The Cup received mixed to negative reviews, currently holding a Rotten Tomatoes approval rating of 26%.
Joe Leydon of Variety gave a positive review, saying "Although it canters down a well-trod path toward a predictable finish line, The Cup sustains interest through the smooth efficiency of its storytelling and the engaging performances of its lead players." Sandra Hall of the Sydney Morning Herald called it "a shamelessly old-fashioned picture but if you like horses and fancy cantering off into the land of wish-fulfilment for a couple of hours, why not?"
Luke Buckmaster of Crikey.com gave a negative review, saying "Director Simon Wincer was not the right person to avoid certain temptations, like dunking the audience's noggins into a honey pot of clichés." Mike McGranaghan of Aisle Seat thought the film was a "pleasant-enough viewing experience. At the same time, I was never as riveted as I have been by other, similarly-themed films. It makes you feel good without ever truly stirring the soul."