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Foxcatcher More at IMDbPro »

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19 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

A Terrific Decent R Rated Movie Without Sex Or Bad Language.

10/10
Author: sweetjudy from Italy
12 November 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Foxcatcher is a 2014 American biographical drama film, directed by Bennett Miller, starring Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, and Mark Ruffalo. The screenplay was written by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman. It competed for the Palme d'Or in the main competition section at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, where Miller won the Best Director Award.

The story of Olympic Wrestling Champion Mark Schultz and paranoid- schizophrenic millionaire coach John du Pont, who murdered Schultz's brother, Olympic Champion Dave Schultz in 1996.

The film has received acclaim from critics, with many praising the performances of Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, and Mark Ruffalo. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 'Certified Fresh' rating of 91%, based on 45 reviews, with an average rating of 8.4/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "A chilling true crime drama, Foxcatcher offers Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum a chance to shine - and all three rise to the challenge". Metacritic gives the film a score of 91 out of 100, based on 11 critics, indicating "universal acclaim". Justin Chang of Variety praised the film, writing: "Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum give superb performances in Bennett Miller's powerfully disturbing true-crime saga." Eric Kohn of Indiewire also reacted positively to the film, with most of his praise going towards Carell and Tatum's performances. Donald Clarke of The Irish Times praised Bennett Miller's direction, saying that "he (Miller) hits his stride with a stunning portrayal of psychopathy and moral decadence in the unlikely environment of Olympic wrestling." Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter praised Carell's performance calling it "career changing". On the other hand, Budd Wilkins of Slant Magazine gave the film a negative review and said that the film "offers us next to nothing of utility or complexity about du Pont's pathology.

I'm not surprised this terrific decent movie has won 2 International Awards.

See It With Your Kids!.There aren't any bad words or sex, just some violence!.

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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Wrestling With A Demon

9/10
Author: Jason M. Rothman (jasonrothman@yahoo.com) from Philadelphia, PA
14 November 2014

The saga of John du Pont is one of the more bizarre and tragic stories from the mid-1990s. In Bennett Miller's dark and ominous Foxcatcher, the episode is framed as a true-life Faustian Tale. But the story is almost secondary to three outstanding dramatic performances -- two of which are given by men who are better known for their work in other genres.

Channing Tatum stars as Olympic wrestler Mark Schultz. When we first meet him, he's already reached elite status by winning a gold medal. But the achievement hasn't allowed him to escape the shadow of his older brother, Dave, also a gold medalist. The younger Schultz wants more. He wants to be the best. His past prize also doesn't pay the bills. After training sessions, he's eating ramen noodles. All that changes, however, with a phone call from du Pont (Steve Carell) who offers to pay him and set him up in a first-class training facility on his Pennsylvania estate.

Like Schultz, the multi-millionaire du Pont is a man in a seemingly enviable position who nevertheless wants something greater. He has family issues of his own, as he strives to please his disapproving mother (Vanessa Redgrave). He hopes he can make her proud by leading a team of wrestlers to gold in Seoul in 1988. But du Pont doesn't just want to be a benefactor. Even though he's little more than an extremely wealthy fan, with only a rudimentary knowledge of the sport, he wants to be seen as a coach and mentor to his wrestlers. And so, when Dave arrives to guide his brother, jealousy develops. Dave is everything du Pont wishes he could be, but isn't. He's a great teacher, a great leader. This leads to tension that slowly builds toward the story's shocking climax as du Pont's demons emerge.

As du Pont, Carell is almost unrecognizable beneath make-up and prosthetics. It's a quietly disturbing performance that will definitely have audiences and critics seeing the comic talent in a new light. Action/comedy star Tatum also has a breakthrough turn as the intense and driven young Schultz who grows increasingly uncomfortable under du Pont's subjugation. As a past Academy Award nominee, Mark Ruffalo's exceptional portrayal of the older Schultz comes as less of a surprise. But that doesn't make it any less notable or transformative. The normally wiry Ruffalo packed on a lot of muscle to play Dave Schultz. Here, he looks less like his Bruce Banner alter ego, and more like the Hulk himself. All three performances are a study in the art of subtly. This is a movie that derives drama from silent moments. In many key scenes, it's the words that aren't said that speak volumes.

Foxcatcher features themes of control and manipulation, and wrestling functions as an apt metaphor. It's that most primal of sports – one in which you literally bend another person to your will. Ultimately though, the movie is a story about two people who reach for greatness, only to experience a great fall. And it's also the tale of a great man caught in the middle. The saddest part is that it actually happened.

