Roadside Attractions | Release Date: August 9, 2019
7.9
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Generally favorable reviews based on 40 Ratings
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8
GreatMartinAug 27, 2019
The synopsis of "The Peanut Butter Falcon" (see below) tells you the basic story but isn't able to add what Zack Gottsagen (as Zak) and Shia LaBeouf (as Tyler) bring to the movie that makes it so moving.

Gottsagen is an actor with Down
The synopsis of "The Peanut Butter Falcon" (see below) tells you the basic story but isn't able to add what Zack Gottsagen (as Zak) and Shia LaBeouf (as Tyler) bring to the movie that makes it so moving.

Gottsagen is an actor with Down Syndrome and though you won't forget that the whole time watching the movie you will also learn that he is a man with wants and needs and, given a chance, will get them. When the film opens Zak is in an old folks nursing home because there is no other place for him as he has no living family and the State doesn't have any other facilities for him. Pushed on by his roommate, played by Bruce Dern, Zak runs away one night, wearing only his white briefs, and hides under a tarp in a boat owned by Tyler, who is on the run from the law and some locals who after him to get revenge for his burning their equipment.

Zak and Tyler join forces, the latter at first reluctantly, and soon Eleanor, (Dakota Johnson) who in charge of Zak in the home and is now looking for him, become part of a family initially made up of strangers.

Shia LaBeouf gives a strong performance as a man who lost his older brother and, unknowingly, has a chance to redeem himself. He brings many layers into his role regarding both Zak and Eleanor and a man who is lost while Zack Gottsagen has a remarkable physical and emotional strength who want let anything stop him, including starring in a motion picture. Dakota Johnson does what she can with her role though it is very underwritten by the screenwriters Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz, who did much better as the directors of the film.

Bruce Dern does a fun turn with few minutes while Thomas Haden Church as the wrestler trainer, Salt Water Redneck, who Zak, after constantly watching a video the man made, wants to meet and go to his classes, portrays that backwood world, along with real life wrestlers Jake "The Snake" Roberts MIck Foley. Wayne DeHart, as a blind preacher, helps the 3 with their journey while preaching about leaving the wolves of their past behind.

The journey that takes place mostly along the North Carolina coast affords the 'family' opportunities, both funny and emotional, to become just that and will hit home with many in the audience who have done the same thing, making strangers into a living family.

"The Peanut Butter Falcon" is a sweet, moving film that makes heroes of the two male leads.
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5
tropicAcesAug 24, 2019
It’s got heart, but depth and subtlety are nowhere to be found. Parts feel aimless, and at the end of the day I found myself just wanting more, even from a barebones indie road trip film such as this.
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7
HipsterDufusSep 8, 2019
Really good. I enjoyed it. Somewhat predictable but somewhat different as well. Quite funny at parts and then it gets a bit hoke in the end. Worth a rent.
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7
TrevorsViewAug 29, 2019
Remember Sesame Street’s Julia? The first autistic Muppet? I love what that wonderful sign of children’s media has done to bring further developmental disorder recognition to the mainstream, something I never had growing up! Coming fromRemember Sesame Street’s Julia? The first autistic Muppet? I love what that wonderful sign of children’s media has done to bring further developmental disorder recognition to the mainstream, something I never had growing up! Coming from somebody on the autism spectrum, I’m overjoyed to see a positive representation become the focus of The Peanut Butter Falcon, where a guy with Down Syndrome, Zak, escapes his retirement home onto the moonlit street wearing only underwear; on his quest toward Florida, he meets a new friend.

Now, “What‘s the key to friendship?” The answer is in this motion picture.

First off, the film’s weak spots include a missed opportunity to plant political correctness issues, primarily in Zak’s lack of apparent connection with most of the other characters. It focuses more on a pretty typical relationship story instead, one where a total jerk must tolerate an intolerable partner on the road, until the disdain transforms into friendship. Although here, the familiar plot is handled more subtly, and meets its resolution earlier into the runtime. That way, more of the film can be spent on things that aren’t too familiar, such as a secret handshake! It starts with the total jerk’s decision to stay besides Zak after a kid bullies the poor victim, then he helps his new follower cross a river via a raft made from pants, until a shrimp boat riding past creates the most stressful movie scene of 2019, thanks to the careful cinematography.

Some pretty scenery throughout the feature differs from places normally called beautiful, it’s mostly junky beaches where hungover hooligans party around a campfire, even throwing in stormy rains on occasion to stir up the conflict further. The way these unflattering locations are framed to look calming to the eye enlightens the invisible beauty like that of an easily overlooked individual. Should Zak be out here instead of his retirement home though? It’s made sure that both sides of the issue are addressed; ultimately boiling down to the emphasis on why small spaces around old people works out bad for Zak’s livelihood. Just be sure to pay careful attention to these arguments though, or the wrong ideas about good role models may be unconsciously picked up.

