Harrowing Bull Rider Crime Drama Is Unexpectedly Shocking & Impressive


  • Ride has a unique plot with unexpected twists, setting it apart from similar films in the same genre.
  • The talented cast, including C. Thomas Howell, Annabeth Gish, and Jake Allyn, deliver standout performances that elevate Ride.
  • The narrative structure can make the plot convoluted at times, leaving the audience confused by the disjointed ending.

On the surface, Ride is a typical film about a family of bull riders. Its talented cast and unique story set it apart from similar projects, resulting in a movie that leaves an impression despite its occasional confusing moments. The 2024 crime drama, directed by Jake Allyn (who plays Peter) and written by him and Josh Plasse (who portrays Peter’s brother), revolves around the Hawkins — a family living in Texas whose son just got out of prison after serving a four-year sentence and whose daughter is battling cancer.

Ride (2024)


Jake Allyn

Release Date

June 14, 2024


Jake Allyn
, Josh Plasse


C. Thomas Howell
, Annabeth Gish
, Jake Allyn
, Forrie J. Smith
, Josh Plasse
, Scott Reeves
, Patrick Murney
, Zia Carlock

The movie also features C. Thomas Howell as the Hawkins family patriarch, Annabeth Gish as the matriarch and sheriff, Forrie J. Smith as the wise and understanding grandpa, and Zia Carlock as the young girl who will die if her family can’t raise enough money for her cancer treatment. Together with Allyn as the drug-addicted ex-convict and Plasse as the starry-eyed middle child, the Hawkins make for a complicated family who, despite their issues, will sacrifice everything for one another. Ride is ultimately about the extremes some will go to protect their loved ones.

Ride’s Gripping Story Prompts Unexpected Twists That Separate It From Similar Films

Jake Allyn’s Ride could’ve fallen in line with other gritty country movies

Ride begins with the revelation that Virginia’s cancer has returned, just as her brother Peter gets out of prison for committing a crime that isn’t revealed until much later on in the story (although we can infer what Peter did). It becomes clear that Peter is estranged from his family, except for his grandpa. Right out of the gate, the film contains plenty of conflict that nicely sets up the story, reels us in, and makes us care about the characters.

Ride (2024) Cast


C. Thomas Howell

John Hawkins

Annabeth Gish

Monica Hawkens

Jake Allyn

Peter Hawkins

Forrie J. Smith

Al Hawkins

Josh Plasse

Noah Hawkins

Zia Carlock

Virginia Hawkins

Laci Kaye Booth


Scott Reeves

Ross Dickons

Patrick Murney


Austin Robert Russell

Deputy Justin

Liz Atwater


Lindsey Shope

Dr. Kaller

Ride‘s distinctive plot allows room for surprising developments, which, on a second watch, are inevitable from the moment the movie begins. Although Peter is estranged and his parents are seemingly separated, the Hawkins’ bond runs deep, and anything they do for one another, no matter how shocking, makes sense. These twists and character connections give Annabeth Gish’s movie a multidimensional narrative and the space it needs to distinguish itself from other typical rodeo films.

Jake Allyn, C. Thomas Howell, & Annabeth Gish Give Standout Performances That Elevate Ride

The film is expertly cast

One element of Ride that also elevates its plot and distinguishes itself is its talented cast, namely stars C. Thomas Howell, Annabeth Gish, and Jake Allyn. It’s not surprising that Howell and Gish give outstanding performances, but Allyn surprisingly steals the show as Peter, who, despite his struggles, wants to do right by his family. Allyn perfectly and delicately plays the nuances of his complex character, who, although he makes many mistakes throughout the story, one can’t help but root for, thanks to Allyn’s gripping performance.



C. Thomas Howell Is Hiding Something From His Sheriff Wife In Tense Clip From Ride

Exclusive: Screen Rant presents a clip from Ride, the directorial debut of actor Jake Allyn, featuring C. Thomas Howell and Annabeth Gish.

Ride’s Narrative Structure Occasionally Makes The Plot Convoluted

The story can be hard to follow at times

Forrie J Smith and Zia Carlock in Ride (2024)

Although Ride has a compelling story that keeps us on the edge of our seats, the crime drama is convoluted at times. The way the story is told is unique, but it somewhat hurts the movie since it can get confusing. It takes an unnecessary amount of time for details from the characters’ pasts (especially concerning Peter) to be revealed, and it’s seemingly expected that we can understand the Hawkins’ dynamics (like John and Monica’s relationship) without knowing the full truth.

Ride is an enthralling movie about the lengths a family is willing to go to protect one another, tugging at the heartstrings and leaving an impression long after the credits roll.

Ride‘s ending is also a bit abrupt, disjointed, and perplexing, leaving us wondering why and how the story resolves in the way it does. The movie relies heavily on showing rather than telling, which is typically a good thing, but a little more telling would’ve been highly appreciated. Nevertheless, Ride is an enthralling movie about the lengths a family is willing to go to protect one another, tugging at the heartstrings and leaving an impression long after the credits roll.

Ride (2024) - poster - Thomas Howell

Three generations of bull riders fight to raise money to transfer the family’s young daughter to a better cancer hospital. Set in Stephenville, Texas, Ride explores rodeo, addiction in the Heartland, and the cowboy’s place in modern America.


  • C. Thomas Howell, Jake Allwyn, and Annabeth Gish give especially great performances
  • The story is unique and tugs on the heartstrings
  • Ride has a gripping plot and unexpected twists

  • Ride’s ending is abrupt and disjointed
  • The movie can be confusing, expecting us to understand while withholding important information

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