Southpaw (2015) - Rotten Tomatoes

Southpaw (2015)



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

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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 (208) | Top Critics (49)

The modicum of pleasure delivered by "Southpaw" arrives thanks to its cast, who struggle bravely and energetically with the hopelessly bland text and the invisible, impersonal direction.

Full Review… | July 29, 2015
New Yorker
Top Critic

Southpaw isn't content with presenting a gallery of clichéd characters. It takes the time to put flesh on the bones.

Full Review… | July 26, 2015
Top Critic

I veered between being awed and appalled, though mostly the latter.

Full Review… | July 24, 2015
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

"Southpaw" is a tremendous accomplishment of mainstream cinematic craft, a near-perfect match of director, material and star.

Full Review… | July 24, 2015
Top Critic

When you look past Fuqua's jittery directing, which dices up shots and leans the camera close into its star's painstakingly battered mug, Southpaw is a melange of familiar fighter movie ideas and images going back to Rocky.

Full Review… | July 24, 2015
BuzzFeed News
Top Critic

Just as director Antoine Fuqua starts to close in on something interesting and unexpected, he retreats to the safety of his corner and gives us what we've seen too many times before: a predictable flurry of melodramatic jabs.

Full Review… | July 24, 2015
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Southpaw


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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