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Poor Boy's Game
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Poor Boy's Game More at IMDbPro »

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13 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

A work of art

10/10
Author: Josh Kaplan
23 December 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie is the best I've seen for a long time. It is one of those rare movies where the technical details are so good that they are transparent to the viewer and the acting and directing is so good it gives you a chill down your spine.

*** the following might contain spoilers *** ( I have added the spoiler warning just to be safe but I don't really think it can be spoiled)

The moto of the movie is confusion and lack of borders, morally and psychologically, and it is expressed in a brilliant way in a lot of different levels : the hero who has to reconcile his homosexual behaviour in jail with his heterosexual identity outside it, the tense relationship between the black and white communities which come to a climax in the neighbourhood's club, the relationship of the hero to his absent father as opposed to the (black) father who adopts him, the relationship of the hero with his mother - a few times he has to listen to her having sex with her boyfreind which is a very strong way of portraying the collapse of his psychological borders, and most of all the confusion that is created when the father of the kid that the hero tried to murder adopts him(!) and trains him to a boxing fight so he will not die, even this fight does not come to any conclusion and is just blurred away with no winners or losers.

*** end of spoiler alert ****

It seems that in one short story, the movie succeeds in portraying a wide variety of complexities of life in a way which is not righteous or preaching. This is a beautiful and intelligent movie, I hope it will get the appropriate credit it deserves.

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9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

a fascinating, moving movie with real characters

8/10
Author: gonetotvheaven from United States
15 February 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

***spoiler alert*** it struck me as i watched the final showdown fight scene that i didn't know what was going to happen in the fight, i didn't know what any of the characters (except ossie) really wanted to happen, and i didn't feel that any of it made a huge difference in what i thought of this film.

so much happens in the body of the film, real characters with often uncertain personal motivations (thankfully a movie w/out bland expositionary dialogue or voice-over--i mean, when my girlfriend and i have a conflict, it's not like i have a voice-over guide to what's happening. i'm just in it, and have to figure it out on my own), and the resolution is very real also--no explosions, no shootouts, no grand speeches, no great epiphanies of startling brilliance--omigod! it's almost just like real life.

this is a movie that takes on race, class, sexuality, anger, fear, pride, remorse, and does it all with great acting, great script, and great directing. well worth the price of admission for those tired of the bs canned movies that Hollywood likes to try and feed us.

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11 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Up there with THERE WILL BE BLOOD

10/10
Author: Linda Saetre (SaetreFilm) from NEW YORK
13 March 2008

This is the film Clint Eastwood wishes he could have directed. I just saw Poor Boy's Game at MoMa (March 13) and I am appalled that it is not getting a theatrical release in the US, but going straight to DVD. There is a huge market for this film in America. Clement Virgo is a brilliant director. The drama is clever, suspenseful and both Glover and Sutherland are Oscar contenders! The young Ross Sutherland holds his own against the always-amazing Glover, and some of the most epic movie moments of 2007 is when they have their "talk" overlooking the ocean towards the end of the film. The movie has everything (crime, suspense, sex, redemption, class and race conflict, romance, boxing) without becoming predictable and the final 20 minutes are so worth it! Not the mention the music by Byron Wong. Just amazing. LINDA SAETRE

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

My Review

8/10
Author: joemamaohio from United States
5 August 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Young Donnie Rose (Rossif Sutherland) spent 10 years in jail for brutally attacking Charles Carvery (K.C. Collins), an African American.

Now up on parole, Charlies' father, George (Danny Glover) doesn't want Donnie released, but he's freed from prison after serving 10 years.

Now back in his hometown, Donnie is hit head-on with a life that continued while he was gone. His brother Keith (Greg Bryk) has married and has a kid, but is still a womanizer. His mother is now with a different guy, and Mr. Carvery is seething with revenge.

Donnie wants to make things right, so he agrees to fight a boxer named Ossie (Flex Alexander) - who was one of Charles' good friends. Ossie wants revenge and vows to destroy Donnie, and at first Mr. Carvery is all for it, but he slowly begins to realize what revenge and hatred does to you, and in a stunning move he begins to help Donnie practice for the big fight.

"Poor Boy's Game" is more than just merely a boxing movie. It tackles the important issue of racism in the world, as the city Donnie's in is completely against African Americans (they won't let them in the club, and they even burnt down their church). It's also a story of revenge and retribution, and how revenge really never makes you feel good. A very thought-provoking, emotional film with terrific actors, and I highly recommend seeing it.

