Critics Consensus

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



Total Count: 235


Audience Score

User Ratings: 43,978
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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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Critic Reviews for Southpaw

All Critics (235) | Top Critics (53) | Fresh (140) | Rotten (95)

Audience Reviews for Southpaw

  • Jan 18, 2018
    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 Super Reviewer
  • Aug 02, 2017
    2/8/2017 - I love Gyllenhaal, he tried to hold up a shitty script. The guy loses the custody of his daughter because he has a few drinks and crashes his car?? GIVE ME A FKN BREAK!!!
    Peter B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 14, 2017
    unoriginal storylines, but at least they do a great job with the character development
    Ed K Super Reviewer
  • Jul 13, 2016
    Boxing movies can be tough to bring out on the screen from the paper they are written on. The tale of redemption is one as old as time when it comes to seeing someone get beat down and get back up only to find the success they lost found once again. While Jake Gyllenhaal commands the screen as Billy Hope's "came up through the system" champion with a committed performance both in physicality and emotion, most of the time, 'Southpaw' beats you so far into the mat with misery it's tough to enjoy. I was really at a loss with the 'villain' of the film played by Victor Ortiz. I don't think I've ever seen someone act like such a smart guy one minute and completely flip to idiocy the next. Hope's revenge on his character doesn't feel grounded other than the fact he said a few words to ignite those flames of passion to give us an angry man before and after Rachel McAdam's character's death. Which also by the way was poorly shot. It was almost impersonal without getting her on screen for more than 20 minutes. Most of her (and Hope's) backstory comes from exposition after the fact. The daughter I suppose was played well enough by Clare Foley, but it was more of a fake cry on cue kind of performance. The biggest issue I continue to have in THIS guy's movies, and this guy being Forest Whitaker, is his choice to either over act or mail it in. At least here, we get the former rather than the latter like in Taken 3, which means he at least put effort into the character. I don't think I have liked anything he's done since his time on The Shield almost ten years ago. The fight scenes are brutal, but actually feel more like a video game with so many punches landing rather than an exposition for an actual boxing match. The ending knockout might have even been computer generated if I caught it right. With a movie that relies heavily on its cliched genre, Southpaw suffers more from its darkness rather than its redemption into the light for our character Hope.
    Lane Z Super Reviewer

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