Southpaw – A Movie Review by David

SOUTHPAW is a 2015 sports drama film starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Forest Whitaker. The movie is about a boxer who lost his wife in an accident and daughter to a child shelter struggling to get his daughter back in his arms.

This movie has a nice direction and story which I will talk about later. Be aware of coming spoilers!

The greatest parts of the movie were the soundtrack by Eminem and the acting performances of the cast including such powerful film stars as Jake Gyllenhaal, Forest Whitaker and Oona Laurence.  

Eminem’s soundtrack fits with the plot and pacing perfectly. Its major featured song was King’s Never Die, lyrics that matched with the story. I felt my heart beat with the rhythm and was very inspired as the movie played in the background. 

As to the story . . .

spoiler alert


Billy “The Great” Hope is a boxer who has an orthodox infighting style. (What? Then why is the title named “SOUTHPAW”? I’ll mention it below, But you’d better watch the movie and check it yourself!) He takes blows well and has a really strong one-shot punch. That’s why he could succeed though he doesn’t have many techniques.

The other reason for his success is his wife Maureen. They grew up together in an orphanage. When Billy was having a hard time Maureen always was there and encouraged him. 

But, because Billy’s boxing style was so tough, Maureen was concerned about him and told him not to play any more games for the time. 

Meanwhile, on the way back home from a charity event that Billy participated in, Miguel Escobar (a boxer who wants to make a rivalry with Billy and provoked him many times) provoked Billy. Despite Maureen telling him to just ignore Miguel and leave the place, Billy couldn’t ignore him and fought with Miguel on impulse. When the people in the event were distracted by the commotion, Miguel’s guard shot a gun, and accidentally killed Maureen.

He lost his wife Maureen and couldn’t keep his mind alright. He was badly defeated in the next match, and was even disciplined for hitting the referee. As a result he paid a large fine and cancellation charge and started to be ruined. And afterward his manager and coach abandoned him to be with Miguel. 

To make matters worse the court ordered him to send his daughter to a child shelter until his mind was back. It seemed absolutely ‘Hope’less.

Billy, losing everything, thought about an opponent who he had beaten but had made him struggle to win. He visited the gym run by the former boxer Tick Wills. He was a coach of the opponent that made Billy struggle. Billy persuaded Tick to train him. 

At first Tick didn’t like Billy. But Billy’s changing attitude changed Tick’s thoughts as well. Eventually Tick taught Billy southpaw and defending skills. At that time he played some event matches and proved a steady income with his mind alright so that he could get his daughter back. Yes, Billy regained ‘Hope’.

As the punishment was over, Billy got a chance to try to take back his title. The opponent was Miguel, who was the champion at that time, taking advantage of Billy’s downfall.

Though Miguel was a formidable opponent, Billy finally beat him and the last punch that made Miguel fall down was ‘SOUTHPAW’.

Overall ★X4.5

Style ★X5

Story ★X4

Cinematography ★X5

Characters ★X4

Published by Damien Lee Hanson

I am the founder of Damien Hanson Books. Come check out awesome authors right here at my website!

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