London Film Festival Day 5: Voyage Of Time, Bleed For This, Certain Women & More

3. Bleed For This

Bleed For This Miles Teller Aaron Eckhart
Open Road Films

Ben Younger's (Prime) first film in a decade may for the most part follow the sports drama playbook to a T, but thanks to solid work from Miles Teller and an excellent return to form for Aaron Eckhart, this biopic of Vinny Pazienza mostly hits its markers.

Pazienza's comeback to title stardom after being involved in a brutal car crash is nothing short of miraculous, and credit to Teller, who conveys the anguish and determination of Paz even though he bears only a cursory resemblance to him.

The actual boxing is fairly minimal here and Younger instead focuses keenly on the drama of Paz's pre-accident hubris and then his indefatigable desire to get back on top once again. It's just as well, because the fights themselves are directed with a certain anonymous perfunctoriness: entertaining for sure, but Younger's heart is more in the outside-the-ring drama.

Rating: It's a familiar story well told, with Aaron Eckhart giving his best performance in years as Paz's fiercely committed trainer, while Teller acquits himself far more ably in the role than most probably expected. 7/10


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.