In a wide pool of boxing films this year, including Hands of Stone, The Bleeder, and now Bleed for This, none seem to have gained the upper hand. Premiering this weekend at the Telluride Film Festival, Ben Younger’s Bleed for This opened to a mixed critical reception, but did, however, manage to tread water thanks to a strong performance from its star Miles Teller (Whiplash).
Indiewire’s review warns audiences that if they have never seen a boxing movie, to not start with this one. The film tells the true amazing comeback story of Vinny ‘Paz’ Pazienza, who returned to boxing after suffering debilitating injuries from a near fatal car crash. Critics seem to nearly be unanimous in saying that Younger’s film is riddled with cliches, with the filmmaker unable to separate the individual’s accomplishments and triumph from a poorly paced and melodramatic story arc.
Teller, on the other hand, looks to be carrying the dramatic and emotional weight of the film, effortlessly translating the intensity he brought to Whiplash to a sport and character possessing equal vigor. Variety gave the actor a major nod, saying “All eyes are on Teller in a role that powerfully reinforces what a charismatic performer he is, whether pummeling an opponent in the ring or flirting with any woman who crosses his path…”.
Bleed for This also stars Aaron Eckhart and Katey Sagal. It will open in select theaters on November 4 before its wide opening on November 23. See the trailer below.