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13 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Cannes darling Foxcatcher will be big at this years Oscars

9/10
Author: MIke Mudano from United States
3 November 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Bennett Miller's newest biopic, Foxcatcher, creates quite a disturbing picture for one of America's wealthiest and most powerful families. The film is based on the autobiography of Olympic Wrestling Champion Mark Schultz where he details his training leading up to the 1988 Olympics.

John Du Pont decides he wants to coach the men's Olympic Wrestling team. What are his qualifications you are asking yourself in the meantime? None. He has no qualifications. He simply is a rich schizophrenic man who lives at home with his mother and has a very strange affection toward men's wrestling and especially Mark Schultz. The film provides a dark tone and setting for the entirety of the film offering no alternative. The story is dark and Miller makes sure you know that.

The film is based on real events so it is not a spoiler to tell you that Du Pont's schizophrenia leads to a murder resulting him in jail where he resided until his death in 2010. His obsession with Mark and his brother Dave Schultz, another Olympic gold medalist, becomes the center of the plot in this spine tingling tale.

Steve Carell is going to get an Oscar nomination for this. He has finally proved to audiences that he can undertake and perfect dramatic acting. There is not one specific scene in the film that showcases this talent rather his performance as a whole. He is John Du Pont. They plaster on him a fake nose, make him look much older, and voilà you have Steve Carell looking like Du Pont. Next, he masterfully had to act like Du Pont. His struggle to prove to his mother he can do something and his sickening obsession with Mark and Dave give us that eerie feeling he is up to no good. Steve Carell freaked me out in this film. If it were up to me, I would absolutely give him a nomination and probably the Oscar.

Channing Tatum gives the biggest and best breakthrough performance I have ever seen. This role is not like any others for Tatum. He plays Mark Schultz, the younger of the two brothers. Tatum perfects Schultz's nervous habits allowing the audience to see the insecurity in Schultz's mind. He is a loner, seemingly sexually confused, and very much insecure about his own wrestling ability despite being an Olympic Champion. Channing Tatum is magnificent. I pray he receives an Oscar nomination as well.

It is so refreshing to see actors who have never really branched out before finally show us what they got. Tatum branched out with Foxcatcher and he showed us he has what it takes to be a serious actor and potential Oscar nominee in the future.

Director Bennett Miller won the Best Director prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival and I must confess I admire his directing so much. Foxcatcher is a very well made film and is created quite tastefully. There are several scenes that allude to Du Pont's homosexuality with his complete infatuation with Mark towards the beginning. It even implies Mark allowed this to evolve into something. Whatever it is, Miller does an excellent job conveying the creepiness of it all. His previous filmography includes Capote (2005) and Moneyball (2011). Obviously Miller enjoys creating stories centered on real people and events.

This film is not lighthearted and happy. It is dark and it is mysterious. Miller keeps us in a sort of shrouded mist throughout the film. It is very ambiguous at times but this ambiguity does not inhibit the film at all. This was one of the best films I saw at Cannes this year and I believe it's going to rack up a lot of Oscar nominations this awards season.

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17 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

A harrowing and disturbing character study with excellent performances

10/10
Author: trublu215 from United States
4 November 2014

Foxcatcher tells the fateful story of John Du Pont and the Olympic winning Schultz brothers. Directed by Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher taps into the psychology behind Du Pont, examining his psyche in the most disturbing of fashions. Steve Carrel delivers a performance that many will find hard to swallow. He is dry, he is awkward, and he is completely insane. To keep it simple, Steve Carrel is absolutely terrific and truly shows his range as an actor. It is an amazing performance that is bound for Oscar glory. The other half to Carrel's Du Pont is Channing Tatum as Mark Schultz. Tatum completely drowns into his character, leading him to turn in a vicious, unapologetic performance that is so perfectly executed that you will soon forget that this is Channing Tatum. When he is on screen, he is Mark Schultz. It is the best performance that Tatum has given in his career and stands to grab a possible Best Suppoting Actor nod at this year's Oscars. The voice of reason for both Mark and Du Pont lies in Dave Schultz, played brilliantly by Mark Ruffalo. Dave serves as this mediator in between Mark and Du Pont especially when their relationship starts becoming more and more intense and violent. The rest of the cast featuring Vannessa Redgrave and Anthony Michael Hall also turn in very sound and great performances as well. As far as acting is concerned, Foxcatcher is a hard film to beat. Every actor is on top of their game here and it really shows how good of a director Bennet Miller is. He takes a seemingly dry script and turns it into an emotional roller-coaster by way of his actors. One scene in particular haunted me involving a simple glare from Tatum's Mark Schultz as he peddles faster and harder upon seeing Du Pont. That scene on paper isn't that interesting but with Miller's uncanny ability to make even the simplest scenes intricate and layered, it works and remains one of the more memorable scenes from the film. The other highlight from this film has to be the cinematography. Everything is filmed with a slight tint of dread and gray, it creates the mood immediately and balances the story perfectly. Overall, Foxcatcher is a great character study featuring top notch performances that push this film into the top ten of the year easily.

