54 user 87 critic

First Cow (2019)

PG-13 | | Drama | 10 July 2020 (USA)
1:54 | Trailer
A skilled cook has traveled west and joined a group of fur trappers in Oregon, though he only finds true connection with a Chinese immigrant also seeking his fortune. Soon the two collaborate on a successful business.


Kelly Reichardt


Jonathan Raymond (based upon the novel "The Half-Life" by) (as Jon Raymond), Jonathan Raymond (screenplay) (as Jon Raymond) | 1 more credit »
2,676 ( 784)
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Alia Shawkat ... Woman with Dog
John Magaro ... Cookie
Dylan Smith ... Trapper Jack
Ryan Findley Ryan Findley ... Tapper Dame
Clayton Nemrow ... Trapper Clyde
Manuel Rodriguez ... Trapper Bill
Orion Lee ... King-Lu
Patrick D. Green ... Russian Trapper
Evie Evie ... The Cow
Ewen Bremner ... Lloyd
Jared Kasowski ... Thomas
Rene Auberjonois ... Man with Raven (as René Aubergenois)
Jean-Luc Boucherot Jean-Luc Boucherot ... Sailor in Saloon
Jeb Berrier ... Cribbage Player
John Keating ... Heckler in Saloon


A loner and cook (John Magaro) has traveled west and joined a group of fur trappers in Oregon Territory, though he only finds connection with a Chinese immigrant (Orion Lee). The men collaborate on a business, although its longevity is reliant upon the participation of a wealthy landowner's prized milking cow. Written by A24

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language. | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


One of Rene Auberjonois's last 2 films released after his death in December 2019. See more »


When the woman unearths the skeletons in the opening scene, the bones appear to be in pristine shape. Given that they have been buried with no protection and directly into the ground, bones would have disintegrated within a century and would not be in such an excellent shape two centuries later. See more »

Crazy Credits

The Cow - Evie See more »


Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Movies of 2020 (So Far) (2020) See more »

User Reviews

Don't watch if you are easily bored
19 July 2020 | by pesilat64See all my reviews

Thanks to constant mental stimulation due to social media, cell phones, and online content always being available, the majority of people now have an extremely short attention span. If that sounds like you, then don't watch this.

I personally consider myself to be a very patient person, and if you are willing to just be patient and actively appreciate the film you will find this film to be a rich cinematic treat. The cinematography is exquisite, meticulously framed in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio. The performances are extremely watchable - these characters could easily have been rather dull or boring but the brilliant actors elevate them to near-mythological status. The plot, while cliched, is supported so well by the aforementioned elements that it feels like a completely new experience to the other films that have similar plots.

If you only watch films for a quick dopamine hit, this is not the film for you. In order to get anything out of this film, you must put in some of your own thought. Under the surface, the film is rich with ideas about capitalism, the American Dream, and especially male friendship. It's left up to the viewer to interpret the work for themselves, which is what I appreciate most about Kelly Reichardt - she doesn't try to force a message down your throat, she just lets you interpret her films however you want to. But you need to be patient if you want to get a good experience, which many people, especially on this website, don't quite seem to understand.

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Release Date:

10 July 2020 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

First Cow See more »


Box Office

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Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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