First Cow

Watch First Cow

"A simple western about the origin of the American Dream."
  • PG-13
  • 2020
  • 2 hr 1 min
  • 7.1  (21,468)
  • 89

First Cow is a 2019 film directed by Kelly Reichardt and based on the novel 'The Half-Life' by Jonathan Raymond. The film stars Alia Shawkat, John Magaro, and Dylan Smith in lead roles. The movie is set in the Oregon Territory during the 19th century, where two newcomers, a cook named Otis "Cookie" Figowitz (John Magaro) and a Chinese immigrant named King-Lu (Orion Lee) meet and become unlikely friends. Together they decide to steal milk from the first cow brought to the area by wealthy businessman Chief Factor (Toby Jones) to use for Cookie's baking, hoping to make a fortune by selling their popular "oily cakes."

The plot unfolds slowly as the two men's plans begin to unravel, leading to a tale of friendship, ambition, and the American Dream that shifts between present and flashback. The film explores the themes of economics, class, and social issues and serves as a commentary on modern-day capitalism.

Throughout the movie, the breathtaking cinematography captures the beauty of the Pacific Northwest wilderness and the struggles of early settlers searching for their place in the world.

The friendship between Cookie and King-Lu is a central theme in the film. Both characters become close friends, and with their exceptional qualities, they complement each other well. Cookie is a talented cook, while King-Lu is an excellent salesman who is always looking for an opportunity to make money. Their partnership seems to be perfect, even when their plan to make a fortune through cake-making backfires.

Alia Shawkat has a minor but significant role as a woman who may play a major part in Cookie and King-Lu's upheaval. The actress delivers a standout performance, showcasing her versatility as an actress.

The film's pacing is slow but deliberate, which may not be to everyone's liking. However, this method allows the audience to experience the high price of the American dream and the cost of seizing opportunities in a new land.

First Cow is a film that beautifully depicts the human struggle to improve one's life and the costs that come with that ambition. The story is compelling, with a tone and depth that challenges comfortable assumptions about capitalism and the frontier experience.

The movie is thought-provoking, and the cinematography captures both the beauty and loneliness of the Pacific Northwest. The performances of the lead actors are impressive, making the audience feel emotionally invested in the characters and their circumstances.

First Cow is a slow-moving film that isn't suited for a fast-paced movie lover, but it's a genuine and engaging watch that will leave you thinking about its themes long after the credits roll.

First Cow is a 2020 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 1 minute. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.1 and a MetaScore of 89.

First Cow
Where to Watch First Cow
First Cow is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent First Cow for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 1 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.1  (21,468)
  • Metascore