Wednesday, June 17, 2015
I'm always a bit baffled when critics seem surprised that Jake Gyllenhaal can act. Last year's Nightcrawler was overpraised, in my view, because of his go-for-broke, Taxi Driver-like intensity; had everyone forgotten how good he was in everything from Brokeback Mountain to Zodiac to Enemy? I imagine there might be a similar reaction to his performance in Southpaw, a gritty boxing drama in which he plays a mumbling, raw pugilist looking for a shot at redemption. He gives his all, but this film is awfully familiar. I reviewed Southpaw for Screen International.