It’s crazy to me that one of the best sports movies of the past 10-years is about a bull rider. A sport that is limited to select sections of the world, showing audiences exactly what a sport can mean to someone. In Chloe Zhao’s The Rider, the director mixes the complex determination that a competitor wrestles with, while struggling to survive living in the heartland of America. This is a movie that beautifully captures a slice of humanity. Brady Blackburn (Brady Jandreau), is a young-man that suffered a terrible head injury after being bucked from a bull. His head cracked open, leaving him in a coma for weeks. Returning from an injury of that nature is near impossible, but for our hero, riding bulls is all he’s got. He lives in a broken down home, with an alcoholic father, and his mentally disabled sister. This family carries the weight of hopelessness ever since their mother recently passed away, leaving them without their rock. And now, Brady must make a decision that could define his existence: does he get back on the bull to ride again? Or does he fade into a cold existence of obscurity? For these reasons and more, The Rider is a beautiful, romantic, at times tragic film, set on the open range, in the rolling hills of South Dakota.