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The Good:Jake Gyllenhaal is the brightest light for this film. He effortlessly delivers a great performance in a character that deals with a wide range of emotions. The interactions with Jake and his daughter are put in the forefront of the movie, and at some points in the film, will attempt to tug at your heart strings. Forest Whitaker's supporting role brings in a nice touch to compliment Gyllenhaal, and even has a few humorous moments. For the most part, the actual boxing matches are engaging due to the raw emotion Gyllenhaal displays, which pulls you further in.
The Bad:I'm not sure if it's the writing, or maybe the directing, but something about this movie just didn't feel genuine. There were moments when this seemed like a legit "boxing movie" and then there were moments where it felt too much like a hollywood production. I'm not a boxing expert, but it seemed in a many of the actual boxing scenes to be almost a little too scripted. (Boxing fans, feel free to correct me if you think differently)
The Reason:It's really hard not to instantly think of and compare this movie to Rocky. If Rocky is to be one of the best boxing movies we have to use in comparison, this falls short. This movie isn't entirely a "Boxing movie". It's a more like a drama that has boxing in it. You spend a good majority of the film with him dealing with GyllenHaal's character dealing with his personal issues, more so than you see him actually fight. I don't want to belittle this movie, because it wasn't a horrible film. Gyllenhaal falls victim, yet again, to the same thing that happened to him in his previous movie "Nightcrawler"; great acting in a "just okay" movie. It's worth a watch in some capacity (matinee, or download), but I'm not sure this is the type of movie that will demand for you to rush to the theaters to see.
The Rating: 7/10