Delving further into the good stuff, the acting paces itself like a heron, Shia LaBeouf gives among his career’s best as a fisherman who gets fired after stealing harvested crab, not to mention it’s so refreshing to see Dakota Johnson redeem her supposedly unredeemable role as Anastasia Steele! In fact, extra time should have been spent on the retirement home to give Dakota more acting range, so that she could be more on par with the rest of the cast. Among the ensemble, a blind man’s standout 10/10 performance spiritually guides a boat construction, he acts like a true God figure who supervises Zak, his pale eyes full of fiber as they glace like submerged alligator. He sets a powerful contrast against the coaches and nursing home staff who called Zak a “retard” over the years, a contrast that leads to Zak’s baptism, which in turn connects to his fear of swimming. This water remains a prevalent metaphor, symbolizing the fear Zak must confront again and again.

Zak showcases genuine acting power despite the Down Syndrome Zak’s real-life actor has, also named Zack. He understands the role to such a deep spiritual level and conveys the truth of how anyone remains dead until going out to survive dangerous places, which to him looks like walking on eggshells. Zak thinks his condition marks him villainous, but the fisherman is different, because he too fears being the bad guy.

It has been said by many before that, “friends are family,” which doesn’t strike me easy because forming relationships is my biggest difficulty. I began high school not learning any of the conversational rules I was expected to have possessed second nature by then, so had to learn through trial and error when I was saying something inappropriate to another. I’m glad though that despite my autism, I was able to form friendships over time, even if it takes me longer than others to learn the mechanics of socialization. Anyone with Down Syndrome can do the same, it’s all simply a matter of practice, trial and error, emotional support, and hope.

Even for those neurotypicals, The Peanut Butter Falcon is a movie that helps you stop letting your limitations halt you, with the simple power of family love! A family lifts you up to bear your pain, which only happens off trust built despite past hardships. That includes friends, as the more you know each other, the more you love each other. The more you love each other, the more a family sense is present. A song sung in the first Sesame Street episode introducing Julia tells kids how everyone carries different needs, yet if we treat others equal to anybody else, “we can all be friends!”
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7
JLuis_001Sep 2, 2019
Fun, warm and endearing but also predictable, however Shia LaBeouf and Zack Gottsagen are a great duo on screen and their simple but affectionate story keep you interested and entertained, which in these days not many films can say that aboutFun, warm and endearing but also predictable, however Shia LaBeouf and Zack Gottsagen are a great duo on screen and their simple but affectionate story keep you interested and entertained, which in these days not many films can say that about them.

I didn't like the ending, it seemed inconclusive and abrupt but it's understandable, because in my view and I don't think I'm wrong, this film is about the journey and not the destination, and this is a journey completely worth taking.
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10
Abyss494Aug 25, 2019
A feel good story which will make you smile the movie has a good duo with Tyler and Zak and does good to show that people with down syndrome can do anything we can.
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10
Morganliverman3Aug 25, 2019
This movie gives you all the feels. It shows how the outer banks use to be when we were growing up as kids. It also portrays a loving story about a Down syndrome kid who escapes an old folks home. He develops a relationship with Tyler (Shia)This movie gives you all the feels. It shows how the outer banks use to be when we were growing up as kids. It also portrays a loving story about a Down syndrome kid who escapes an old folks home. He develops a relationship with Tyler (Shia) and Elenor (Dakota) and loves wrestling. Expand
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9
FilmFanatic21Aug 27, 2019
This movie surprised me. There were a few moments that I thought it would follow some cliche beats or story structure, but it didn't. The acting is incredible and the story felt so realistic I questioned whether or not it was based on realThis movie surprised me. There were a few moments that I thought it would follow some cliche beats or story structure, but it didn't. The acting is incredible and the story felt so realistic I questioned whether or not it was based on real events. Above all, it is incredibly emotional, so I dare someone to watch it and not get choked up at least once! Expand
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10
SamskiezzSep 6, 2019
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Such a touching movie my heart melted good to see shia lebouf back at it again Expand
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7
MetaflixAug 23, 2019
Today's screening of 'The Peanut Butter Falcon' is a perfect example of why more theater chains need to stop acquiescing to social ingrates and adopt Alamo Drafthouse's strict no talking, no texting, no arriving late policy.

Among other
Today's screening of 'The Peanut Butter Falcon' is a perfect example of why more theater chains need to stop acquiescing to social ingrates and adopt Alamo Drafthouse's strict no talking, no texting, no arriving late policy.

