has all the ingredients to be a crowd pleasing and very commercial film
gregking416 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Horses have been an important part of director Simon Wincer's oeuvre, with films like The Lighthorsemen to his credit. He has also worked on a number of westerns, like Lonesome Dove for US television. And he has delved into the glamorous world of horse racing before with Phar Lap, his marvellous drama about Australia's greatest racehorse. Thus Wincer is a perfect fit for this stirring story about the 2002 Melbourne Cup. Damian Oliver's triumph while riding Irish horse Media Puzzle was one of the more dramatic and memorable races of recent times. The 2002 race was run just weeks after the Bali bombings, and the nation was still in shock over this callous act of terrorism on our doorstep. And popular jockey Oliver (played by Stephen Curry, from The Castle, etc) was riding Media Puzzle just days after the death of his brother Jason following a track accident. Oliver's victory in overcoming great personal tragedy makes for a great story, and one that deserves to be told. If it wasn't for the fact that it is based on actual events, one could be forgiven for thinking that The Cup was a succession of clichés and melodramatic piffle dreamed up by Hollywood scriptwriters. Oliver's personal journey is compelling stuff, and Wincer unashamedly aims for the tear ducts here. However, there are times when the pace flags and the cluttered narrative overwhelms the emotional substance of Oliver's journey. Unfortunately the film is let down by the occasionally clunky, cliché-ridden screenplay from Wincer and co-writer US journalist Eric O'Keefe. As most of the characters depicted here are still alive, the script painstaking portrays them as essentially decent people. Oliver comes from a horse racing family, as both his grandfather and father were champion jockeys in Western Australia. Oliver's father was killed following an accident when he was just a young boy. In the week before the Melbourne Cup, his older brother Jason (Daniel McPherson, from TV's Wild Boys, etc) is killed following a fall on a racetrack. Oliver finds himself questioning the ill fortune that has dogged his family, and has to make a difficult choice – to give up riding or jump back in the saddle to ride in the race. There are tenuous attempts to link Oliver's courage with that of footballer Jason McCartney, who survived the Bali bombing, which ultimately come across as slightly clumsy and overly manipulative. While Wincer lays on the pathos, Bruce Rowland's swirling score is equally as manipulative. Wincer certainly captures the excitement and glamour of the racing world, and that special atmosphere that surrounds the race that stops a nation. There is plenty of horse racing action, shot by veteran cinematographer David Burr, which adds verisimilitude. A number of local media and sporting personalities contribute brief cameos that adds further authenticity. There are some very good performances. Curry does a great job as Oliver, and his sterling dramatic performance here is every bit as good as his award winning turn as Graham Kennedy in The King. Brendan Gleeson brings charm and warmth to his role as top Irish trainer Dermot Weld, although his performance here lacks the energy and brashness of other recent roles, like the brilliant black comedy The Guard. Shaun Micallef is solid as trainer Lee Freedman, Oliver's friend and mentor. Martin Sacks (from Blue Heelers, etc) doesn't have much to do as Oliver's manager Neil Pinner, but he brings his usual stoic presence to the role. Colleen Hewitt brings surprising emotional depth to her role as Damien's grieving but supportive mother. And the late Bill Hunter makes his final screen appearance here with a walk on role as legendary trainer Bart Cummings, although he makes little impression. The Cup is old-fashioned filmmaking, directed in workmanlike fashion by Wincer. Despite the fact that the outcome is known, Wincer has done a reasonable job of maintaining our interest throughout. It may not be a great film, but The Cup certainly has all the ingredients to be a crowd pleasing and very commercial film. In a solid marketing strategy it has been released to coincide with the Spring Racing Carnival, which should also boost its appeal.
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what a boredom
rightwingisevil1 March 2012
where's the plot? where's the storyline? where's the directing? where's editing? well, i can easily tell you about this braindead movie, there's none whatsoever you could ever find in this bore-you-to-death movie. i've wasted about 35 minutes trying to figure out what the movie was about and failed, then i have to bail out. i saw there was a presentation of the jockey of the year, then sections of horse race training, then some clueless absolutely irrelevant taxi at the airports, airplanes taking off and landing, some hotel scenes, some absolutely irrelevant ball game attending, lot of meaningless, clueless dialog....blah, blah and blah. of course, there were horse racing segments again and again, but all of these scenes failed to get the audiences connected. i just felt helplessly clueless by watching those boring and aimless conversations between those characters. i was trying very hard to give some depth to this so-called 'the cup' a big deal, but just ended up with lot of ????!!!??? this is one of the worst movies i've ever seen and it's not even qualified for a B movie. i don't know what i'm writing here, because i really don't know what to say, just like the movie itself, absolutely nothing. there are horse movies, there are horse racing movies, but this one is the worst.
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