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Knuckle (2011)

 -  Documentary | Biography | Drama  -  2011 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 2,092 users   Metascore: 65/100
Reviews: 12 user | 33 critic | 15 from Metacritic.com

An epic 12-year journey into the brutal and secretive world of Irish Traveler bare-knuckle fighting. This film follows a history of violent feuding between rival clans.

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Title: Knuckle (2011)

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Cast

Credited cast:
James Quinn McDonagh
Michael Quinn McDonagh
Paddy Quinn McDonagh
Ian Palmer ...
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Storyline

An epic 12-year journey into the brutal and secretive world of Irish Traveler bare-knuckle fighting. This film follows a history of violent feuding between rival clans.

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Twelve years. Three clans. One war.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violent content and language | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Knuckle  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$2,647 (USA) (9 December 2011)

Gross:

$2,647 (USA) (9 December 2011)
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User Reviews

 
They never went for the body
23 December 2011 | by (Long Beach, NY) – See all my reviews

Knuckle is a sad story about various factions of one family of Irish Travelers who settle decades-long animosity toward one another through bare-knuckle battles that take place in obscure areas across the Irish landscape. Modern technology plays a big role in their feud. The fights, that pit the toughest men in each of the families against one another, are filmed for immediate viewing by all competing families.

Although the battles, billed as "fair fights" with impartial referees from non-combatant families, show the fighters giving their all, win or lose, it is the insulting and disparaging commentary, captured on film after the fights by the victors' clan members that fuel the feud for years to come. There are isolated shots of women and children. One woman, in particular, spoke at length about the need for all of this to come to an end. The greatest sadness in the film is the legacy that the feuding and fighting brings to the children who are doomed to follow in their dads and uncles footsteps, if not as fighters certainly as haters. One might conclude that these feuding families found a safer way of dealing with their hostility toward one another than shooting or stabbing.

Filmed over a decade-long period from the mid-1990's to mid-2000's, viewers are offered only a glimmer of hope that things could change. But even this is marred by the reality that all it takes is a slight, an insult or a "dis" that could change things in a moment. As for the fighting itself, film-goers will see quite a few bloody battles, one with two out-of-shape grandfathers. But there is nothing to compare with professional boxing or mixed martial arts. These were pure street fights with some grabbing, gouging and biting (although all of that was cause for disqualification). As someone one who knows just enough about boxing I kept wondering, throughout all of the fights, why none of the combatants went for the body.


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