February 11, 2020  (Web Review)

The Peanut Butter Falcon

Lionsgate, 97 min., PG-13, DVD: $19.99, Blu-ray: $24.99, Nov. 12

Reviewer rating: 3.0/4

After writer-directors Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz met Zack Gottsagen at a symposium for disabled actors, they created this film about a young man with Down syndrome who is determined to pursue his dream of attending a pro-wrestling school. Like a modern Mark Twain adventure, set in North Carolina, the story revolves around Zak (Gottsagen), a runaway from a residential nursing home, who joins Tyler (Shia LaBeouf), a thief on-the-run, who in turn becomes Zak’s unlikely confidante and coach. Together, the pair elude capture in the grasslands, go swimming, catch fish, and drink whiskey as they travel down Pamlico Sound. When Zak’s caseworker (Dakota Johnson) locates the duo, they convince her to join in their quest to find Zak’s wrestling idol, the Salt Water Redneck (Thomas Haden Church). An engaging, inspirational film, this is recommended. (S. Granger)