Lean on Pete

In this coming-of-age drama by Andrew Haigh (Weekend, 45 Years), a 15-year-old lost soul hooks up with a pair of itinerant horse trainers and develops a powerful bond with a racehorse on its last legs. Based on a novel by Willy Vlautin.

Time & Tickets

Andrew Haigh joins a tradition of European filmmakers who have ventured to the American west in search of inspiration. Small-town racetracks and the spirited, independent outsiders who populate them provide the subject for Haigh’s finely observed tale of a young dreamer discovering the stern realities of the new west.

Charley is pent up in a fleabag Portland apartment with his abrasive father. He goes looking for a summer job and ends up meeting Del, a grizzled horseman kicking around the small-time circuit training and racing quarter horses with his partner, Bonnie, a jockey. In no time they become an inseparable trio, and Charley discovers a genuine love for the animals. He grows particularly attached to a failing racehorse named Lean On Pete. But when he discovers that his beloved horse has reached the end of his racing days and is due to be disposed of, Charley ends up on a cross-country adventure through the beautiful mountains and plains of the interior. (source:

Andrew Haigh, UK, 2071, 122 min. English spoken, Dutch subtitles. With Travis Fimmel, Charlie Plummer, Chloë Sevigny, Steve Zahn, Steve Buscemi.