Southpaw

The sport of boxing, especially from the cinematic perspective, is all about redemption.

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The sport of boxing, especially from the cinematic perspective, is all about redemption. In the fight game, everybody gets knocked down and counted out at least once, but that’s usually just the beginning of things. Jake Gyllenhaal finds himself caught up in one such narrative as Billy “The Great” Hope, a tenacious fighter who reaches glorious heights and suffers a disastrous fall, only to claw and scrape his way back with the aid of a marginalized trainer (Forest Whitaker). It is fitting that Gyllenhaal teams with Antoine Fuqua for this project, since the director is known for providing a bit of juice for would-be rising stars — Ethan Hawke in Training Day and Mark Wahlberg in Shooter — but this pairing makes me wonder if Fuqua will ever be able to capitalize one time on his own. There is Oscar buzz floating around Southpaw, so who knows? (Opens wide Friday) (R) Not screened in time for review

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