It’s hard to think of a more easygoing movie this year—maybe Everybody Wants Some!!—than David Lowery’s Pete’s Dragon. The movie concerns Pete (Oakes Fegley), a twelve year-old raised in the wild by a Dragon after being orphaned in a (wonderfully shot) car accident at the age of six. The Dragon is loyal and playful as a dog and can vanish, blending to any environment like a chameleon. The conflict arrives in the form of a park ranger (Bryce Dallas Howard) and her daughter (Oona Laurence) who stumble upon Pete. What follows is a touching, sentimental, low-key family movie about friendship. Though not as wondrous as The BFG, it still got us to tear up. Notable is the way Lowery incorporates Western tunes to create an atmosphere that is of a piece with the quaint and rustic character of the setting. Co-starring Karl Urban, Wes Bentley, and Robert Redford.
By Alec Julian & Carrie White