7.0/10
19,206
58 user 155 critic

Borg vs. McEnroe (2017)

Borg McEnroe (original title)
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The story of the 1980 tennis rivalry between the placid Björn Borg and the volatile John McEnroe.

Director:

Janus Metz

Writer:

Ronnie Sandahl
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Popularity
2,945 ( 66)
7 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sverrir Gudnason ... Björn Borg
Shia LaBeouf ... John McEnroe
Stellan Skarsgård ... Lennart Bergelin
Tuva Novotny ... Mariana Simionescu
Leo Borg Leo Borg ... Young Björn Borg - Age 9-13
Marcus Mossberg Marcus Mossberg ... Young Björn Borg - Age 15+
Jackson Gann ... Young John McEnroe
Scott Arthur ... Peter Fleming
Ian Blackman ... John McEnroe Senior
Robert Emms ... Vitas Gerulaitis
David Bamber ... UK Commentator George Barnes
Mats Blomgren Mats Blomgren ... Rune Borg
Julia Marko-Nord Julia Marko-Nord ... Margareta Borg (as Julia Marko Nord)
Jane Perry ... Kay McEnroe
Demetri Goritsas ... Björn Borg's Agent 1
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Storyline

It is the 1980 Wimbledon tennis championship. Bjorn Borg is the number 1 tennis player in the world and the undisputed king of Wimbledon. He has won the tournament four times in a row - a fifth consecutive time would be a world first. However, a new face has appeared in the tennis world and presents a serious threat to Borg's title hopes - John McEnroe. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Some stars shine forever

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Sweden | Denmark | Finland

Language:

English | Swedish | French | Spanish | German

Release Date:

13 April 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Borg vs. McEnroe See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

SEK 65,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$14,113,354, 26 April 2018
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shia LaBeouf grew his own hair out for the role. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Björn Borg enters a bar/café and to hide from fans and use the phone, a bottle of Hendrick's Gin can be seen on the shelf behind the waiter. Hendrick's Gin was only launched in 1999. See more »

Quotes

John McEnroe: You can't be serious! You can not be serious! The ball was on the line! Chalk flew all over, man. The chalk flew up! He saw it. That's why he's walking all over it. Everyone saw it was in. You cannot possibly call that out.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Box Office: Episode dated 21 September 2017 (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Call Me
Written by Debbie Harry and Giorgio Moroder
Performed by Blondie
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User Reviews

 
Very intriguing look at tennis rivalry
17 October 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Despite not being a sporty person (always one of the subjects that saw me struggling most in school, particularly when it came to co-ordination and sometimes speed), that doesn't stop me from finding some of them interesting to watch portrayed in television matches and film.

Tennis is one of the more interesting and easy to watch sports to me and this particular story is one of the most fascinating in the history of the sport. 'Borg vs McEnroe' was seen for those reasons and on the most part it doesn't disappoint. There may be better biopics around, but 'Borg vs McEnroe' both intrigues and entertains, it's emotion-filled, affectionate, absorbing and mostly respectful. Anyone who loves tennis or is fascinated by the story or biopics in general will find a lot to like about 'Borg vs McEnroe' and despite the 15 certificate, for some swearing and some topless shots (that one can find for themselves as to whether they find them necessary or not), it's more accessible than one would think.

Borg's story has a little more flesh, although McEnroe is the more colourful character in personality, Borg being calmer and McEnroe being more extroverted. Borg's story has a lot of genuine power and really resonates emotionally. McEnroe is still interesting, but his relationship with his parents could have been expanded upon more which would have made some of his motivations clearer.

Furthermore the title cards are cheesy and over-explanatory, also making broad statements like at the start and doing nothing to back them up. The Studio 54 nightclub scene didn't serve much point and the representation of the media, while perhaps not too far from the truth, was on the heavy-handed and extreme side.

On the other hand, 'Borg vs McEnroe' is very solidly made visually, nicely shot and does nothing to undermine any transitions or shifts. The music complements well and Janus Metz directs with clear passion and enthusiasm for the subject.

Scripting is intelligent and thought-provoking, it intrigues and entertains throughout and does well in allowing one to care for the characters and the story while also having a lot of heart that makes 'Borg vs McEnroe' very moving. The story is both uplifting and poignant, structurally it's always cohesive and rarely disjointed even if some parts are better explored than others. The tennis sequences capture the excitement and tension of the sport very compellingly and accurately.

A huge part of what makes 'Borg vs McEnroe' work so well is the cast. Sverrir Gudnason is excellent as Borg, and no it's not just the uncanny physical resemblance, it's how poignantly collected he is and how he plays the role with depth and intensity. Stellan Skarsgard brings a lot of subtlety and quiet dignity, while Tuva Novotny, David Bamber and Robert Emms do more than serviceably making their characters more than caricatures (although not a lot of attention is given to their development enough). Was most surprised by Shia LaBeouf in one of his best and most committed performances as McEnroe, providing that he is more than capable when making good choices and when the material allows it.

In summary, very intriguing and well done. 7/10 Bethany Cox


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