Reviewer’s grade: B
A documentary about the eight seconds that separate “the cream from the crap,” “Shut Up and Ride” follows four men chasing bull-riding glory to the world finals in Oklahoma City. Jamie Davis battles a broken leg, Danell Tipton is only 19, Dale Stowe drags his family along on the small-town rodeo circuit, and Peter Dightman struggles to stand apart from his father.
The film reverses Western flicks that featured white wranglers when black cowboys were equally prevalent “ here, Stowe is white, the others black. It matters, and it doesn’t: “I don’t think of myself as a black guy,” says Davis. “I think of myself as a guy who rides bulls well.”
More full of agonizing, steer-bucking moments than insight into the men’s characters, it’s the final seconds of this piece that most impact, when the doc reveals what happened to the competitors after the last buzzer.