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18 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

Bennett Miller's latest is a building block of passion and tension with a righteous performance from Steve Carell...

8/10
Author: Clayton Davis (Claytondavis@awardscircuit.com) from New Jersey
11 October 2014

A film that takes its time presenting its case, Bennett Miller's wickedly brutal "Foxcatcher" entices audiences to learn more about the questions around us, and where they could lead. Seated firmly in the center are a trio of dazzling performances from Channing Tatum, Steve Carell, and Mark Ruffalo, all of which make a compelling case for their career best works.

Written by Oscar-nominee Dan Futterman and E. Max Frye, "Foxcatcher" tells the story of Mark Schultz (Tatum), an Olympic wrestler who befriends billionaire John Du Pont (Carell) in the mid-1980's. Along with his brother Dave (Ruffalo) and his wife Nancy (Sienna Miller), that new relationship leads to unforeseen consequences.

At the core of this morality tale is Bennett Miller, the Oscar- nominated director of "Capote" and "Moneyball." He allows"Foxcatcher" to study its subjects, and give the audience an in-depth understanding of all the motives involved. With the help of Cinematographer Greig Fraser, and composer Rob Simonsen, the movie's melancholy atmosphere is truly compelling. Miller's brilliance isn't in things he chooses to show, but in the things he chooses not to. He draws out scenes that offer so much to the narrative. There's still so much left on the table that we do not know, which in itself, is perfectly acceptable. Life never gives us all the answers we seek. Miller, Futterman, and Frye understand this. Material like this calls to be made into a film. I'm so glad that these three answered the call.

What Steve Carell achieves as John DuPont is not just a performance by a full embodiment. With strength and precision, he understands DuPont, a man with an extreme outlook on reality. Carell doesn't just ask us to sympathize with John, between his awkward behavior and his constant yearning to impress his family's legacy, he demands our understanding. If I didn't already know about the film for the past two years, I wouldn't have recognized him. His performance is completely focused and profound. Looking at the way he carries himself through the film, you are witnessing one of the purest creations of a character this year. When he's not on-screen, you're secretly wishing he was.

When it comes to Channing Tatum, I have to admit that I never FULLY understood the appeal. Discovered the young ferocious actor in Dito Montiel's "A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints" nearly a decade ago, and afterwards was only mildly entertained by his presence in films like "21 Jump Street" and "Side Effects." What he does in Miller's film is something beyond anything I could have ever thought he could do. Tatum doesn't just do an imitation, he channels the inner workings of a man desperate for more. His peculiarities are richly on display as he yearns for a father figure outside of the shadow of his more successful brother. He embraces the odd DuPont, against all logical instincts, but you can see exactly why he would feel so compelled to do so.

Mark Ruffalo gives Dave the ticks and beats of an original creation. Picking at his beard (something I know all too well), constantly engaging in team leadership, and hugging his younger brother whose more of a son than anything. Ruffalo mounts himself on the perch of a loving brother just trying to create success for himself and his family. This is another solid outing for him.

Co-star Vanessa Redgrave, as John's fragile mother, is marvelous in her short scenes while Sienna Miller adds a needed dynamic to understanding both Mark and Dave. The two women both offer compassion and balance.

"Foxcatcher" is terrifying, disturbing, and utterly engaging. A slowly unraveled piece that is risky but pays off immensely. It's cautious yet strictly well-defined as a character study. Like all great films with great performances, its element of truth is plainly apparent. On the gray-skied farm, we will get to know three interesting men, some of which, we'll never truly understand.

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13 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

A different look at wrestling, in a good way!

