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Based on the beloved novel by Willy Vlautin, comes Lean on Pete-a deeply moving story about love, loneliness, family, and friendship, told through the unique prism of one boy's connection to a very special racehorse.
Roger EbertFull Review Very Good I marveled at the humanist depth of the world Haigh creates, one that can only be rendered by a truly great writer and director, working near the top of his game. Haigh's gift for character can sometimes overshadow his technical ability when people write about his work, but there's a mesmerizing rhythm to "Lean on Pete” that drives the narrative.
Rolling StoneFull Review Good Sobs are earned the hard way in this moving drama, which grips you with such scrappy humor and no-bull grit and grace that you'll be hooked. ...the hypnotic and haunting Lean on Pete works miracles in miniature, painting a portrait of a marginalized America that cuts deep.
Slant MagazineFull Review Above Average The film ends immediately as Charley is finally free to begin to unburden and heal himself, and it's hard to shake the feeling that the next steps of his life would prove more moving and illuminating than the sweeping but rather emotionally static journey Haigh shows us.
Note: The rating
above is our interpretation of what the critic would give this movie based on
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Thompson (Charlie Plummer)
arrives in Portland, Oregon
with his single father Ray
(Travis Fimmel), both eager
for a fresh start after a series
of hard knocks. While Ray
descends into personal turmoil,
Charley finds acceptance and
camaraderie at a local racetrack
where he lands a job caring for
an aging Quarter Horse named
Lean On Pete. The horse's
gruff owner, Del Montgomery
(Steve Buscemi), and seasoned
jockey, Bonnie (Chloe Sevigny),
help Charley fill the void of
his father's absence-until he
discovers that Pete is bound for
slaughter, prompting him to
take extreme measures to spare
his new friend's life. Charley
and Pete head out into the
great unknown, embarking
on an odyssey across the new
American frontier in search of
a loving aunt Charley hasn't
seen in years. They experience
adventure and heartbreak in
equal measure, but never lose
their irrepressible hope and
resiliency as they pursue their
dream of finding a place they
can call home.