“Southpaw” Reviews Round-Up

Since “Southpaw” is released in (U.S.) theaters starting today we decided to make another review round-up. This is a follow up to our first round-up – which was based on the first reviews released after the 18th edition of the Shanghai International Film Festival screening. The movie currently holds a 56% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and 56 metascore on Meta Critics. Most of the reviews are positive but (some) critics point out that the movie is flawed by it’s cliche storyline. However, in general the critics do praise the cast for their performances. We will round-up the reviews in this post and we will – as always – focus on the Rachel-centered excerpts.

“Despite being dominated by Gyllenhaal’s method-like performance, Southpaw also boasts a terrific – if atypical – supporting cast. Rachel McAdams is absolutely perfect as Billy’s eternally loyal wife. Clearly the brains behind his career, she expertly mixes toughness (she’s supposed to have grown up “in the system”) with vulnerability and the chemistry between her and Gyllenhaal is white-hot. This, paired with her work on True Detective, is going to make a lot of people see McAdams in a new light, with her bringing a real earthiness to the part.”
Chris Bumbray, JoBlo

Southpaw” is currently playing nationwide in the U.S. and is also released in the U.K., Ireland and Canada. More reviews excerpts can be found after the jump!

“Rachel McAdams is Southpaw’s right hook. The True Detective star briefly appears as Hope’s no-bullshit wife, Maureen. She’s electric. This is a McAdams we don’t get in her pent-up procedural role. She stands up to the brawny, growling Gyllenhaal without missing a beat.”
Matt Patches, Esquire

“He [Billy Hope, played by Jake Gyllenhaal] is a complicated man, and no one understands him but his woman, but she’s the ideal partner. She handles his business, calms him down, sees into his depths and makes him laugh. And because she’s played by Rachel McAdams, who exudes confidence and competence, we know he’s in good hands.”
Mick LaSalle, The San Francisco Chronicle

3,5/4 stars
“While Southpaw will surprise almost no one who has seen a fair amount of boxing movies, Fuqua’s direction and the excellent performances keep the action humming.”
Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun Times

“For the most part, however, Southpaw is a terrific boxing movie, with choreographed violence emphasizing the sport’s speed rather than its poetry in slow motion […] Rachel McAdams is really good as Billy’s supportive wife, Maureen”
Steve Persall, Tampa Bay Times

3/5 stars
“The sharp performances and committed cinematography elevate this stock drama to something beyond routine […] Playing Billy’s wife Maureen, Rachel McAdams delivers a strong and edgy performance as well.”
Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle

“People can talk all they want about Gyllenhaal reinventing himself physically for “Southpaw,” but as Maureen, Rachel McAdams does an impressive reinvention job in an atypically gritty role, without all the gym time.”
Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribute

“McAdams, strong and smoldering, is explosively good.”
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

“Southpaw overrides its cliché overload because of the intense chemistry between Gyllenhaal and McAdams. Both Billy and Maureen came up from the projects together, and their devotion to each other is ferociously believable. (This is probably the best work McAdams has done in the movies.)”
Peter Rainer, CS Monitor

“The supporting cast also is very fine, particularly McAdams and young Lawrence, and Whitaker looks like he was born into his role. Southpaw might not rewrite the rules of this genre, but it certainly is a sterling addition to a great legacy of movies set in the ring.”
Pete Hammond, Deadline

“Gyllenhaal creates quite a layered character, but his performance wouldn’t mean much if he wasn’t surrounded by a cast all doing their best work. Gyllenhaal has some great moments with Rachel McAdams as his wife, and Forest Whitaker is particularly impressive. More than just a boxing movie as much as a character drama that plays well within the genre, Southpaw is a captivating film mainly due to the performance by Jake Gyllenhaal whose acting has reached another level. It’s about as close to a modern-day street level Rocky we may ever see.”
Edward Douglas, ComingSoon.net

“Gyllenhaal and McAdams have a tender and intriguing dynamic, leading one to wonder whether this not-based-on-a-true story movie would have gone in a more interesting direction had screenwriter Kurt Sutter kept the focus on their marriage.”
Mara Reinstein, US Weekly

“McAdams has more to do than I worried she would, and is, as ever, slightly better than the material. Her Northeast accent may be a little blurry—I detected Bayonne by way of Revere—but she gives Maureen more tangible humanity than her “I’m worried about you, baby” character might otherwise get.”
Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair

“McAdams and Gyllenhaal have great chemistry together that the movie immediately misses when she’s off screen.”
Gregory Ellwood, HitFix

“The performance turned in by Jake Gyllenhaal highlights one of the more impressive sports movies in recent memory. His family, wife Maureen played by the wonderful Rachel McAdams.”
Cody Stoots, CBC Houston

“McAdams is on a good, grittier run of late. The solid acting, led by Gyllenhaal and Whitaker, liven up the clichés, and Fuqua’s deep affection for the sport gives the movie a brisk, entertaining earnestness.”
Jake Coyle, Associated Press

“Again, he’s the highlight, but the secret weapon I haven’t mentioned yet is Rachel McAdams, who nearly steals the first act away from Gyllenhaal. It’s their chemistry that makes her so good here, as on her own she’s not quite as impressive as she is. McAdams is very good though, showing business end of Billy’s operation as well as the personal side we wouldn’t see otherwise. Her part changes before the midway point though, so she lacks the full screen time needed to really make a play, or else I’d say she should be one of many in the hunt for a Best Supporting Actress nomination […] The script by Kurt Sutter is all about grit and intensity, but it also loves sports cliches a little too much. I’m not sure if Fuqua needed a more unique script in order to make this shine or if Sutter needed a more visionary director, but they both settle for good instead of great. Outside of Gyllenhaal (and to a lesser extent McAdams), everyone does.”
Joey Magidson, Award Circuit

1 Comment on ““Southpaw” Reviews Round-Up”

  1. See nomination for an Emmy and Oscar come around! And I see victories in both events for Rachel ! It deserves, is a GREAT actress and have been growing alarmingly , I see someone in the footsteps of Meryl Streep !

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