9/10
Author: superkudden from Sweden
9 November 2014

My first night at the Stockholm Film Festival turned out really great thanks to Foxcatcher. A movie I didn't expect much from, but it was in fact one of the best movies of 2014. Foxcatcher is a movie that doesn't have that much action and will surely disappoint those who loves wrestling and wants to see fights. This is not a movie about the good side of the sport, it's about the bad one we don't get to see when Hulk Mania and The Rock performs nowadays.

The film is based upon a true story. Mark Schultz is an Olympic wrestler. His relationship with his sponsor, John du Pont and his older brother leads to very unlikely circumstances between both. John du Pont turns out to be a bit different than the man he first seemed like.

What I first wondered when I read about the film was, "how could they pick Channing Tatum for such a dramatic role? Isn't he that guy who just shows off his abs so the girls can look at something?" Well, in this movie Channing was someone completely different. He is superb as Mark Schultz, I couldn't imagine anyone else playing him after seeing this film. And this is partly what makes the film very watchable and good. Steve Carell (who usually stars in sex comedies) also did an amazing job as John du Pont. I could barely recognize him at first, and forgot that it was him 10 minutes after he first appeared on the screen. In the end, I also forgot what he looks like in real life. Great job on the make up there!

The good performances is definitely what I enjoyed the most. I'm not into wrestling, and Foxcatcher didn't really make me interested. It's a very deterrent example of how some Olympic athletes are trained and treated when they're not on TV. The movie will be out in theaters later this month, and I suggest you to go watch it. If you're not a fan of wrestling, that's even better. I don't like the sport but loved this movie.

However, pick your theater carefully. Sadly, some people in front of me waited to see Channing Tatum naked during the beginning. They were just annoying, but quiet when they realized that they weren't watching a teen comedy. Which was, around thirty minutes into the film. So I didn't really mind! The movie is a bit over two hours long...

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16 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

A meticulously crafted if dry study of the American dream.

8/10
Author: Sergeant_Tibblash from Suffolk, England
26 October 2014

It's been a long wait. After a year and a half of hype, Foxcatcher is finally among us. This isn't really the type of film that earns such excitement. It's a cold, hard, slow burn, but one that's meticulously crafted. It's a film easier to appreciate than to enjoy. It tells the true story of the relationship between Olympic gold medalist Mark Schultz, played by Channing Tatum, his brother and also gold medalist David, played by Mark Ruffalo, and a wealthy entrepreneur investing in their future to become World Champions, Jan Du Pont, played by Steve Carell. For a story of such tragedy and exposure to the world at large, it's surprising that we're only hearing of it now, but the film's weak spots do make it clear why director Bennett Miller needed an extra year to work on it, having been initially anticipated as a 2013 release.

It's clear from the style of Capote and Moneyball that Miller is concerned with capturing raw authenticity with a voyeuristic (and grimly saturated) eye on the characters. It gives Tatum and Carell some of the best artistic environments of their careers for them to play around in. Tatum in particular is impressive unlike what we've seen him in before. In his previous films he's seemed so disengaged but here he has tunnel vision focus, constantly fighting imaginary foes. We're often given shots of him just staring out windows, but he makes them rich with subtext, with both his fulfillment of his ambitions and tedium of his stripped down life. It's a physical role with great sensitivity, showing his selfishness and self-deprecating side.

Although there's a strong bond between the brothers especially with their sport, Ruffalo is the antithesis of Tatum. Where Tatum still seems to struggle when engaging with people, however appropriate for the character, it all comes natural for Ruffalo. It's a very subdued but loose performance. Internalizing a lot of different emotions, frustrations and conflicts that Tatum and Carell have but with a whole heap of charm. He's comfortable in his own skin compared to them. I missed him when he wasn't on screen, but it's unfortunate that during his portion of the film in the last third, events become too jumbled. Especially in its final twenty minutes, which does unfortunately drag the film down for me that it doesn't land on two feet. It does find key moments bubbling under its psychological tension, and you often have to be very patient for them to reveal themselves.

Carell however was a slight disappointment. The most hyped up aspect of the film since we first got excited 18 months ago, it's certainly transformative but the character is too sparse and distant. Granted, this is part of Du Pont, he's a man who doesn't make have a presence when he walks into a room so he has to compensate with money and weapons. He's good, but suffers due to this nature. His character blossoms under Miller's direction and the makeup (his nose looking like the 'eagle' he wants himself nicknamed after), but his strength in his prolonged sinister stares. The film has some very interesting themes to say with him about the American dream and patriotism, ironic as his last name is evidently foreign. It's quietly powerful. Carell is best as a fascinating contradictory poetic figure, rather than a performance.

