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Southpaw (2015)

R | | Drama, Sport | 24 July 2015 (USA)
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A champion boxer fights to get his daughter back from child protective services as well as revive his professional career, after a fatal incident sends him on a rampant path of destruction.

Director:

Antoine Fuqua

Writer:

Kurt Sutter
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944 ( 261)
10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jake Gyllenhaal ... Billy Hope
Rachel McAdams ... Maureen Hope
Forest Whitaker ... Tick Wills
Oona Laurence ... Leila Hope
50 Cent ... Jordan Mains (as Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson)
Skylan Brooks ... Hoppy
Naomie Harris ... Angela Rivera
Victor Ortiz ... Ramone
Beau Knapp ... Jon Jon
Miguel Gomez ... Miguel 'Magic' Escobar
Dominic Colón ... Mikey
Jose Caraballo Jose Caraballo ... Eli Frost
Malcolm M. Mays ... Gabe
Aaron Quattrocchi Aaron Quattrocchi ... Keith 'Buzzsaw' Brady
Lana Young ... Gloria
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Storyline

As tragedy strikes him in his prime, famed boxer, Billy Hope, begins to fall into a great depression. Once the decision regarding the custody of his daughter is under question, Billy decides to get his life back on track by getting back into the ring.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

His biggest fight is on the ring. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language throughout, and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

Hong Kong | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 July 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Revancha See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,701,294, 26 July 2015, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$52,421,953

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$94,207,861
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Eminem appeared in two songs for the movie, "Phenomenal" and "Kings Never Die," but he was Executive Producer for the rest of its soundtrack. See more »

Goofs

The bell rings when the referee is counting 9 and Miguel is saved from a KO. In reality, once the referee starts the 10 count, the bell cannot save you (WBF rule #4.6). But Escobar was already up before the ten count. The 'Saved by the bell' said by the commentator is merely an opinion that if the bell wasn't rung Escobar couldn't have survived another hit from Billy. See more »

Quotes

Tick Wills: Woah. Are you on drugs?
Tick Wills: Are you intoxicated?
Billy Hope: I'm good man. I'm-I'm straight.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mike & Mike: Episode dated 27 July 2015 (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Cry For Love (Part 2)
Performed by James Horner
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Gyllenhaal the Great
23 July 2015 | by 3xHCCHSee all my reviews

Billy Hope is the light heavyweight champion of the world with a 43-0 record. One day, as a result of his uncontrollable violent temper, tragedy after tragedy hits him and his family until he is left with nothing -- not his fortune, not his career, not his family. Despondent and desperate to get his life back, Billy swallows his pride and seeks the assistance of trainer Tick Wills to train him back to fighting form.

"Southpaw" is an acting showcase for its lead actor Jake Gyllenhaal. Last year in the film "Nightcrawler", Gyllenhaal gave us all the creeps with his very realistic portrayal of sociopathic pseudo-video journalist Louis Bloom. He was overlooked at the Oscars of the Best Actor nomination he clearly deserved. With this meaty role, Gyllenhaal set out to prove that that his transformative performance last year was not a fluke at all.

His performance here as Billy Hope is another triumph of his very serious and committed method acting style. Here, Gyllenhaal again undergoes a total physical transformation into a grizzled prizefighter with a buff hardened physique, scarred face and swollen eye. We feel every ache of his weary body as he shuffles in his gait. His speech is already slurred with probable nerve damage. We see and sense the ravages of his vicious sport on him.

He captured the character of an impulsive man who was not too savvy in life, and easily driven to violently angry tendencies. As Billy's world collapses around him, Gyllenhaal brings us all down to his hell with him. We totally see the unraveling of a man until a mere shadow of him remained. Then we would witness how he humbles himself as he tries to bring the shattered pieces of his life back together again. This was in addition to all the pounding he had in the boxing ring itself. This was truly an acting tour de force by Gyllenhaal which simply cannot be ignored.

The actors in supporting roles all share in Gyllenhaal's shine. Despite her name being so prominent in the poster, Rachel McAdams appeared on screen only for a very short time. In that limited time, we clearly see the effect of her strong character Maureen on her husband Billy. Bespectacled little Oona Laurence plays their spirited daughter Leila. Gyllenhaal and Laurence share some pretty intensely emotional scenes together.

Forest Whitaker plays Tick Wills, the tough disciplinarian of a trainer whom Billy chose to bring him back on track. I thought it was clever how they even include Whitaker's left eye into the story. Curtis "50 Cent" Smith plays Billy's fair-weather manager Jordan Mains. He really has this sleazy vibe about him with his flashy smile and shiny suits.

Director Antoine Fuqua effectively wrung all the right emotions out of this story. The storytelling is well-paced and the camera work is compelling. The fight scenes were well-choreographed and executed on screen -- very brutal, bloody, all with high tension. The first person point of view during the fights puts you right in the midst of all the action.

The musical score contributes so much to the drama of this film. This is also the last film James Horner scored before his untimely demise in a plane crash recently. We also hear Eminem rap in the soundtrack. It is interesting to note that Eminem was actually the original choice to play Billy Hope.

Boxing is a common sport tackled in movies because of its inherent drama. "Rocky", "Raging Bull", "Million Dollar Baby" and "The Fighter" easily come to mind as among the best of them ever made. This is why we may feel we have seen this story In "Southpaw" told in another way before. However, the grippingly honest acting of Jake Gyllenhaal definitely set this film apart from others. He made "Southpaw" a most extraordinary boxing film to watch. 8/10.


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