Original title: Concrete Cowboy
Tagline: You are who you ride with.
Duration: 1h 51min
Vote average: 3
Vote count: 3
Production: Lee Daniels Entertainment
Original language: en
Release date: 2020-09-10
Director: Ricky Staub
Actors: Caleb McLaughlin, Idris Elba, Jharrel Jerome
DVD Covers, 2021, Custom Covers, Drama, Western
Concrete Cowboy 2021 DVD Cover Summary
Sent to live with his estranged father for the summer, a rebellious teen finds kinship in a tight-knit Philadelphia community of Black cowboys.
Concrete Cowboy 2021 DVD Cover Synopsis
Concrete Cowboy is based on Greg Neri’s novel Ghetto Cowboy and tells the story of Cole (Caleb McLaughlin), a Detroit teenager who is on the verge of being expelled after a fight with a high school classmate.
His mother (Liz Priestley), frustrated and unsure of what else to do, decides to pack up all of Cole’s belongings and transport him to north Philadelphia to live with his father, Harp (Idris Elba), who was in prison when Cole was born and spends most of his time at a local stable with members of a horse riding club.
Cole has to sleep on a couch next to a horse who lives in the living room, and there is nothing in the refrigerator but beer, soda, and American cheese, so Harp’s life isn’t in the best shape to care for a baby.
He may, however, put the kid to work, and Cole is hired as a stable hand as a result. It’s hard work, and it’s not particularly enjoyable – and the protagonist’s reunion with his childhood friend, Smush, doesn’t help matters at all (Jharrel Jerome).
Smush is now a drug dealer, looking for a way out of Philadelphia, and Harp, recognizing this, needs his son to stay away from him.
Cole, on the other hand, ignores this advice, and the temperature gradually rises as his pal tries to launch his own criminal enterprise and attracts the attention of some frightening individuals.
Idris Elba, Caleb McLaughlin, and Jharrel Jerome, as well as the real Fletcher Street Riders, all give outstanding results.
Concrete Cowboy features a number of real Philadelphia riding club members in its cast, and they end up delivering some of the best and most impactful performances in the ensemble, with Jamil Prattis as Paris, who winds up with the main role of showing Cole the ropes in the stable, providing wonderful authenticity to the film.
Caleb McLaughlin gives a solid, emotional lead performance that demonstrates some exciting range (the character is nothing like Lucas Sinclair from Stranger Things), and Jharrel Jerome gives a brilliant, complex performance as Smush, transforming him from a stereotypical bad guy into a sympathetic, three-dimensional character.
Harp’s role throughout the film isn’t very consistent due to his lack of experience as a father and his propensity to hold Cole at a distance, which means Idris Elba doesn’t get as much screen time as you would assume – but he’s also an actor who doesn’t need to be present all the time to make a big effect, as Concrete Cowboy demonstrates.
When Harp finally embraces his paternal side, he does so with gravitas and passion, the turning point being a fantastic scene in which he shares John Coltrane’s music with his son.
Concrete Cowboy is a film about love, attachment, respect, and family, and while it uses a largely conventional approach to conveying those messages, the 30% that makes it stand out as special counts for a lot.
It’s a moving and striking film that, while showcasing an incredible tradition, has the potential to have a huge effect.
Some quotes from the critics about the new Idris Elba movie
Vanity Fair’s Katey Rich noted the film’s similarity to “familiar beats of the horse tale,” but she praised the fact that it celebrates the Fletcher Street Riding Club, which has been historically ignored, as a very real Black horse community in North Philadelphia. Rich said:
Is Concrete Cowboy available for streaming?
Yes, you can watch Concrete Cowboy on Netflix.