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Tater Tot & Patton (2017)

A wayward millennial escapes to a South Dakota ranch, unhinging her Uncle's placid alcoholic life.


Andrew Kightlinger
1 win. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Jessica Rothe ... Andie
Bates Wilder ... Erwin
Forrest Weber ... Richie
Kathy Askew Kathy Askew ... Tilly
Paula Weeldreyer Paula Weeldreyer ... Gas Station Clerk
David Hansen David Hansen ... Ranch Pilot
Trista Olsen Trista Olsen ... Sexy Girl At Bar
Rob Allison Rob Allison ... Doctor
Christina Garrett Christina Garrett ... Nurse
Griffin Griffin ... Little Bastard
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kathleen Timberman ... Extra-Bowling Alley


A wayward millennial escapes to a South Dakota ranch, unhinging her Uncle's placid alcoholic life.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Official Sites:

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Release Date:

9 June 2017 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

South Dakota, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Won 1st Place at the Vail Film Festival for Best Screenplay. See more »


Written and Performed by Armand Margjeka
Courtesy of Communicating Vessels
See more »

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User Reviews

22 September 2018 | by mrphreek-982-886834See all my reviews

Every so often a film so perfect arrives that you can't help but wonder what magic brought it all together. You laugh, you cry, you become completely engaged in the story to the point that it feels like you just sat down when it ends. It resonates so much that you can't stop thinking about it and feeling the range of emotions it conjured. Tater Tot and Patton is that film.

Erwin (Bates Wilder) lives on a South Dakota ranch. He wakes up, pees, drinks a raw egg and beer, does some work, drinks more beer, does more work, drinks even more beer and passes out only to relive it all the next day, that is, until his teenage niece from Los Angeles comes to stay with him. Andie (Jessica Rothe) is the quintessential popular millennial girl - entitled, dependent on technology, raging with attitude. She's there on an ultimatum from her mother, rehab or the ranch. Of course, this leads to personality conflicts with hilarious results, though even more interesting is their journey from coming to a mutual understanding to being best friends that reveal their darkest secrets and help each other work through them. It may sound like just another odd couple scenario, but there's so much more going on here.

Director Andrew Kightlinger somehow delivers heart without being corny, a feat revealing the true depth of his talent. His realistic visual style beautifully blends the composition of early Steven Spielberg with George Romero's quick-edit cover-your-ass style of filmmaking. He also plays with focus effectively, adding a touch of dreaming psychedelia to his vision.

The performances are completely stunning as well. A man of few words, Erwin speaks through his actions and expressions and Wilder consistently nails it without a single misstep. Rothe plays an annoying millennial teenage girl just enough that you don't turn against her right away, instead winning you over with an understanding of why she is the way she is. Even Forest Weber gives his all in his supporting role of Richie the ranch hand turned love interest.

With so much focus on A list actors and blockbuster shenanigans, it's nice to see a simple film grounded in the emotions we experience every day. We know these things because we feel these things from the moment we wake up to the time we fall asleep. It's everything a film should be, and done on a shoestring budget to boot. The next time somebody says, "They don't make movies like that anymore," put on Tater Tot and Patton to prove them wrong.

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