Bleed for This
Release Date: November 4 (limited); November 18 (wide)
Director: Ben Younger
Cast: Miles Teller, Aaron Eckhart, Katey Sagal, Ted Levine
This is, it must be noted, a recommendation with reservations – several moments in Ben Younger’s boxing melodrama are so clichéd, they could drop into an Airplane-style spoof movie with no adjustment (Eckhart is first seen sprawled on the floor of his gym, empty bottle in hand, as sad piano music plays), and its gender politics are so retro, they might as well’ve called it Madonna/Whore Complex: The Movie. But it tells a remarkable story well, with a lived-in feel that mostly manages to transcend the unavoidable been-there-done-that quality of the enterprise, drilling down a traditional sports story to its universal essence: the despair of being good at one thing, and then knowing you can never do that thing again. Teller makes for a convincing Jersey brawler, but Eckhart’s busted-out trainer and Levine’s slimy-ish promoter (who always talks outta the side out his mouth) steal the show.