The Cowboy Way (1994) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Cowboy Way1994

The Cowboy Way (1994)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

In this action comedy, director Gregg Champion relies on the premise that, indeed, "country boys can survive," as Sonny (Kiefer Sutherland) and Pepper (Woody Harrelson, always game) head off to the Big Apple in order to rescue a mutual friend's daughter from the clutches of an evil sweatshop owner. Naturally, there are lots of encounters highlighting the two fishes out of water; there are opportunities to lasso bad guys; there's even a chase on horseback through the city streets after Sonny and Pepper steal a pair of NYPD horses. ~ Jeremy Beday, Rovi


Ernie Hudson
as Officer Sam Shaw
Cara Buono
as Teresa
Laura Ekstrand
as Cello Player
Graciela Lecube
as Pawn Shop Woman
Dan Spoon
as Cowboy
Larry Pennington
as Rodeo Announcer
Frank Girardeau
as Chief Barnes
Harsh Nayyar
as Coroner
Ira Newborn
as Taxi Driver
Victor Argo
as Business Associate
John Ventimiglia
as Uniformed Cop
Sam Gray
as Sweatshop Foreman
Joe Mosso
as Mounted Policeman
Leslie Stefanson
as Girl at Party
Esteban Fernandez
as La Habanita Bartender
Rob Moran
as Bartender at Party
Gabriel Marantz
as Boy on Train
Rance Howard
as Old Gentleman
Ahmed Ben Larby
as Foreign Cab Drive
Doug Barron
as Doorman
Randy Pearlstein
as Hat Check Boy
Leonard Thomas
as Train Conductor
Leslie Ann Stefanson
as Girl at Party
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Critic Reviews for The Cowboy Way

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (3)

Harrelson's over-the-top antics seem unhinged next to Sutherland's decidedly stoic portrayal of his cowboy character.

January 11, 2022 | Full Review…

The Cowboy Way benefits substantially from Harrelson and Sutherland's superlative efforts...

April 18, 2020 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Mildly irritating cowboy tale about modern-day rodeo riders in Manhattan.

January 24, 2016 | Rating: C- | Full Review…

Obvious and almost completely lacking in energy.

July 26, 2002 | Rating: 1.5/5

Audience Reviews for The Cowboy Way

This movie was pretty much the epitome of cloning or ripping off another movies concept, and then see it go straight to video (in the UK at least). Back in the day you'd find many of these random comedies on the videoshop shelves. Movies you'd never seen or heard of before but had really good casts; its like they just popped up outta nowhere ('Celtic Pride' for example). You had no idea if they were any good but you'd usually rent them because of the cast, and sometimes the neat movie poster on the box. The plot centres around two cowboys in New Mexico (Woody Harrelson and Kiefer Sutherland) who must travel east to New York in order to find their Cuban friend Nacho (who went to find his daughter). Turns out Nacho owed money to a gang for bringing his daughter into the US from Cuba. In the meantime the gang keeps his daughter in sweat shop slavery. So the butch stetson wearing duo must find Nacho and his daughter. In short this is a very weak rip-off of 'Crocodile Dundee' but minus everything that made that movie a classic. I'm sure you know exactly what to expect when I say that. Both protagonists are your absolute cowboys. They both wear stetsons, jeans and cowboy boots all the time. They both have various stereotypical cowboy skills which come in handy throughout. And they are both displayed to be rather butch and sexy over dem city folk. The only real difference is Sutherland's character is the more sensible, straight laced cowboy with morals. Where as Harrelson's cowboy is the wildcard who loves loose women, drinking and getting into trouble. Pretty predictable stuff really. Most of the action we see if also your predictable guff (oh my the stunt doubles!!) which was done way better in that 1986 Aussie comedy. Being cowboys these guys are of course out of their natural habitat in downtown New York/Manhattan. They dress funny, they talk funny, and they act all gruff; its all just so...funny. Somehow they manage to waltz into the Waldorf Astoria unchallenged and then manage to get into the dinning area for a snack to eat. Oh the hilarity that ensues as Harrelson's Pepper character acts all uncouth (ahem). Later on Pepper gets himself into a posh yuppy-esque party for catwalk models (some middle aged woman takes a fancy to him). So this is the part where Pepper acts a bit homophobic because cowboys are real men, grrr! As the plot progresses they meet mounted police office Ernie Hudson who tickets them for camping out in Central Park (you know because they're cowboys and that's what cowboys do). Ernie's character seems to fall under a bit of a man/hero crush with these cowboys and starts helping them on their quest. By helping them I mean completely violating his jobs procedures and acting like a wild cowboy. This includes riding all over New York on his police horse waving his gun around. And allowing Pepper to drive his truck full speed into a local bar owned by the gang (his truck seemingly suffers no damage and apparently no one gets killed or injured). As the trio chase after the main villain (a snarling, scenery chewing Dylan McDermott who dies quite horribly in the end) they basically end up riding horseback all over places which you simply wouldn't expect to see a horse being ridden. This is of course the movies main hook, having cowboys running amok in Manhattan. They make a point to ride past many landmarks, because of course they do. I can't deny it was interesting to see these scenes of cowboys galloping down main streets, bridges, railway stations, the port areas etc... In the end this is a cheeky little number that solely relies on the then star 'brat pack' power of Kiefer Sutherland (which he retained for quite sometime); and that period in time when Woody Harrelson was considered a bit of a heartthrob. It also relies heavily on the overly used concept of lower class rough types clashing with posh types, and the tired culture clash formula. The weathered, seemingly backwards type character/s entering the fast-paced modern world. Its totally as you would expect all the way. A silly comedy with Harrelson in his brazen undisciplined period, and Sutherland just doing what he always kinda did...look stoic (whilst also looking like he stepped out of a Marlboro advert here). Its reasonable but there are much better similar action comedy flicks from this era.

Phil Hubbs
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

i think the real cowboy way theyre reffering to is to win the lottery make a stupid movie with the help of some so not cowboys playing cowboys

Coxxie Mild Sauce
Coxxie Mild Sauce

Super Reviewer

A funny comedy about a couple of cowboys having to navigate the big city and take on some bad guy in the process.

Jason Spencer
Jason Spencer

Super Reviewer

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