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Lean on Pete

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United Kingdom · 2018
Rated R · 2h 1m
Director Andrew Haigh
Starring Charlie Plummer, Travis Fimmel, Steve Buscemi, Chloë Sevigny
Genre Drama, Adventure

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.

Stream Lean on Pete

What are people saying?

Hannah Benson Profile picture for Hannah Benson

A great performance from Charlie Plummer who acts alone for large segments of the film. It is an interesting take on the 'journeying across America' trope with Andrew Haigh's distinct visual style. True to this style, the film is sparse on dialogue. However, the dialogue that is there is poignant.

What are critics saying?


The A.V. Club by A.A. Dowd

Just about every scene in Lean On Pete, the sensitive, unvarnished, at times powerfully sad new drama from writer-director Andrew Haigh (Weekend, 45 Years), reveals something small but important about the hardscrabble lives it chronicles.


The Hollywood Reporter by David Rooney

This is a compassionately observed story told with unimpeachable naturalism and without a grain of sentimentality, propelled by a remarkable performance from Charlie Plummer that's both internalized and emotionally raw.


The Playlist by Jessica Kiang

It’s saved from all-out depressiveness by Haigh’s compassion, which cradles the characters within their often desperate situations.


CineVue by John Bleasdale

Sadly, the intriguing set up - along with Del and Bonnie - is left behind for a too nakedly state-of-America musing, with everyone Charley happens across having some social ill to portray.


The Telegraph by Robbie Collin

[Haigh] hasn’t sacrificed a shred of the understated, observational style, lace-like emotional intricacy and lung-filling feel for landscape that all made his previous film, the Norfolk-set marital drama 45 Years, such a force to be reckoned with.


The Film Stage by Rory O'Connor

Lean on Pete is certainly not a film without qualities (credit to the supporting cast and Magnus Nordenhof Jønck’s cinematography in particular), but viewers might just feel the gnawing sense of a director losing his grip on the reins.


Consequence of Sound by Sarah Kurchak

While Lean on Pete risks turning gratuitous in terms of narrative flourishes and excess, it’s never gratuitous in its characterizations. Each individual encounter is rendered with compassion and respect.


Screen International by Wendy Ide

There’s a wistful quality to the storytelling which softens some of the sharper edges of tragedy and hardship in this undeniably affecting picture.


The Guardian by Xan Brooks

Lean on Pete is at its potent, stirring best during the opening furlough, when it focuses on this makeshift hobo family as it criss-crosses the Pacific Northwest from one racetrack to the next.

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