Critics Consensus

Jake Gyllenhaal delivers an impressively committed performance, but Southpaw beats it down with a dispiriting drama that pummels viewers with genre clichés.



Reviews Counted: 231

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Reviews Count: 0
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Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.8/5

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Movie Info

From acclaimed director Antoine Fuqua (TRAINING DAY) and screenwriters Kurt Sutter ("Sons of Anarchy) and Richard Wenk (THE MECHANIC), SOUTHPAW tells the riveting story of Billy "The Great" Hope, reigning Junior Middleweight Boxing Champion of the World (Academy Award (R) nominee Jake Gyllenhaal). Billy Hope seemingly has it all with an impressive career, a beautiful and loving wife (Rachel McAdams), an adorable daughter (Oona Laurence) and a lavish lifestyle. When tragedy strikes and his lifelong manager and friend (Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson) leaves him behind, Hope hits rock bottom and turns to an unlikely savior at a run-down local gym: Tick Willis (Academy Award (R) winner Forest Whitaker), a retired fighter and trainer to the city's toughest amateur boxers. With his future riding on Tick's guidance and tenacity, Billy enters the hardest battle of his life as he struggles with redemption and to win back the trust of those he loves. (C) Weinstein

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Jake Gyllenhaal
as Billy "The Great" Hope
Forest Whitaker
as Titus "Tick" Wills
Rachel McAdams
as Maureen Hope
Naomie Harris
as Angela Rivera
50 Cent
as Jordan Mains
Rita Ora
as Maria Escobar
Grace Marie Williams
as Jordan's Girl
Miguel Gómez
as Miguel "Magic" Escobar
Oona Laurence
as Leila Hope
John Cenatiempo
as Court officer
Marie Elena O'Brien
as Sheriff Reynolds
David Whalen
as Det. Parker
Lana Young
as Gloria
Adam Ratcliffe
as Sheriff Jennins
Beau Knapp
as Jon Jon
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News & Interviews for Southpaw

Critic Reviews for Southpaw

All Critics (231) | Top Critics (53)

Audience Reviews for Southpaw

The first 45 minutes are basically Murphy's law for the protagonist: everything that can go wrong, will go wrong. But you it's also true that when you've hit rock bottom, the only way is up. What follows still isn't predictable here, but takes a lot of effort, sweat and tears. Once the film is over, you realize it played you with the conventions of the sports drama you've seen a few times before. But while you're in it, you're on the edge of the seat and feel for this deeply flawed man and his adorable daughter. That's no small feat. Director Fuqua could rely on an incredibly strong cast, especially Gyllenhaal, delivering one of the best performances of his career.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer


Clichà (C)-driven but a well-put effort in being inspiring and persevering. Southpaw has its plot holes and melodrama, but thanks to Jake Gyllenhaal's effortless performance and the glitz and glamour of the sweet science, it goes the distance. 3.5/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

An entirely predictable boxing drama elevated by committed performances from Jake Gyllenhaal and Forest Whitaker, but it doesn't have enough to fully recommend. You can predict the entire plot in about five minutes. The first half of the film suffers from entirely unlikable characters and that only gets elevated in the second half by Forest Whitaker's character. Because I didn't really like the main character, his transformation didn't affect me like it should have. Ultimately, it was entertaining in spurts and has good performances, but the unlikable characters and predictable story hold it back from being anything more than halfway decent.

Josh Lewis
Josh Lewis

Super Reviewer


After his wife is killed, a boxer falls from grace but finds redemption in one last fight. Jake Gyllenhaal's physical transformation and the intensity of his performance are the only two things that recommend this film. Everything else is unrestrained, melodramatic, melancholic, and melon-headed nonsense. Plot points pop up like they were written on the way to the set, and characters reverse intentions because plot, and the whole thing just wreaks of sensationalism like a sweaty gym sock. Just as a quick, non-spoiler example: at the first act climax of the film, the protagonist's wife is killed (in a ham-handed, "because plot" fashion - but no matter), and her death scene lasts about three minutes with nothing but repeated dialogue, slobber, and tears. It's a scene, the emotional effect of which, fades with each passing second, and it bespeaks a director who over-indulges in a fascination with his own feelings. Gyllenhaal and Rachel McAdams "go there," but it's up to the director to temper the scene so that the film doesn't peak too early and so that it doesn't seem over-indulgent. Overall, this might have been a good movie if only the film's structure could have served it better.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

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