HOLLYWOOD, CA Friday Aug.4.2006 /netmusiccountdown.com/ -- We watched an advanced Hollywood screening of "Flicka" starring Tim McGraw this week, and it's safe to say that Tim's acting stock has taken a quantum leap forward in this version of a Hollywood classic.

Actress Alison Lohman and McGraw play the lead roles, and if either of their performances had been weak or mediocre, the film would've failed. It does not.

Tim builds greatly on his learning debut film role in the indy, "Black Cloud," and the brief, but critically acclaimed role as an abusive, alcoholic father in the film "Friday Night Lights."

Tim's character in "Flicka" requires him to go from strong to tender throughout the story, and he must be deeply emotional when his daughter appears close to death. Having three daughters of his own no doubt helped him pull off this wrenching, pivotal scene.

And, who knew McGraw could sit a saddle that well? His riding got thumbs up from three ladies at the screening, there as representatives from a society for the humane treatment of wild horses that watch-dogged the production.

The film itself is perfect family movie, fit for all ages. The animal sequences and the relationship between horse and girl will catch the kids, the struggle between teenage daughter and son and loving, well-meaning parents will strike home with teenagers and parents alike. And everybody will love the incredible aerial and panoramic photography of the Wyoming ranch land and wild mustangs running free in the high ranges.

The Warren Brothers sound great in a cameo role as a house band in a western bar. McGraw's singing voice is heard over the closing credits singing "My Little Girl," a song included as a bonus track on his Tim McGraw Greatest Hits Vol. 2.

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