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Parents' Guide to


By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Inspirational yet troubling, edgy doc about female boxer.

Movie NR 2016 90 minutes
T-Rex Poster Image

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This skillful, intuitive documentary manages to read between the lines, capturing something quite a bit deeper than a typical sports story, finding bitter desperation along with victory. Co-directed by Zackary Canepari and Drea Cooper, T-Rex has the expected training sequences, interviews, details about women's boxing, and, of course, some actual matches. Some of the latter turn into painful defeats, and some are happy victories.

But what really comes out are the harsh, desperate living conditions in Flint, Mich., and the desperate hope that everyone surrounding Claressa will be able to hitch themselves to a gold medal and get out. Her trainer, Jason, is subtly but constantly battling with his dreams and his ego, and Claressa is stuck between fame and still having to struggle to pay a water bill. Even so, the filmmakers latch on to an unstoppable streak in Claressa, and things end on a hopeful note. (As of June, 2016, she qualified for the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.)

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