I can’t hide my emotions for this movie because that’s how powerful and amazing it was, Southpaw made me cry like five times. This story is heart breaking, raw, moving, and captivating. When the film was reaching it’s very climatic ending, in the middle of the ring, I had to remind myself I was at the movie theatre and could not jump out of my seat to express my happiness. I felt like I was by Billy Hope’s (Jake Gyllenhaal) side through his entire journey and wanted to take part in the ending like I was in the boxing arena. Southpaw was so much better than I could have ever imagined.
What didn’t I like?
I can’t list the one thing that I didn’t like because it would be a major spoiler for the story. If you have seen Southpaw, you probably already know what I’m talking about. Also before anyone judges him based on his actions, I took his lifestyle changes in stride because it was part of the story and a part of what made him, him.
Was Southpaw a good story?
I don’t care if you watch Southpaw and get upset with predictability and the ending because this was a great story about the human spirit. It plays to every human emotion with potential award-winning performances from Gyllenhaal and Forest Whitaker. The story shapes up just as you would expect and even though it follows the same script as many movies before, this journey to finish is one we have never seen before.
Last year everyone was a buzz for Gyllenhaal’s performance in Nightcrawler. He got nominated for a bunch of awards because of the dark depths he was willing to take his character. His performance in Southpaw as Billy Hope is by far the best of his career and although he most likely won’t win an Oscar, I seriously think he deserves a nomination. Whitaker was great a supporting actor. He has the look and experience to pull off the washed up trainer who still has the tools to get the job done. A wise man who thinks the ring like no other and is not afraid to take on projects to see successful results. Also this story wouldn’t be complete without the performance of Oona Laurence, Hope’s daughter. The experiences this little girl goes through is enough to break anyone, but when your dad is a boxer, you find a way to take the punches and still come out on top.
Would I recommend it?
Yes, this is a movie well worth the full price of admission. If you went to see it on opening night or any other night you will not be disappointed with the story, characters, or action sequences. For those of you who don’t like sports or boxing, this is still an amazing story about the human spirit and that no matter how badly it gets broken, there’s always a chance for it to be put back together.
my star rating: 9 out 10
imdb: 8.1 out 10 / metascore: 57/100 / rottentomatoes: 57% out 100%
roger ebert: 3 out 4 / richard crouse: 3 out 5