Deadline‘s Todd McCarthy, 2.1.21: “Jockey is the kind of story Sam Peckinpah might have been partial to in his quieter, Junior Bonner mode. [It’s] a little gem about an aging rider whose days on the racing circuit are nearing an end just as a youngster shows up who claims to be his son.
“The kind of timeless tale that could take place anywhere but is bolstered by its racetrack milieu and a very fine cast, this is a sparely written and beautifully performed piece that under normal circumstances would make the festival rounds prior to a specialty launch but these days will no doubt go straight to [streaming].
“Among its numerous other attributes, this gorgeously shot indie features a title turn by Clifton Collins Jr. that is simply superb and should provide a serious lift to his career if the film becomes as widely seen as it should. This is the sort of quiet, introspective and original storytelling that is in relatively short supply these days and hopefully will not fall between the cracks in this media-and-civilization-shifting moment.”
“But one has to wonder why we, the viewers, are repeatedly asked to empathize with assholes who probably voted for Donald Trump and rejected Covid vaccination. Clifton Collins‘ Jackson is the personification of middle America as projected by the media: the white working class – a demographic disproportionately catered to by journalists and the major political parties, hijacking the civil discourse against the interests of everyone. He’s the classic bitter misanthrope we’re supposed to romanticize, who spurns others due to past heartaches of his own doing.” — Martin Tsai, posted on 10.16.21.