Cowboy Up is a 2001 film directed by Xavier Koller. It stars Kiefer Sutherland and Marcus Thomas. Rising rodeo star Ely Braxton (Marcus Thomas) is recovering from injuries that almost took his life. Against the wishes of his mother Rose Braxton (Melinda Dillon) and girlfriend Connie (Molly Ringwald), Ely starts riding bulls again to achieve his dream of becoming a champion bull rider like his father, Reid Braxton (Pete Postlethwaite). Ely's older brother, Hank (Kiefer Sutherland), is a champion bullfighter and stock contractor, and the two use each other to better their rodeo skills and work together at their family ranch in Santa Maria, California.