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The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019)

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Zak runs away from his care home to make his dream of becoming a wrestler come true.
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21 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Zack Gottsagen ... Zak (as Zachary Gottsagen)
Ann Owens Ann Owens ... Rosemary
Dakota Johnson ... Eleanor
Bruce Dern ... Carl
Shia LaBeouf ... Tyler
Thomas Haden Church ... Salt Water Redneck
Rob Thomas Rob Thomas ... Winkie
Jon Bernthal ... Mark
Tim Zajaros ... Orderly
John Hawkes ... Duncan
Yelawolf ... Ratboy
Jonathan D. Williams ... Craig (as Jonathan Williams)
Deja Dee ... Janice
Lee Spencer ... Glen
Mark Helms ... Trucker


The Peanut Butter Falcon is an adventure story set in the world of a modern Mark Twain that begins when Zak (22), a young man with Down syndrome, runs away from the nursing home where he lives to chase his dream of becoming a professional wrestler by attending the wrestling school The Salt Water Redneck. Through circumstances beyond their control Tyler (32), a small-time outlaw on the run, becomes Zak's unlikely coach and ally. Together they wind through deltas, elude capture, drink whisky, find God, catch fish, and convince Eleanor (28), a kind nursing home employee with a story of her own, to join them on their journey. Written by Lucky Treehouse

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic content, language throughout, some violence and smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

23 August 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Peanut Butter Falcon See more »

Filming Locations:

Savannah, Georgia, USA


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$204,793, 11 August 2019

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of Bruce Dern's earliest roles was in Marnie (1964), opposite Dakota Johnson's grandmother, Tippi Hedren. He also appeared in Mulholland Falls (1996) with Johnson's mother Melanie Griffith and in Django Unchained (2012) with Johnson's father Don Johnson. See more »


Ayden, NC is inland - not on the Outer Banks nor on the way to Florida like Tyler suggests. See more »


Tyler: You might not be saying the word, retard, I'll give you that, but you're damn sure making him feel retarded.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Movie title logo appears at the end of the end credits See more »


Freedom Highway
Written by Roebuck 'Pops' Staples
Performed by The Staple Singers
(c) 1965 Staples Music (BMI)
Courtesy of Legacy Records
By arrangement with Sony Music Entertainment
See more »

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User Reviews

A soul cleansing experience!
5 September 2019 | by roger-99-171599See all my reviews

While running away together, but for different reasons and directions, two abandoned young men are invited by a blind preacher to hear the Gospel and take a deep dive into the river. Processing an unlikely friendship, of mutual support and reliance, as well as interests and goals to find freedom, they are called to reconnect with the Creator in order to shape and strengthen themselves. The hot-headed, rebellious fisherman Tyler (Shia Labeouf) refuses the improvised baptism, convincing his runaway-partner Zak (Zack Gottsagen), a young man with Down Syndrome, to go into the river, despite his inability to swim or even to understand the ritual. After the spiritual encounter, those inspirational words continue to fill their hearts with hope, as they surrender entirely to the Almighty. It is deeply represented as they leave the preacher's territory, while reflecting on themselves; while in movement, on the road, the rays of sun shine upon them, as they touch each other's face, as a response with such grace and joy for being made accordingly to His own image. This moving spiritual experience (one that will definitely bring tears) gives them motivation to pursuit their goals: Tyler must avoid a pair of thugs (including Oscar nominee John Hawkes) with whom he had a crab-merchandise dispute, as he leaves the state in search of opportunities; Zak had always dreamt of becoming a wrestler, and plans to get trained at a school managed by an iconic wrestler (Thomas Haden Church). Their lives are suddenly connected, as they find familiar comfort to relief their disappointment and abandonment: Tyler is haunted by the tragic death of his brother, and Zak was left alone at the clinic-home, rejected by his family. Conceived by writers-directors Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz, in their outstanding feature debut collaboration, this heartbreaking, humorous, crowd-pleasing fugitive story is certainly one of the most accomplished indie films of the year. The "Thelma & Louise" structure works efficiently, as a road movie on the highways, on the river, or by foot, the pair is running from their realities and dangers in order to find themselves. The music, editing and stupendous cinematography, capture the hopelessness and despair of its characters (including a fine performance by Dakota Johnson as the social worker responsible to rescue Zak), and the idyllic, mysterious, remote and serene landscapes of the wilderness, creating an absorbing, poetical and insightful atmosphere.

Shia Labeouf is incredibly convincing and mature, completely different from his "Transformers" phase, and newcomer Zack Gottsagen is a revelation, confirming his confidence and resistance to battle the obstacles of his condition. Winner of the Audience Award at SXSW, and named Best Film at both Heartland and Nantucket Film Festivals, it's a fresh, pleasant, humble and powerful cleansing soul experience.

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