Among other distractions, two ladies directly in front of us had no qualms chatting throughout the film. Strike one. A gentleman directly behind us managed to successfully smuggle multiple grocery bags of food and beverage contraband into the theater and had no reservations rifling through them every five minutes, all while resting his bare feet atop our neighboring seat. Strike two. Lastly, a large group of geriatrics arrived (picture a caravan of senior citizens using walkers with healthcare aids helping them along) HALFWAY through the movie, disturbing everyone and everything in their wake. Strike three … WE’RE OUT!

Distractions aside, ‘The Peanut Butter Falcon’ is a wonderful film that is galvanized from the opening scene to the last by the genuine connection between Shia LaBeouf and his co-star, Zack Gottsagen. Sure, there are parts of the film that are unnecessarily unrealistic—even flat-out nonsensical—but given the essence of the movie, sometimes a little imagination and suspension of disbelief are necessary to savor the day.
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7
swingAug 13, 2019
Meant to be heartwarming, and it was in spots. But if reality is what you're looking for, you won't find it here. Implausible plot, situations, and characters. I wanted to love it, but only mildly liked it. There was some chemistryMeant to be heartwarming, and it was in spots. But if reality is what you're looking for, you won't find it here. Implausible plot, situations, and characters. I wanted to love it, but only mildly liked it. There was some chemistry between Zach and Tyler, but you had no real idea why these two bonded other than the back story of Tyler. I love Dakota Johnson, but there was no chemistry between Tyler and her. It was impossible to believe they would bond. The ending was predictable and total fantasy. If the movie was a little more realistic and authentic, it would have made a better impression on me. Expand
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10
AvengerDragon56Aug 21, 2019
Easily one of the best movies of the year, hands down. Great performances, emotional drama, beautifully shot.
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8
davidislesAug 15, 2019
This is a smile, feel-good story that will make you smile ear to ear at some parts but will also have you riveted during others. The acting is great, the screenplay works well, and it is the perfect runtime for what it is. In a down year forThis is a smile, feel-good story that will make you smile ear to ear at some parts but will also have you riveted during others. The acting is great, the screenplay works well, and it is the perfect runtime for what it is. In a down year for movies, this one will put a smile on your face. Expand
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6
BHBarrySep 1, 2019
"The Peanut Butter Falcon" was written and directed by both Mike Schwartz
and Tyler Nilson and stars Shia LaBoeuf, Bruce Dern, Dakota Johnson and
an amazing actor, Zack Gottsagen, who, in real life has, and who plays the role of, a young man
"The Peanut Butter Falcon" was written and directed by both Mike Schwartz
and Tyler Nilson and stars Shia LaBoeuf, Bruce Dern, Dakota Johnson and
an amazing actor, Zack Gottsagen, who, in real life has, and who plays the role of,
a young man afflicted with Down syndrome. This is a tender and sweet story
of a disabled person with a dream and of those willing to assist him in
attaining it. Unfortunately, the powerful message is conveyed via a thin
vehicle that would better have been exhibited as a short film for there just
isn't enough substance to sustain and carry it as a full length feature.
I give the film a rating of 6 for, in attempting to be a modern day
Hucklebery Finn saga of life on or near
the Mississippi, the film goes nowhere and, like the current on the
river, continues downstream to its shallow end.
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7
BikerjamesSep 9, 2019
Shia LaBoeuf carries this film. It is dialogue heavy. Some parts are unbelievable, and probably could have done without the female character, but Hollywood seems to think you cannot make a film without a love story or women won't attend.Shia LaBoeuf carries this film. It is dialogue heavy. Some parts are unbelievable, and probably could have done without the female character, but Hollywood seems to think you cannot make a film without a love story or women won't attend. Has a lot of the stereotypical southern characters you've seen in many films. Zack Gottsagen also does a fine job. Overall a feel good modern Huck Finn type of movie. A lot better than most films available for sure. Expand
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7
Compi24Aug 27, 2019
Writers/directors Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz bring the heartwarming energies behind an inspiring "true friendship" to the big screen with "The Peanut Butter Falcon," another one of the year's more quiet surprises. Capitalizing on aWriters/directors Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz bring the heartwarming energies behind an inspiring "true friendship" to the big screen with "The Peanut Butter Falcon," another one of the year's more quiet surprises. Capitalizing on a really unique blend of honest pathos and a down home, rustic aesthetic, "Falcon" finds an interesting balance between the indie stylings of a "Beasts Of The Southern Wild" or "Kings Of Summer," but with the emotional resonance of something much more mainstream. Really impressive, that. Add some truly effective performance work and chemistry from Shia LaBeouf and newcomer Zack Gottsagen and you're left with quite a pleasant and emotionally satisfying impression overall. Expand
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8
Brent_MarchantAug 25, 2019
Despite some occasionally sluggish pacing and a narrative that's more than a little predictable, this modern-day "Huckleberry Finn" is one of the sweetest, most heartfelt feel good comedy-drama-road trip offerings to come along in years. ShiaDespite some occasionally sluggish pacing and a narrative that's more than a little predictable, this modern-day "Huckleberry Finn" is one of the sweetest, most heartfelt feel good comedy-drama-road trip offerings to come along in years. Shia LaBeouf and Dakota Johnson turn in some of their best work here, along with fine performances by newcomer Zack Gottsagen and veterans Bruce Dern and Thomas Haden Church. This may not be epic cinema, but it's certainly satisfying, well-crafted, crowd-pleasing entertainment. Expand
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8
GrantD243Sep 30, 2019
The Peanut Butter Falcon is the film to go to if you're looking for a feel good experience. The story is filled with cliches, and while I think that the romantic relationship that forms between Shia LaBeouf and Dakota Johnson is unnecessary,The Peanut Butter Falcon is the film to go to if you're looking for a feel good experience. The story is filled with cliches, and while I think that the romantic relationship that forms between Shia LaBeouf and Dakota Johnson is unnecessary, I did leave the theater feeling very satisfied with the film as a whole. Also, Zack Gottsagen was a pure joy to watch. I don't think it'll win any awards, but it will be a film that a lot of people adore. Expand
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6
MarkHReviewsSep 12, 2019
In their feature film debut, directors Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz didn’t make it easy on themselves. They cast a man with Down syndrome to portray a man with Down syndrome. They took on the baggage of Shia LeBoeuf. They cast DakotaIn their feature film debut, directors Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz didn’t make it easy on themselves. They cast a man with Down syndrome to portray a man with Down syndrome. They took on the baggage of Shia LeBoeuf. They cast Dakota Johnson in a role that didn’t involve handcuffs. And they hooked it all on a marginal story that owes much to Huckleberry Finn and moves at the laborious pace of a homemade raft on a slow-moving river. Happily, for the most part, they pull it off. Zac (Zack Gottsagen) is a Down syndrome man being warehoused by the state in a retirement home. With a little help from retiree Bruce Dern, Zac makes his escape, eventually meeting up with Tyler (Shia LeBoeuf), who is on the run for his own reasons. Eventually, they become friends and Tyler decides to help Zac achieve his life’s ambition – to train at the wrestling school of Salt Water Redneck, whose video Zac has watched incessantly. Discovered by Eleanor (Dakota Johnson), who is tasked with returning Zak to the retirement home, the trio eventually form an unlikely grouping determined to help Zak live out his dream by, wait for it, embarking on a homemade raft down a slow-moving river.

