Brett Schutt’s review published on Letterboxd:
I really wanted to love this but alas, it kinda didn't work for me. Yet there's a whole lot to absolutely admire about First Cow. First off, I'm a sucker for a movie with a 4:3 aspect ratio and man every scene in this film feels like a painting. It's a warm and cozy movie and I can totally see myself watching this at an arthouse theatre if the world was normal and maybe I would have enjoyed watching it more.
I actually really like the first half of this film. It's purposefully meandering through a bunch of different circumstances and we get to know our protagonist a bit more. Once the real plot of the story kicks in, I got kinda unengaged because frankly I couldn't believe how dead simple it was. This film could have easily been eighty minutes long in my opinion and it goes on for two hours. I love when films meander and take their time but there's so much dead space in this film that frankly in my opinion didn't amount to much of anything.
I've seen a lot of people say the final shot in this is an effective look at the power of friendship and I dunno- I just didn't connect to it. Maybe I should give this another go at some point because I admire so much about the film but I was so unengaged in the last half. I dunno.