Bleed for This ★★★★

This is a cliché boxing movie, but if you don't like cliché boxing movies then you are not fully human.

I loved the real conflict of this movie because that conflict becomes the conflict viewers (or at least, this viewer) feels while watching: do you let Vinny (Miles Teller) potentially hurt himself--and those who care for him--permanently and catastrophically in order to continue pursuing his dream, or do you force him to realize the risk and how hurtful he's being to others, and find some other dream? It's tricky. It's his life and he can live it how he wants, but his lack of understanding the risk, or just not wanting to live any other way, is frustrating to watch. Frustrating, and also thought-provoking. I didn't want to stop watching because I wanted to see how that played out both for the characters and my own feelings about it.

The only thing missing from this cliché boxing movie is the background and reason for Vinny's drive--I don't think we ever learned how he got into boxing, why he cares about it so much, and why he's willing to die for it. I get he's a strong personality, but that's not enough. And that's all that prevents this from reaching 4.5 stars for me.

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