First, set your expectations. This isn't an action movie. It's a thoughtful psychological drama.
This is a riveting story with excellent performances. The Texas landscape is also a stunning and perfect backdrop for the scenes. Each of the characters, even the minor players, are presented with choices to make, and must choose whether to adhere to their values, or even decide what their values are. Tiny everyday choices as well as momentous life-changing ones. It's a story about being an adult, keeping your promises, and being responsible for your actions, which means making good when you do something wrong. Not just giving lip service to the idea of accountability, but DOING something about it. TLJ personifies American ideals of manhood and restates that these include - besides strength - compassion, love, friendship, respect for women, joy. We see the other character - I'm not putting any spoilers here - reluctantly make the journey to adulthood with Pete's guidance.
Some of the movie is hard to watch, it has some graphic scenes. But it's well worth the discomfort.