top of page


The themes Cowboys touches upon couldn’t be more timely but the film struggles mightily to find realistic characters, a compelling narrative and a clear point-of-view.

A father kidnaps his child - who by their mom isn't allowed to dress and act like the boy they actually feels on the inside- and goes on a trek to Canada in Cowboys, a movie that might be inspired by interesting gender issues but unfortunately has precious little of meaning to say about them.

Part of the reason the picture never connects is that it fails to find a clear point-of-view. Are we supposed to go on an emotional journey with the young, confused transgender boy? With their sympathetic dad who has issues of his own? Or with the mother, who takes a long time to come to grasp with the situation? Cowboys stays too oblique and is a lesser movie for it.

But even if the film had sorted out those problems, what remains is still a picture that remains curiously flat, as evidenced by the uninspired acting, a severely flawed flashback structure and a denouement that never rings true for any of the characters.

Besides, thematically Cowboys is late to the party anyway. For a much better film that tackles similar issues, look no further than 2011's excellent Tomboy.

release: 2020

director: Anna Kerrigan

starring: Steve Zahn, Jillian Bell, Sasha Knight, Ann Dowd


bottom of page