Review Roundup: The Rider, Lucky and Wajib

Three new films open at the Irish Film Institute on Friday the 14th of September.

We’ve got the impeccably directed drama The Rider from Chloé Zhao, the penultimate film performance for the late Harry Dean Stanton in Lucky and moving family drama Wajib from Palestinian filmmaker Annemarie Jacir.

Read on for a selection of reviews for these new releases, or pop into the IFI to make up your own mind!

THE RIDER
“A hugely impressive slice of prairie naturalism”
5/5 – Irish Times

“The Rider is in the parlance ‘a small film’ but given the mesmeric performance from Brady Jandreau as Brady Blackburn, we are talking a contender for film of the year.”
5/5 – RTE

“It’s a very impressive, very accomplished film.”
4/5 – Guardian

“Filmmaker Chloé Zhao turns the story of real-life bronc rider Brady Jandreau into a gritty, graceful character study. Once The Rider hooks you – and believe me, it will – there’s no way you will ever forget it.”
3.5/4 – Rolling Stone

“Zhao’s film derives its power from the truth that both drives it and inspires it, and the final result is a wholly unique slice-of-life drama.”
indieWire

“Beautifully captures the way a handful of people stoically deal with the meager hands life has dealt them”
Hollywood Reporter

LUCKY
“Lucky, a quirky drama in which the late Harry Dean Stanton contemplates the mortality of Harry Dean Stanton is really something to see.”
4/5 – Irish Times

“A certain quirky eccentricity is part of the warm appeal of the movie and in large part the screenplay is indeed intelligent and sparkling”
4/5 – RTE

“A sad, sweet movie”
4/5 – The Guardian

“But lucky he was, just by dint of being here – and so, this film quietly reminds us, are we.”
4/5 – Telegraph

“Everything Harry Dean Stanton has done in his career, and his life, has brought him to his moment of triumph in “Lucky,” an unassumingly wonderful little film about nothing in particular and everything that’s important.”
Variety

WAJIB
“Shot with an intimate camera, peppered with very good jokes, the leisurely film hits a crisis point in the closing 10 minutes that brings all is narrative strands together satisfactorily. A little gem.”
4/5 – Irish Times

“You might argue that the script is perhaps too tidy and neat, but the rich sense of place and multidimensional characters are too seductive to resist.”
4/5 – Guardian

“An intimate, well-played disquisition on what it means to be a Palestinian abroad versus a Palestinian at home.”
Variety

“An eye-widening, culturally rich look at life inside a Palestinian family.”
4/5 – Little White Lies

“A whip-smart, moving comedy of family and community.”
4/5 – CineVue


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