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The Rider (2017)

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After suffering a near fatal head injury, a young cowboy undertakes a search for new identity and what it means to be a man in the heartland of America.

Director:

Chloé Zhao

Writer:

Chloé Zhao
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1,325 ( 213)
20 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Brady Jandreau ... Brady Blackburn
Mooney Mooney ... Gus
Tim Jandreau Tim Jandreau ... Wayne Blackburn
Lilly Jandreau Lilly Jandreau ... Lilly Blackburn
Leroy Pourier Leroy Pourier ... Frank
Cat Clifford Cat Clifford ... Cat Clifford
Tanner Langdeau Tanner Langdeau ... Tanner Langdeau
James Calhoon James Calhoon ... James Calhoon
Lane Scott Lane Scott ... Lane Scott
Cameron Wright Cameron Wright ... Rodeo Cowboy #1
Jordon Slick Phelps Jordon Slick Phelps ... Rodeo Cowboy #2
Donnie Whirlwind Horse Donnie Whirlwind Horse ... Rodeo Cowboy #3
Terri Dawn Pourier Terri Dawn Pourier ... Terri Dawn (as Terri Dawn Jandreau)
Allen Reddy Allen Reddy ... Bill
Greg Barber Greg Barber ... Bar Owner
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Storyline

Brady Blackburn, a rodeo bronc rider with some renown, learned everything he knows about horses and riding from his parents, Wayne and the now deceased Mari Blackburn. Brady is recovering from a fall off a bronking horse in a rodeo, the most serious of the injuries being a skull fracture which required a metal plate being inserted into his head. Including checking himself out of the hospital earlier than advised, Brady is determined to get back up onto the literal and proverbial horse as quickly as possible as being a cowboy is all he knows. But deep in his heart he knows that returning to the rodeo in particular is something that is probably not in the cards without increased risks, which is eventually confirmed by his doctor who tells him that he cannot sustain another serious head injury without some major consequence. He does not even want his friends and family to treat him with kid gloves in being able to do any of those physical activities which are part and parcel for him of ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 April 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A rodeós See more »

Filming Locations:

Badlands, South Dakota, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$42,244, 15 April 2018, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,419,031, 13 December 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Caviar,Highwayman Films See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer and director Chloé Zhao first met Brady Jandreau during her research for her earlier film, Songs My Brothers Taught Me (2015). She visited the ranch where Jandreau was working and he was teaching her how to ride a horse. She wanted to put him in one of her films, and when he had the accident that left him with life changing head injuries, she decided to base the script for her next film on his story. See more »

Quotes

Brady Blackburn: If any animal around here got hurt like I did, they'd have to be put down
See more »

Connections

References Sesame Street (1969) See more »

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User Reviews

 
both boring and touching
30 April 2018 | by dave-mcclainSee all my reviews

"The Rider" (R, 1:44) is a western drama written and directed by Chloé Zhao, who discovered the story (and the characters who lived it) while researching her first feature, 2015's "Songs My Brothers Taught Me". Her 2017 effort (which transitioned from the festival circuit to limited releases in several countries in early 2018) is the story of a cowboy who suffered a career-ending rodeo injury and is deciding what to do with the rest of his life. The film stars the title character as himself - and his family as themselves.

Brady Jandreau (looking like a young and lean Heath Ledger) plays the titular cowboy. Training and riding horses is what he loves and all he knows. After a devastating fall from a horse, he has a gash on the side of his head, his skin and his skull held together with staples. He struggles through his recovery - and to get used to the idea that he may never ride again. He's not sure whether he can give it up, in spite of the risk to his health and his life. He takes a job in a grocery store, but keeps gravitating back to horses. As he works through his issues, there's no shortage of advice - from those who want him to ride again - and those who know he can't, while caught in the middle is his family - his dad and his mentally challenged sister - and the person he admires most, a fellow rider who is permanently paralyzed.

"The Rider" is both touching and boring. Although this very personal and realistic story sheds light on the lives of modern cowboys, the whole thing is very slow and uneventful... for most of the film's runtime. However, along the way, something surprising happens. The tedium is gradually replaced by something emotional and relatable. It is then that Movie Fans realize that the time spent getting to know these characters and understanding this way of life has made them invested in the story, which pays dividends before it's over. Of course, the main actors playing themselves (not to mention the people playing the smaller roles) yield some acting that is less than stellar, but everyone and everything in this film feels raw and real, and for those Movie Fans who can make it through the slow parts in this slice-of-life western, they may well feel like they have won the gold buckle themselves. "B-"


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