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Tag: Jake Gyllenhaal

“Southpaw”—Left-handed Compliment

The boxing movie genre—Raging Bull, Rocky, Million Dollar Baby, The Fighter (see July 11, 2011 review)—is commonly tackled in movies because of its inherent drama and overt conflict between the protagonist, a down-and-out boxer and a champion. “Southpaw” neatly fits into this mold, but the story has some interesting surprises, not just a re-tread of previous boxing blockbusters. Of course, it is a story about how life knocks you down—literally—only to force the protagonist back onto his or her feet. Through Antoine Fuqua’s sensitive direction, excellent dialogue and performances, “Southpaw”...

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“Prisoners”: Kidnapping Your Mind

  This provocative film opens with a father and son hunting in the woods, the Lord’s Prayer recited in voiceover.  The viewer sees the father, Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) as a deeply religious man, a carpenter who believes in family values and the safety of his community.  When his little girl and her friend go missing on Thanksgiving Day, the world he has believed in is destroyed. “Prisoners” is a powerful tale of human nature gone awry.  What are parents capable of in their darkest moment, when their worst nightmare happens? Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) is put in...

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