Hands of Stone

Critics Consensus

Hands of Stone's strong cast and fascinating real-life story aren't enough to compensate for a crowded narrative and formulaic script.



Total Count: 105


Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,255
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Movie Info

HANDS OF STONE follows the life of Roberto Duran (Edgar Ramirez), the Panamanian fighter who made his professional debut in 1968 as a 16 year‐old and retired in 2002 at the age of 50. In June 1980, he defeated Sugar Ray Leonard (Usher Raymond) to capture the WBC welterweight title, but shocked the boxing world by returning to his corner in their November rematch, famously saying the words "no mas" (no more.)

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Robert De Niro
as Ray Arcel
Edgar Ramirez
as Roberto Duran
Usher Raymond
as Sugar Ray Leonard
Ana de Armas
as Felicidad Duran
Ellen Barkin
as Stephanie Arcel
John Turturro
as Frankie Carbo
Jurnee Smollett-Bell
as Juanita Leonard
Ruben Blades
as Carlos Eleta
Reg E. Cathey
as Don King
David Arosemena
as Kid Duran
Yancey Arias
as Benny Huertas
Ilza Rosario
as Clara Samaniego
Anthony Molinari
as Marine Molinari
Rick Avery
as Gil Clancey
Robb Skyler
as Howard Cosell
Joe Urla
as Angelo Dundee
Eliud Kauffman
as Margarito Duran
Khalid Ghajji
as Roger Leonard
John Duddy
as Ken Buchanan
Aaron Zebede
as Eugenio Iglesias
Janelle Davidson
as Sharon Leonard
Leo Wiznitzer
as Head Commisioner
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News & Interviews for Hands of Stone

Critic Reviews for Hands of Stone

All Critics (105) | Top Critics (31) | Fresh (46) | Rotten (59)

  • All this cacophony of backstory ends up being counterproductive, especially when the film tries to convey what makes this fighter worthy of tribute (or forgiveness or reconsideration, depending on your perspective).

    Dec 31, 2016 | Rating: C | Full Review…

    Steve Greene

    Top Critic
  • Traditional and uninspired, it does an adequate job of relating Duran's story but falls short of providing an engaging cinematic experience.

    Aug 27, 2016 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • There are some engaging asides about Arcel's struggles with boxing's dirty underbelly, but they feel like they belong to a different movie. (De Niro's superfluous and soporific voiceover, however, belongs in no movie whatsoever.)

    Aug 27, 2016 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
  • In trying to encompass way too much, Hands of Stone ends up feeling superficial and unsatisfying.

    Aug 26, 2016 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • "Hands of Stone" is less like a boxing flick and more like a professional wrestling battle royale with all its different subplots angling for main event status.

    Aug 26, 2016 | Rating: C | Full Review…
  • It's engaging, sure, with some fast-paced and capable fight sequences.

    Aug 26, 2016 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Hands of Stone

  • Jun 26, 2017
    A fairly solid biopic, Hands of Stone tells the story of professional boxing champion Roberto Duran. While rising through the ranks Panamanian boxer Roberto Duran teams up with legendary manager Ray Arcel to help him win a championship, leading to a rivalry with welterweight champion "Sugar" Ray Leonard. Starring Edgar Ramírez, Usher Raymond, Robert De Niro, and Ana de Armas, the film has a solid cast that delivers some good performances. However, the script doesn't really develop Duran all that well, or make him all that sympathetic. And the plot more or less follows the standard formula for a sports film; with a rise, a fall, and a comeback. Still, Hands of Stone is entertaining and even a little inspirational.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 28, 2016
    The film borders on the melodramatic for way too long, 2 hours by count. I liked the actors and the depth they bring to the film but the filmmaking is forced. You are constantly provided with flashbacks of everything you have seen and that's when he is losing the fight. I have seen pretty much every boxing movie and sadly this misses beats left, right and centre. The writing seems strong so my best guess is the editing where the film seems to have lost its strength.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Nov 04, 2016
    An enjoyable underdog boxing story. Carried along by great performances from Usher and Robert De Niro. Very enjoyable.
    Ian W Super Reviewer
  • Sep 04, 2016
    Hands of Stone has a good story to tell but does it in a very predictable and melodramatic way. The fall of Roberto Durán is portrayed in such a 'Hollywood' way, you have to roll your eyes at the desperate attempt for emotional dialogue. The film goes through so many plot points in rapid session, it fails to tell the important details of Durán's life that makes for a better story. The shaky cam during the fight scenes makes it difficult to follow the action in the ring and they don't seem greatly choreographed to begin with. Perhaps i've been spoiled by films like Creed that came out just last year and that film wasn't even about a real person. Hands of Stone feels like it doesn't have enough of a coherent message to portray exactly what it wants to be as a film. The acting is fine, the visuals of 70s Panama and 80s New York City is great. Hell, you even get a decent Don King impersonation but it is poor writing and a poor narrative that weighs down the film. Hands of Stone is a missed opportunity to cover the life of one of boxing's most influential figures and it's a damn shame.
    Jacob S Super Reviewer

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