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the iron claw

★★★★★

starring: zac efron, jeremy allen white, harris dickinson, and lily james 

REVIEWER: lyall carter

The true story of the inseparable Von Erich brothers, who made history in the intensely competitive world of professional wrestling in the early 1980s.

One of the truly magical things about going to the cinema is walking into a screening not quite knowing what to expect and coming out a couple of hours later wondering, in the best possible way, what the heck you just watched. The Iron Claw is one of those rare films that induces such a response. With harrowing, brutal blows both in the ring and out of it, The Iron Claw is a rare cinematic experience these days: a full blown, ensemble drama that will stay firmly in your mind and heart long after the credits roll. 

 

The true story of the inseparable Von Erich brothers, who made history in the intensely competitive world of professional wrestling in the early 1980s. Through tragedy and triumph, under the shadow of their domineering father and coach, the brothers seek larger-than-life immortality on the biggest stage in sports.

 

The first thing that smacks you right in the face in The Iron Claw is Zac Efron. Gone is the poster boy grin from his High School Musical Days and before you stands a beefed up, weight on his shoulders grown man. The dramatic physical transformation mirrors his evolution as an actor. Efron is incredible here with a perfectly balanced performance which, especially in the final scene of the film, will have you in floods of tears. 

 

And the old adage is true: they don’t make movies like this anymore. Well, at least not for the silver screen. This is a full blown, ensemble drama that will hold you in its iron claw grip (I’m so sorry - I had to) and never really let you go. And its emotionally harrowing as the Von Erich family reel from one tragedy to the next with the ever present sense of the burden imposed by their domineering father (Holt McCallany is magnificent here) hanging over them.

 

With harrowing, brutal blows both in the ring and out of it, The Iron Claw is a rare cinematic experience these days: a full blown, ensemble drama that will stay firmly in your mind and heart long after the credits roll.

★★★★★

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