Tripod Thoughts’s review published on Letterboxd:
The Peanut Butter Falcon is a little gem of a movie people may be hasty to avoid due to the title but is one of those hidden gems you come across every now and then. It’s really about 3 very different people who end up traveling to the southern part of North Carolina and then make their way to Florida.
Inspired by Mark Twain stories, the story takes place in the South East and shows us a very gruff and rough side of humanity specifically in their approach towards Zak. The character dynamics all make sense, Tyler slowly begins to see himself as the older brother between him and Zak after losing his older brother and Eleanor and Tyler slowly spark a relationship, even if it is a bit forced. Acting is really good, Shia LaBeouf and Zack Gottsagen have standout performances that made it very easy to relate to them as characters. Dakota Johnson is serviceable, she never has a moment to shine in terms of acting but she definitely fits her role pretty well.
Some issues I have with the story are minor but I definitely wouldn’t believe that Duncan and Ratboy would travel across state lines just to assault Tyler. Maybe I don’t understand the gravity of the situation but it just seems like unnecessary vigilantism to me. I also think Tyler’s relationship with Zak is rushed into where it needs to be. Tyler basically learns that Eleanor is looking for Zak and it completely changes his perspective of him from annoying to endearing. Also the fake out ending to me feels cheap and unearned.
If this movie were a whiskey it would be a Makers Mark. Not the finest or best crafted but better than the average. This film shines with its engaging aesthetic and entrapping characters that make you care about them and what they’re going through. This is a movie that tries but doesn’t try so hard to make everything happen, it has really good character dynamics that solidify the message that friends are the family you choose.