Lean on Pete

Lean on Pete

In Theatres: 
Apr 27, 2018
Running Time: 
121 minutes

Lean on Pete is a story about the resilience of the human spirit. It’s about a boy who has everything terrible thrown at him and yet he still manages to push forward. Unfortunately it’s also a tiresome film that takes way too long to say anything, paired with performances that never truly get to where you want them to be. There are some good ideas to the film, but I was more concerned with when it would be over as opposed to the relationship between a boy and his horse.


Charley (Charlie Plummer) lives with his single father, who is struggling to make ends meet. Determined to make a little money for himself, Charley gets a job at the local horse racing track working for Del Montgomery (Steve Buscemi) and his horses, one of which is the aging Lean on Pete. When Lean on Pete starts to be a burden on Del, Charley decides to take matters into his own hands and venture across the country without any money or direction in order to save Lean on Pete from the slaughter.


I wanted to like Lean on Pete but I simply couldn’t get into any of its characters. It’s a bleak world we see on screen, and they all are even bleaker. The world throws everything it has at Charley, and he manages to continue to push forward. What doesn’t work for me is that Plummer really only has one emotion throughout the film, and after a while it gets pretty tiring. I did enjoy the horse racing aspect towards the beginning but was bored for the majority of the film.


Lean on Pete struggles to tell a compelling story. I wanted to like it more than I did, but I just couldn’t get invested in any of the characters.It says something when you care more about the horse than any of the human characters. Charlie Plummer has the potential to be a great actor, but that’s all Lean on Pete has, potential that never truly crosses the finish line.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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