A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
No matter what circumstances you come from, you can find a way to transcend them and become a good citizen, especially if you have the support of a loving family and a network of true friends.
Positive Role Models
Maureen/Mo loves her famous boxer husband for all the right reasons. She's not afraid to tell him harsh truths, even if he doesn't want to hear them, and she's an engaged, dedicated mother and a smart businesswoman. Billy has loved his wife since they were teens (and remains devoted). His wife and child mean more to him than any material goods, and he's a loyal friend.
Violence & Scariness
No punches are pulled when it comes to showing the price that a brutal fight exacts: There are plenty of close-ups of gaping wounds, boxers vomiting blood, swollen and battered faces, bleeding gums, knockout punches, and more. Plus, a gun goes off in the middle of a brawl, killing an important character. Another person is shown holding a different gun, seemingly contemplating suicide. He also points the gun at a mother and her children.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A woman is shown astride a man; her underwear is showing, and he's groping her; it's clear they're about to have sex. Scantily clad women are shown marching around a boxing ring.
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Frequent strong language includes "f--k," "s--t," "damn," "p---y," "bitch," and more.
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Products & Purchases
Brands/products shown include Cartier, Maserati, Adidas, Minute Maid, Dasani, Everlast, iPhone, Bud Light, HBO, Coca-Cola, Caesar's Palace.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
One character drinks a lot. Frank discussion about whether someone is "on" something.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Southpaw is a deeply compelling drama (starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Rachel McAdams) that shows boxing at its most brutal and dispiriting. Violent fight scenes include close-ups of gaping wounds, boxers vomiting blood, knockout punches, and more. Plus, a gun goes off in the middle of a brawl, killing an important character. But almost even harder to watch is the way the movie shows how the sport, depending on how you approach it, can change you and lure hangers-on. Expect plenty of swearing ("f--k," "s--t," and more), some drinking, implied sex, scantily clad women, and plenty of label-flashing. But the main characters have been devoted to each other since they were in their teens, and they love their daughter. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Far from original, SOUTHPAW ticks off every boxing film standard: Everyman fighter, ultra-supportive wife, Phoenix-rising-from-the-ashes story line culminating in the fight of the century. Southpaw even features a hard-driving hip-hop soundtrack that meshes perfectly with jump-roping scenes and footwork-and-punching practice -- shot beautifully by director Antoine Fuqua -- and the requisite encouraging speech that inspires one man to dig deep for one last shot at redemption. They're all part of this movie, and we've seen them all before.
And yet Southpaw is a tour-de-force, thanks in large part to outstanding performances from the cast, most notably an utterly transformed Gyllenhaal. He's ferocious and vulnerable and believable, sometimes all at once. See the movie for Gyllenhaal alone, though it helps that nearly all of his co-stars are also in fine form. He and McAdams share a great chemistry, and he clicks with Whitaker, too -- a crucial element in this genre. When the coach and his chastened pupil go to battle in Las Vegas for what may be the biggest fight of Billy's life, we want to be there with them to witness it all, even if we already know what will happen next.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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