It's a great film thanks to Miller's methodical approach in setting up the triangle of characters, and the anguish of their motivations. It is cripplingly restrained in every facet, which is good to express the repression that the characters go through; the joylessness of Mark's success, how David's family weigh him down, the way people underestimate Du Pont, and then the ultimate dissatisfaction of the glory they chase. There's a lot to delight from its allegories and the way the relationships develop. However, the way it puts the viewer at an unsettling distance and how dry and somber it is hints that it might not do too well at winning awards, though certainly show up on ballots. I'm sensing that we may find a Carell snub in a stacked category, but Ruffalo is assured. Miller may have to fight for that 5th spot in Director but I wouldn't be surprised to see him there. I'm not eager to watch Foxcatcher again so soon but it's a film that burrows deeply in fraught places.

8/10

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

The American Dream curdled

8/10
Author: george.schmidt (gpschmidt67@gmail.com) from fairview, nj
15 November 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

FOXCATCHER (2014) *** Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Sienna Miller, Vanessa Redgrave, Anthony Michael Hall. Absorbing fact-based drama about Olympic-driven wrestler Mark Schultz (Tatum) who finds himself invited to be sponsored for the 1988 Olympics by eccentric (to say the least) millionaire John E. du Pont (Carell, buried under puttified make-up and prosthetic nose and teeth, giving one creepazoid yet genuinely great performance) whose bizarre status building dreams overshadow the dark underpinnings of male bonding, self-privileged allusions and ultimately paranoia. While the pacing by director Bennett Miller is at times teeth-grindingly dull (with practically zero soundtrack and dead spots of unease silence to a fault) the well-structured script by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman is spot-on with how one's perceptions tend to overshadow one's reality (i.e. 'the American Dream'). Ruffalo gives a quietly dignified supporting turn as Mark's older brother David whose weariness in duPont's Macchiavelean ego foreshadows its tragic final act all too well.

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Fox hunting is a bloody sport and so is wrestling

8/10
Author: fs-87-946563 from Charlottesville, Virginia
11 November 2014

Fox hunting is a bloody sport and in the case of Foxcatcher, so is wrestling. You can hear the thud and almost feel the pain as heavily muscled male bodies pound each other. It's almost like a ritual. John DuPont, billionaire and unbalanced eccentric, offers a talented young wrestler the kind of sponsorship that one can only dream of. Why then does Mark Schultz, ensconced in a luxurious guest house with a state-of-the-art training facility, feel so uneasy? Mr. DuPont, played by Steve Carell as you've never seen him before, has some disquieting qualities. I can't avoid thinking that if the characters in this movie, and men in general, had been more articulate about their feelings, a tragedy could have been avoided, but that is irrelevant. The ending of this movie, based on a true story, was in the headlines some years back. If you don't remember what happened, I won't spoil it for you.

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

True story portraying the tragic Blue Collar VS Billionaire story of The Schultz Brothers & John DuPont

8/10
Author: Peter A Eldon (peter.eldon@ekenmagazine.com) from STOCKHOLM
10 November 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Written by Oscar-nominee Dan Futterman and E. Max Frye, Foxcatcher is based on the true-story about the odd disturbed billionaire John DuPont and Olympic winning brothers Marc and Dave Schultz. DuPont uses all his wealth and position in society to gain huge success and acknowledgement from his follow Americans, Sport Federations and Mother. In very smart and touching ways Foxcatcher shows and describes the true mentality and daily challenges everyone in society has. With subjects like loneliness, society, family, wealth, hierarchy and various social- classes Director Bennet Miller has combined it all together and shows how and why the fateful actions happen. Do the extremely wealthy such as the DuPont's have more pressure to succeed than the Schultz's? Who is more trapped? Sometimes the film feels just to slow with really nothing happening while the camera captures the stillness of the nature and events developing in front of it, but at the same time that is exactly what Foxcatcher is portraying. Excellent acting by the whole leading cast (Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Sienna Miller) with a never before seen acting performance by Steve Carrell as the odd billionaire John DuPont. He will definitely be competing against Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game) and Matthew McConaughey (Interstellar) for an Oscar. / Peter A Eldon. 2014-10-24.

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