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9 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

I was impressed

8/10
Author: rgcustomer from Canada
22 August 2008

I haven't had much good to say about films shot in Canada recently, but this is the exception. I hope race relations in Nova Scotia aren't this bad, but the film made me believe each of the characters were real. They all had a depth to them, and as others have mentioned, were all acted very well. It's true that some of this territory has been covered before, but I think it's safe to say nobody saw this particular ending coming quite the way it happened. My last comment is about the boxing scene, which I felt was unique in conveying the impacts of some of the blows. Other recent boxing movies have not had the same effect, for me. I look forward to more films of this calibre.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

An alright film, but feels a bit safe

8/10
Author: Razor Ramon
26 November 2010

I liked this movie. I think it's fairly good, but my main complaint is that it feels like a very "safe" drama, in that normally when the end credits roll in a normal drama, you have a very strong emotion that sticks with you for hours or even days on end. You definitely do not get that from this movie.

I picked this movie up for $2.50 and I was pleasantly surprised at it. The acting was fairly good, the plot was nice, and it carried some strong topics throughout that I think might be easy to relate to if you have background knowledge of the city of Halifax; however, I don't, and maybe that's why this movie didn't feel as powerful to me.

To my point on a "safe" drama, my complaint is this: the tension is there, but its delivered very softly. Most of the film draws on the animosity between the various characters; there's about four main characters, and all of them have strong feelings towards each other. But its strange; you learn the backgrounds and expect strong bonds, but they're not given directly with that strong power. It's like the film is saying "we told you their relations, just take our word for it, we don't have to show it". The other thing is the ending. I'm not going to give anything away, but after sitting through the entire film I felt it was trying to deliver a message, but I simply could not understand what it was. They were trying to deliver the moral without dialogue, but I think it just couldn't be done.

Overall, I'd say check it out. Maybe it's a film where the message you create; who knows? 8/10.

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

great film

8/10
Author: djpencil123 from United Kingdom
18 December 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

i just watched this movie , and have to say its gripping stuff , very moody and dark at times , the actors in this movie are outstanding , Danny glovers performance really stole the show for me , i never really rated Danny glover before as most of the movies he has done really didn't stand out as being great performances , but in this movie he shows real emotion , the lead role that rossif Sutherland portrays is also of note, the film really moved me , i really enjoyed it, the only downside for me really came at the end of the film when Charles enters the ring and the fight stops , i found that cheesy but it didn't ruin the film at all , plus what was Corey from trailer park boys doing in the film playing a bouncer !! in the words of bubbles hes got gangly alien arms , he must of been wearing some padding for it !!

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20 out of 38 people found the following review useful:

Great Movie!!!!

10/10
Author: swabbab88 from United Kingdom
17 December 2007

When i starting watching this movie i expected very little so i didn't have my hopes. I was so wrong!!! This movie is really good. It tackles a lot of issues has a really good storyline and is very touching.

It's the sort of film that you watch and think anything is possible and you really should judge people. If you haven't seen this movie you really should. I'm not going to say it's the best movie in the world but is it worth watching YES!!

The plot is really good and the acting is also really good. From the time the movie started i was hooked. I wanted to know what had happened and how it was going to end. I can't compare it to any other movie because it's like no other movie i've seen. The start has a touch of American History X i guess you could say.

I give this movie 8 out of 10

Worth watching!!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Lots of Canadian faces attached to a story of forgiveness

6/10
Author: juneebuggy from Canada
24 December 2015

This was an average sort of movie. It didn't leave any lasting impressions despite an interesting premise and gritty storyline. Poor Boy's Game is a movie built around a boxing match, but its most powerful scenes involve the ongoing human drama. I still found this a bit all over the place, the characters underdeveloped and their motivation vague.

The story is ultimately about forgiveness and redemption following Donnie (Rossif Sutherland) who has just been released from prison after serving 10 a ten year sentence for beating a man so badly he suffered permanent mental disability. Upon his release he goes back to his old crew of familiar (Canadian faces) hard drinking racist A--holes for the most part and then through guilt I suppose agrees to enter into a boxing grudge match that he knows will end either in his loss or death.

The plot gets strange then as Danny Glover agrees to help train Donnie even though he is the man responsible for beating his son. This all culminates into some kind of racial war; churches burn, people are killed in revenge killings and then the big showdown takes place in the ring. The boxing isn't great here either, kinda cheesy as is the ending where both boxers have to work together in the ring.

There is a big Canadian cast attached to this, lots of actors I recognized from assorted TV shows and then Danny Glover. Weird. It has also been filmed and takes place in Halifax but had a feel of one of those movies filmed in Canada but meant to take place in America. 12/1/15

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

a true best kept secret

9/10
Author: ccelik from Turkey
30 January 2012

this is my first review. I felt so compelled to write this after I saw the ridiculously low rating attributed to this fine movie.

I must say that I am not easily impressed by movies.I am sure this movie did not have the budget to advertise itself to masses, or hire more recognized actors. However, I was very much moved by the acting, well- polished storyline with great and believable twists, and a satisfying end. For comparison, even though I like Clint Eastwood related movies a lot, and I enjoyed Million Dollar Baby, this one is way better in almost all aspects.It has a great after-taste as well, leaves you high spirited with more hopes for peace of the mankind.

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