Cameron Semple’s review published on Letterboxd:
I have been waiting a long time to see this film from the prestigious A24 studio and director Kelly Reichardt and it did not disappoint.
First Cow takes its time to get going and to be honest some scenes were probably a bit too slow at the beginning but once the two friends start their bussiness that involves said cow then it starts to pick up nicely. This film is, in essence, about friendship and I was quite surprised how much I enjoyed the relationship between the two main characters considering how minamalistic their interactions are. Not much is said but it is always clear that they really grow with one another on their path towards riches.
One of the pros to the film taking its time is that the environment the characters finds themselves in feels lived in and beautifully realistic. Every shot is filled with complimentary textures which is aided by Kelly Reichardts framing of shots. She is a director to watch out for in the future as she shows patience and skill in her film-making.
I could potentially see some having issue with the ending as it doesn't exactly solve the issue they find themselves in and I won't spoil anything but I feel considering the film is about staying true to your friends no matter how tough the situation, I thought it was a fitting ending.
First Cow might take it's time but those with patience will find it to be a rewarding and sweet tale about friendship in the face of difficulty.