Concrete Cowboy Review

Some of the best movies tell stories we may have never heard of before. It’s always nice when a slice-of-life story comes along that is very interesting and strikes a chord with viewers. Concrete Cowboy is one such film with a very touching story.

Cole (Caleb McLaughlin, Stranger Things) is a troubled teen in Detroit. His mother has had enough of his antics. She decides to take him to Philadelphia to live with his estranged father. While there, he gets a hard lesson about life and becomes friends with the locals. They have an interest in training and riding horses. This might be a way for Cole to communicate and relate with his father Harp (Idris Elba).

Films like this are very interesting because of the aspect of the lost character. In this case, it’s Cole. He’s a lost soul that needs finding. An old friend named Smush (Jharrell Jerome, When They See Us) embraces Cole and tries to mentor him. This may not be the path he needs to follow. He needs to come to this conclusion on his own though. This tight nit horse community may be the answer he’s seeking for his future.

Concrete Cowboy has a sense of family to it. This inner-city film has subject matter that is different from your average urban-set film. The father-son relationship at the center of it is the heart and soul of this story. Ricky Staub, the director, and Gregory Neri and Dan Walser, the writers, come from a very good angle on this film. They get on the inside of this community and bring the father-son angle to a high. It’s a perfect combination of storylines.

The heart and soul of the film also come from the horses depicted in it as well. The trust one needs to be able to ride a horse and train it is very hard for anybody, let alone a teenage kid who has never been around horses before in his life. That love and respect of the rider and horse is a beautiful thing when done right on film. Movies about horses are a subgenre of sports movies. They can be very inspiring at times. This film is an inspiring story.

Netflix has done a nice job acquiring or producing new projects from up-and-coming filmmakers. Some of them can be considered good films and some aren’t as impressive. Concrete Cowboy is one of the former. It is an original urban inner-city story such as Cut Throat City or Charm City Kings. The family aspect is a very familiar one, but an effective one in bringing the whole story all the way around to home base. Along with the horse parts of the film, the acting is very solid as well. This is a good first outing for the director and writers.

4 stars

Dan Skip Allen

Sean Boelman

Founder/EIC disappointment media

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