Father/Son Bonds & Cowboy Shenanigans
Concrete Cowboy is the latest Netflix Original film tackling the intriguing subject of urban cowboys back-dropped by a simple but effective Father/son estranged relationship.
If you’ve finished watching this cathartic picture and are looking for alternatives – fret not! We’ve combed through the archives and saved you the hassle with our top picks for alternate viewing.
So without further ado, we present 10 movies to check out when you’ve finished watching Concrete Cowboy
Lean On Pete
Lean On Pete is your typical boy-befriends-horse movie. Along the way, it manages to deliver some decent drama and heartfelt character performances.
The story itself follows 15 year old Charley Thompson. As the son of a single Father working in warehouses across the Pacific Northwest, he hopes for a new start when the family move to Portland. Once there, Charley takes on a Summer job with a washed-up horse trainer. As fate would have it, he befriends a failing racehorse called Lean on Pete.
Heavy, poignant and emotionally stirring, Lean On Pete is a really well written horse movie and certainly worth a watch.
Speaking of well written horse movies, War Horse is a modern classic and certainly another gem you should check out after Concrete Cowboy.
The story takes place right on the cusp of World War I where Albert’s beloved horse Joe is sold to the cavalry by his Father. After being sent to France to fight, Joey finds himself engaging in an unexpected journey across war-torn Europe. Whilst recovering in hospital, Joey learns of a horse found in No Man’s Land.
Poignant, well-written and with some excellent anti-war sentiments, War Horse perfectly depicts the bond between man and animal.
Slow, dark and atmospheric, First Cow is a movie that requires a lot of patience. However, this slow-moving picture brings with it some nice themes and a really artistic aesthetic.
The story here revolves around a loner and cook called Cookie who travels West, only to happen upon a Chinese immigrant called King-Lu. Together, they form a loose bromance/business partnership. In doing so, this relies on the participation of a wealthy landowner’s prized milking cow.
If you’re in the mood for a movie that pays tribute to nature and delivers some reflective ideas in the process, this one’s worth a watch.
Running Free is undeniably similar to Black Beauty aside from the obvious horse narration. In classic horse and boy territory, Running Free does have some emotionally stirring moments.
The story here revolves around the extraordinary life and times of Lucky, a horse born in captivity but achieving its dream of running free with the help of a stable boy. It’s simple, predictable stuff but undeniably enjoyable.
If you’re in the mood for another horse-centric tale, Running Free certainly fits the bill.
Alpha may be an odd choice for this list but if you’re looking for a bond between man and animal in a similar cathartic fashion to Concrete Cowboy, you’re in luck.
Set deep in the prehistoric past, Alpha revolves around a young man struggling to return home after being separated from his tribe. Hunted by a pack of wolves, Keda seeks refuge atop a tree. When the pack leave, they leave behind an injured wolf companion whom Keda befriends. This single act changes his destiny forever.
While there aren’t any cowboys here, there is a really well written picture that realistically depicts wolf behaviour and delivers an excellent survival tale in the process.
A real gem of a modern Western, Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained is a stylish and well written movie packed full of memorable scenes.
Set deep in the heart of 1858, the movie revolves around a bounty hunter named King Schultz who seeks out the help of a slave named Django to hunt down some dangerous men. Only, Django has a mission of his own, which includes finding his wife Broomhilda.
What follows is an action packed and violent showdown that perfectly captures the best parts of Westerns, wrapped up in gruesome, trademark Tarantino style.
Good Will Hunting
“It’s not your fault.” These four words are the mantra that will undoubtedly break you after watching Good Will Hunting. Written by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, Good Will Hunting is an incredible film about transformation. This Oscar-nominated Best Picture is a worthy choice, just beaten to the post on the night by Titanic.
The story revolves around a genius janitor at MIT called Will Hunting. Unwilling to accept his genius potential, Will finds himself tied to his friends and lashing out at anyone who tries to break down his defensive walls. A victim of abuse, Will eventually comes face to face with a psychologist called Sean, who helps him embrace meaningful change in his life.
Good Will Hunting is an absolute gem of a movie. If you haven’t seen it already, you should definitely give it a watch.
Dead Poets Society
Dead Poets Society is another film about transformation and using a particular vice to instigate meaningful change. In this case, it comes in the form of poetry.
Our protagonist is shy and timid Todd Anderson, who’s sent to school where he meets Professor Keating, the eccentric new English Teacher. He tells his students about the Dead Poets Society, encouraging the boys to go against the status quo and change their life.
With an important motif about following your dreams and seizing the day, Dead Poets Society certainly shares some thematic similarities to Concrete Cowboy.
Big Fish is a film about a boy called Will Bloom and his estranged relationship with his Father, Edward. Fed up with Edward’s larger-than-life fantastical tales, Will falls out with his Father on the eve of his Wedding.
When Edward learns he’s going to die soon, Will returns to try and reconcile with his Dad, attempting to separate fact from fiction.
The film works incredibly well as a fantastical journey in its own right, with Tim Burton’s restraint working wonders to produce a larger-than-life world mirroring our own.
Be prepared to go in with a pack of tissues with this one though – the ending is one that’ll undoubtedly have you weeping.
The fact that Free Willy hits harder in 2021 than it perhaps did back in the 90’s is telling unto itself. However, Free Willy is one of the more uplifting titles on this list and boasts a wonderfully iconic ending.
The story itself revolves around a young orca whale called Willy separated from his parents and forced into a marina. At the same time, a street kid called Jesse is caught vandalizing that very same marina.
Jesse’s social worker forces him to clean up the mess, leading to an unlikely friendship blossoming between Willy and Jesse. What follows is an eventual plan to free willy and help him back to the open ocean.
Despite some tough scenes early on, the ending to this makes it well worth sticking with and checking out.
So there we have it, our 10 Movie picks to keep you busy after watching Concrete Cowboy
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!