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War Pony

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United States · 2023
1h 56m
Director Riley Keough, Gina Gammell
Starring Jojo Bapteise Whiting, LaDainian Crazy Thunder, Robert Stover
Genre Drama

The interlocking stories of two Lakota boys growing up on Pine Ridge Reservation. At 23, Bill just wants to make something of himself. Meanwhile, 12-year-old Matho can’t wait to become a man. Bound by their shared search for belonging, each of the boys grapple with identity, family, and loss, as they navigate their unique paths to manhood.

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IGN by

An effective debut feature from director Riley Keough, War Pony is a rare breed – a native story told by an outsider seeking to uplift the community rather than exploit it.


The Playlist by Gregory Ellwood

At its best, a welcome addition to the increasing number of contemporary Native American stories seen in the films such as “Songs My Brother Told Me,” “Wild Indian” and FX’s “Reservation Dogs.” At worst, it’s a disjointed narrative that sadly overstays its welcome.


IndieWire by Kate Erbland

Despite the apparent care and respect that went into Keough and Gammell’s film, “War Pony” also makes clear how very far there is still left to go when telling “authentic” stories.


The Film Stage by Luke Hicks

Among many films that tackle class, race, and privilege at Cannes this year ... War Pony is more subtle in its pursuit. The stories aren’t plotless but the emphasis isn’t on any one narrative conflict. Keough and Gammell make it more about witnessing the culturally and spiritually rich world of Pine Ridge.


Variety by Peter Debruge

If Larry Clark had ever found his way onto the Pine Ridge Reservation, he probably would have come away with a film like “War Pony,” which observes its young Native American characters hustling, skating and stealing drugs from otherwise distracted adults.


Slashfilm by Rafael Motamayor

This is a brutally honest look at a community seldom portrayed on screen with care or honesty, with a simple story that may not pack much in terms of plot, but packs a whole lot of authenticity and empathy, with a stellar cast of mostly first-time actors.


TheWrap by Steve Pond

The movie sometimes feels as aimless as moments in the lives of the characters it depicts, but that helps give it the intimacy of a story told from the inside, not the outside.

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