"The Peanut Butter Falcon" (2019 release; 98 min.) brings the story of Zak and Tyler. As the movie opens, Zak, a 24 yr.old with Down Syndrome, is plotting to escape the facility where the state has put him (we later learn his family abandoned him). Meanwhile Tyler, caught stealing crab traps, is fired from his job and on the run. With the help of another resident, Zak finally manages to escape, in his underwear and without any money or outside help... At this point we are 10 min. into the movie but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.
Couple of comments: this movie is feature-length debut of co-writers and co-directors Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz. The bring us the story of two misfits who somehow end up together on the adventure of a life time. Just as it takes time for these two to warm up to each other, it takes us the viewers also time to warm up to these characters. But as the movie plays out, the bond between the viewer and these characters grows very strong, and we are "all in". It took me a good 40 min. before I realized that the Tyler character is played by Shia LaBeouf, and played brilliantly at that. Ever since leaving the "Transformers" franchise, the guy has blossomed like never before. Dakota Johnson also shies in the side role of Eleanor, a staff member of the facility that Zak escaped and now sent to look for him. But surely the movie's limelight is stolen by Zack Gottsagen, playing Zak. It defies the impression/expectations so many people have about those with Down Syndrome. The movie is set in North Carolina's Outer Banks, and it looks gorgeous (and is filmed with many warm colors). Last but not least, there is a boatload of wonderful music, both as to the original score and other song placements, bringing a mix of bluegrass, folk, spirituals and much more. I will absolutely be seeking out the soundtrack of this film.
"The Peanut Butter Falcon" premiered at this year's SXSW, to immediate acclaim. The movie expanded this weekend into Greater Cincinnati. The Saturday early evening screening where I saw this at was attended very nicely, I am happy to say. When the end credits started rolling, the audience burst into a spontaneous applause, a rarity these days. But there is a reason that this movie is certified 94% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. If you are tired of the umpteenth Marvel franchise movie or Disney "re-imagining" or sequel or prequel nonsense, and instead are looking for a top-notch ORIGINAL indie movie that happens to be one of the best movies of the year, by all mean I encourage you to check this out, be it in the theater, on Amazon Instant Video, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray, and draw your own conclusion.