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critics consensus

Lean on Pete avoids mawkish melodrama, offering an empathetic yet clear-eyed portrayal of a young man at a crossroads that confirms Charley Plummer as a major talent. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Charley, a teen living with his single father, finds work caring for an aging racehorse named Lean on Pete. When he learns Pete is bound for slaughter, the two embark on an odyssey across the new American frontier in search of a place to call home.

Cast & Crew

Bob Olin
Mr. Kendall
Jason Rouse
Mitch
Andrew Haigh
Screenwriter
Darren M. Demetre
Executive Producer
Lizzie Francke
Executive Producer
Vincent Gadelle
Executive Producer
Sam Lavender
Executive Producer
Magnus Nordenhof Jønck
Cinematographer
Ryan Warren Smith
Production Design
Jonny Fenix
Art Director
Jenelle Giordano
Set Decoration
Julie Carnahan
Costume Designer
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News & Interviews for Lean on Pete

Critic Reviews for Lean on Pete

All Critics (188) | Top Critics (57) | Fresh (169) | Rotten (19)

  • This is a film that succeeds in holding all its elements in balance - and in doing so, arrives at a depth of feeling that isn't commonplace at all.

    December 3, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • And as the film enters into its final third, Plummer is steady and brilliant demonstrating not only Charley's growth, but also how his naivety becomes mixed with darkness.

    August 27, 2018 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • For all its sometimes over-episodic structure, Haigh has crafted a quietly affecting coming-of-age journey tale sustained by a central performance that never feels forced or contrived.

    May 9, 2018 | Full Review…
  • A performance of remarkable depth, candour and vulnerability by rising star Charlie Plummer lies at the heart of this terrifically moving fourth feature film from British writer-director Andrew Haigh.

    May 7, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Haigh's new film has the substance and emotional heft to be considered a masterpiece.

    May 4, 2018 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • An unvarnished fable that falls somewhere between The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Grapes of Wrath.

    May 3, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Lean on Pete

  • Jan 25, 2019
    Steering away from any possible attempt at sentimentality, this is an always mature and down-to-earth coming-of-age drama that relies on an impressive performance by Charlie Plummer to tell us the heartbreaking hardships endured by a poor young man in an unforgiving country.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 10, 2018
    A story about a boy and a horse could easily become overly sentimental, but "Lean on Pete" doesn't go there. It's more unusual. More truthful. Director Andrew Haigh's ability to engage the viewer in these naturalistic settings and the way in which his actors, especially lead Charlie Plummer as well as Travis Fimmel, make us feel committed, not just invested, but committed to to this world and their journey is almost indescribable. "Lean on Pete" is both extremely cruel and unforgiving and kind and beautiful all at the same time. Like I said, it's truthful; even to the extent it utilizes Selena Gomez and R. Kelly songs in the most authentic ways they could be.
    Philip P Super Reviewer
  • Aug 03, 2018
    Haigh takes what could easily have been a saccharine and emotionally manipulative story and makes something more honest. This allows the movie to earn it's most powerful moments.
    Alec B Super Reviewer

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