It’s the unpredictable elements that make this film worthwhile. Shia LeBoeuf decides to come across as a thoughtful, gruffly kind, even introspective character, not the self-absorbed maniac of his reputation. Since she’s not required to remove her clothes in every scene and utter immortal dialogue like “oh, oh… yes,” Dakota Johnson, as Zac’s retirement home caretaker Eleanor, turns out to be an understated, winning actress. The selection of Zack Gottsagen was the most risky, but ultimately most rewarding, choice made by the creative team.

Much has been made of the good-hearted spirit of this film, which is probably a euphemistic way of complimenting the creative team for casting Gottsagen in a leading role. And in fairness, Gottsagen and LeBoeuf do seem to have an offbeat, unconventional friendship that comes across as endearing and authentic.

This does not, however, relieve the writer/directors from delivering a film with a relevant story and actual character development, which they fail to do. While there’s some dialogue about how much freedom Zac should have, the film offers meager character development – who these characters are, what animates them – and very few thoughts about any larger issues. This makes the whole enterprise feel a bit insubstantial. To wrap up the story, the plot relies on a final scene that could charitably be called “magical realism,” but might more accurately be described as a story that simply ran out of steam.

Nilson and Schwartz have announced themselves as a creative team worth following. Hopefully, in their next outing, the team will acknowledge that Mark Twain relied on plot development and insightful observations about the world around him, not just a set of static characters, to make his stories so memorable.
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9
Hek_hadleySep 27, 2019
I walked in to this film avoiding its trailer....all I knew was who was innit and that the film was a modern retelling of the Huckleberry Finn story . That was probably the best decision I’ve made. The Peanut Butter Falcon is such aI walked in to this film avoiding its trailer....all I knew was who was innit and that the film was a modern retelling of the Huckleberry Finn story . That was probably the best decision I’ve made. The Peanut Butter Falcon is such a beautifully crafted film....the performances seemed effortless and spot on. I was actually surprised it managed to pull at my hearts strings. Expand
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