The Iron Claw

The Iron Claw ★★★★

The Iron Claw is a sad and dark movie, of tragedy and depression. It is a searing look at masculinity and the pursuit of success over happiness. The film tells a quintessentially American story, about a sport which is competitive yet planned, creating a spectacle of meritocracy. The Iron Claw is about men chasing the dream of someone else, doing what they are told by patriarchal authority and losing sight of everything. The film is constructed in a classic way that feels like something from a few decades ago, though its repetitive darkness seems more confrontational. In some ways it is a strength of The Iron Claw that it ultimately becomes a film of survival. At its centre is a doomed family, so the story is about coping with that burden. It's dramatically compelling and strongly realised. The Iron Claw becomes much more than a retelling of events, instead crafting a fiction out of history to emphasise the psychological pains of the characters. With compelling performances and an artful style, The Iron Claw is a superior sports drama that works on multiple levels.

2023 Ranked

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