Southpaw (Review)

Gyllenhaal could get nominated for best actor

Gyllenhaal could get nominated for best actor

Gyllenhaal and Whitaker Shine in Star Studded Cast!

Southpaw is a boxing film starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Forest Whitaker, Oona Laurence, Curtis “50 cent” Jackson, and was written by Kurt Sutter with Antoine Fuqua directing it. Eminem was originally going to start in the role but dropped out to write the soundtrack for the film. He did the theme song “Phenomenal.” The late James Horner composed the score.

Gyllenhaal and Eminem

Gyllenhaal and Eminem

Boxer Billy Hope (Gyllenhaal) turns to trainer Tick Willis (Whitaker) to help him get his life back on track after losing his wife (McAdams) in a tragic accident and his daughter (Laurence) to child protection services.  He also has Jordan Mains (50 Cent) always lurking in the corner.


Southpaw is a very generic boxing movie at the core. Although it doesn’t hurt the film but it doesn’t add anything new the genre. The major problem in Southpaw is the redemption story takes a while to get started. That’s where the film picks up. Even though Rachel McAdams has great chemistry with Jake Gyllenhaal on screen and the audience feels disheartened when she is killed, the storyline has Gyllenhaal fighting another opponent due to the manipulation of his promoter.  The movie really becomes a redemption story when Gyllenhaal  turns to Forest Whitaker.

The two men who make the story believable. Forest Whitaker could be nominated for best supporting actor

The two men who make the story believable. Forest Whitaker could be nominated for best supporting actor

The acting in Southpaw is stellar. Gyllenhaal delivers a knockout performance with every other cast member. His relationship with his the young actress (Laurence) who plays his daughter is the glue that holds the story together. Laurence displays a range of emotion and her acting skills are impressive.   Gyllenhaal’s and Whitaker’s relationship and chemistry is what makes the film enjoyable. The two men have a understanding of each other and know what motivates each other. These two actors bring it every time. Whitaker has an Academy Award for best actor on his mantle but this movie might get Gyllenhaal his first one. The plot has underlying dark themes but the ending makes you feel hopefulness in your life. The boxing scenes are realistic and Gyllenhaal did get hurt a few times while filming the movie.

Overall, Southpaw is a good sports movie. The actors gave stellar performances. It’s a hard R movie; therefore, parents don’t take your children with you. I noticed a few kids in the theater, and they don’t need to hear the language in the movie. Southpaw gets 3.5 out 5.


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