After premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2020, Netflix is bringing the father-son drama Concrete Cowboy to the streaming service in April.

The first Concrete Cowboy trailer has arrived, setting up the story of troublemaking teenager Cole (Caleb McLaughlin of Stranger Things) who gets sent from Detroit to North Philadelphia, where he’s dumped on the doorstep of his estranged father, Harp (Idris Elba). But that’s not the only drastic change that Cole is in for when he arrives in town.

Concrete Cowboy Trailer

Inspired by the novel Ghetto Cowboy by G. Neri and based on the real life Fletcher Street cowboys of Philadelphia, this looks like a standard coming-of-age, father-son drama. And even though our own Chris Evangelista says that it paints by the numbers when it comes to the story, he also found plenty to love. In his review from TIFF last year, he wrote:

“Sure, you know where a lot of this is going, but there’s powerful filmmaking on display here. Cinematographer Minka Farthing-Kohl often creates situations where scenes are deliberately underlit, swallowed up in murky shadows. And then there are the daytime scenes, tinged yellow by a burning sun, to the point where we can almost feel the heat radiating off the concrete. A scene where Cole attempts to stand atop a horse while the sun is setting – the sky awash in purples and pinks while all we see of Cole and the horse are their silhouettes – is just breathtaking.”

The performances look like they’ll elevate this too. This appears to be a breakthrough performance for Caleb McLaughlin, allowing him to stand out from the ensemble cast of Stranger Things. Meanwhile, Idris Elba looks to be delivering a typically great turn as an estranged father who won’t be dealing with any of his son’s bullshit, especially when there’s literal horseshit to be disposed of in the city streets.

Ricky Staub, who wrote the screenplay with Dan Walser, makes his feature directorial debut. Idris Elba also produced himself along with Dan Walser, Lee Daniels, Tucker Tooley, Jeff G. Waxman, and Jennifer Madeloff. The rest of the cast includes Jharrel Jerome, Byron Bowers, Lorraine Toussaint and Clifford “Method Man” Smith.

While spending the summer in North Philadelphia, a troubled teen (Caleb McLaughlin) is caught between a life of crime and his estranged father’s (Idris Elba) vibrant urban-cowboy subculture.

Concrete Cowboy will be streaming on Netflix starting on April 2, 2021.

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