Tyson Reviews

Top Critic
Keith Uhlich
Time Out
November 18, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Ben Kenigsberg
Time Out
November 17, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
July 16, 2009
Half-appealing, half-pathetic.
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
June 24, 2009
It all adds up to a fascinating psychological study, a film that goes beyond both the public persona and the fighter's own spin to get at the frightened, angry, explosive, yet utterly understandable boy who became a very troubled and very public man.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
June 13, 2009
The most remarkable revelation of the movie is its subject's thoughtful, reflective eloquence and unflinching self-perception...Tyson may or may not be entirely who he says he is, but he's probably not who we thought he was, either.
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
June 11, 2009
Listening to Tyson tell his side of the story, you come to understand him with new depth and complexity.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
June 11, 2009
Some documentaries grow in the shadows; others demand to be made. The story of boxer Mike Tyson, powerfully recounted in a new film, is as rich as a Dickens novel.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
May 15, 2009
Something of a cliché.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
May 15, 2009
I can't say I've ever wanted to be in Mike Tyson's head, but this documentary by James Toback certainly took me there, and I won't soon forget it.
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John Hartl
Seattle Times
May 14, 2009
When Tyson finally admits defeat and announces retirement, it's those crinkly, hurting eyes you remember.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Rafer Guzman
Newsday
May 14, 2009
The closest most of us will ever come to an intimate chat with the champ.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
May 14, 2009
A revealing portrait of the troubled Mike Tyson elicits horror and sympathy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ray Bennett
Hollywood Reporter
May 8, 2009
More a testimony for the defense than a documentary, it's a sympathetic portrait of a complex man driven by an anger that still bubbles beneath the surface.
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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
May 8, 2009
Hypnotic and ultimately incomplete.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
May 8, 2009
Toback, to his considerable credit, turns that view around by showing Tyson as a complicated person who has more thoughtful things to say.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
May 8, 2009
With Tyson, [director James] Toback has found a documentary subject as tragic and ridiculous, as bizarre and driven, as the heroes of his other films.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
May 8, 2009
Toback fashions a sharp doc out of a blunt object.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
May 7, 2009
Deploying multiple split screens and a discreet but effective score, Tyson is hugely engrossing at the same time that it is not entirely credible.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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David Denby
New Yorker
May 4, 2009
Those who were furious at Tyson will be made even angrier by Toback's film, for here is a fresh provocation-an attempt to restore to Tyson the human dimensions that have been taken from him (by himself, of course, as well as by others).
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
April 30, 2009
Tyson is terrifically compelling and, more than that, unexpectedly moving.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
April 30, 2009
James Toback's Tyson is a documentary with no pretense of objectivity. Here is Mike Tyson's story in his own words, and it is surprisingly persuasive.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Ben Lyons
At the Movies
April 27, 2009
It makes you look at him in a new light.
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Ben Mankiewicz
At the Movies
April 27, 2009
My hunch is this innovative documentary will make you look at Mike Tyson differently. Not necessarily in a better light, but in greater context.
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
April 24, 2009
Mike Tyson is a damaged man but a man nonetheless. Dismissing him as an animal, a habit he sometimes falls into himself, is an error. His mind is far from empty, although it's a lonely, haunted place, and Tyson is a howl of humanity.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
April 24, 2009
Who is Mike Tyson? Soft-spoken lost soul? Vicious animal? Not even he knows. But it's eerily fascinating to watch him try to figure it out.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
April 24, 2009
A grab bag of occasional split-screens and sometimes overlapping or echoing dialogue -- all of which does more to obscure than illuminate the self-deceiving subject.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
April 24, 2009
Think you've seen enough of Mike Tyson for a lifetime? Think you know as much about him as you want to? Think again, and see James Toback's terrific documentary Tyson.
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Dana Stevens
Slate
April 24, 2009
It's a movie that's thought-provoking without being intelligent and candid without being truthful. The same aesthetic choices that [director] Toback seems convinced will set his documentary apart are also what diminishes its credibility.
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
April 24, 2009
Tyson is worth seeing even if you have no particular interest in the sport or the man.
| Original Score: 4.5/5
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
April 24, 2009
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
April 23, 2009
You won't know what hit you after watching Tyson. This power punch to the gut is one of the best movies of any kind this year.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
April 23, 2009
The result is as gripping as a title fight and as mesmerizing as a conversation with a cobra. You may not be happy with everything said, but you will not be bored.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
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Nathan Rabin
AV Club
April 23, 2009
Tyson can be brutal with himself, but Toback's fawning documentary lets him off easy.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Todd McCarthy
Variety
April 23, 2009
Although straightforward in format, the film capitalizes on an obviously intense connection between filmmaker and subject with psychological acuity and emotional power.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
April 22, 2009
Ultimately, this may be the closest we'll ever get to understanding how Mike feels about himself, and there's value in viewing that assessment.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Scott Foundas
Village Voice
April 22, 2009
[Toback] gives us Iron Mike in all his monolithic multitudes and allows us, for a brief moment, to peer alongside him into the existential abyss.
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
April 20, 2009
An 88-minute stream-of-consciousness monologue that has you by turns sympathetic, perplexed, appalled, and enthralled.
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Allison Samuels
Newsweek
April 16, 2009
An extraordinary documentary.
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
April 15, 2009
The term isn't generally applied to the subject of a nonfiction film, but 'starring' is the right description for Mike Tyson's participation in James Toback's provocatively sympathetic, impressionistic documentary portrait, Tyson.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Dave Calhoun
Time Out
March 27, 2009
Toback steers Tyson through every triumph and disaster you want to hear about, never pretending that the platform belongs to anyone but the man they used to call Iron Mike.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/6