Part unlikely friendship tale and part potpourri of genre tropes orchestrated as a parade of red herrings, this debut feature takes on modern culture’s blatant disdain of aging and veneration of youth. ... Greatly entertaining.
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The Cow goes in a number of unexpected directions that, on paper, look like fodder for a perfect missing-persons mystery à la Gone Girl or Prisoners. The problem is, Horowitz doesn’t quite seem sure how to tell the story in a way that keeps the viewer engaged.
Ryder is honestly the only shining light here. ... But she deserves better than the murky slog that is "The Cow."
The film’s final revelations are underdeveloped and underwhelming, wrapping up events neatly in a way that lacked the humor of earlier scenes.
The Cow is depressingly slack and indecisive, neither leaning hard enough into its B-movie preposterousness nor taking the time to build any real, sustained suspense.
As “The Cow” sinks deeper into increasingly limp twists, turns, and choices, Ryder keeps hold of Kath, offering the film’s most genuine surprise: a real, lived-in, fully fleshed out performance. No one else can match her, but who could even try?
At the very least, The Cow offers some food for thought and has a strong setup, even if it doesn't fully deliver a satisfying conclusion.
The blended tones and mixing of rom-com tropes with wry humor and mystery mostly work well until the film makes a hard pivot to biotech horror. By the last act the script begins to resemble "The X-Files," however the same implausibility that made that show a hoot, here unfortunately undermines the spell the film had successfully cast.
Despite some resonant themes, this playful thriller grows increasingly implausible, relying on twists that neither shock nor deepen the film’s exploration of unhappiness and regret.