'The Peanut Butter Falcon' - Movie Review

Zak (Zack Gottsagen) is a young man with Down syndrome who lives - involuntarily - in an old people's home in North Carolina because the state didn't know what else to do with him. He's cared for by Eleanor (Dakota Johnson). Tyler (Shia LaBeouf) is a fisherman without a license, stealing from the people who got his brother's license when his brother died. When Zak escapes the old people's home, he crosses paths with Tyler and eventually they head off together to try to find Zak's wrestling hero, the Salt Water Redneck (Thomas Haden Church). Eleanor catches up to them and, rather than returning Zak to the home as she's intended, ends up sailing a raft down the Outer Banks with them.

I have very mixed feelings about the movie: its heart is in the right place and the characters are charming (and well acted, particularly LaBeouf), and they even manage something resembling realism for 99% of the movie. But they choose to toss reality out the window at a critical moment and go for something you might call magical realism because it feels better. I get why they did it, but if you're going to paint your movie as realistic, don't abandon it momentarily - particularly not at the climax of the movie.

It's warm-hearted and sweet, without being sickeningly so. Mostly pretty good.