The Iron Claw


The Iron Claw
Sons. Brothers. Champions.

Release Date: 2023-12-21
Original Language: English
User Score: 7.573/10 (681 votes)
Popularity: 58.66
Genres: Drama, History
Where to watch: A NOSOTROS US / United States:Max, Max Amazon ChannelMax Amazon Channel

Overview: 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.

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A Review by Manuel São Bento
Written on 2023-12-21

FULL SPOILER-FREE REVIEW @ "The Iron Claw offers a compelling exploration of how strong passion can mutate into an unhealthy obsession and its impact on a legendary family, highly elevated by powerful, committed performances. Despite some questionable inaccuracies and omissions that punctuate the narrative, Sean Durkin is able to encourage reflection on the delicate balance between success and tragedy in pursuing a family legacy. Well-executed wrestling sequences bring some entertainment value to the big screen, but the profoundly sad story at the core of this film makes it an overall tough watch." Rating: B

A Review by r96sk
Written on 2024-02-09

<em>'The Iron Claw'</em> is quite the depressing watch! A lot of the story you can see coming from a decent ways away, even for someone like me who previously knew nothing about this family, but that only adds to the tinge of sadness that is present in the film from pretty much the get-go. The film does a grand job at making sure that events onscreen move along at a good pace, especially as some parts could've (but don't) felt repetitive if told differently. There's an excellent showing from Zac Efron in this, such a great performance from that man. I also appreciated Holt McCallany, as well as the likes of Jeremy Allen White and Harris Dickinson. The Von Erich family are portrayed well, though it is a shame that I read that they left out brother Chris - I do get the reasoning as to why, but I feel like they should've found a way to at least acknowledge his existence. All things considered, though, this 2023 release is tremendous. Highly recommended.

A Review by CinemaSerf
Written on 2024-02-15

Oh well, looks like I might be in the minority here - but what is all the fuss about? A domineering patriarch (Holt McCallany) is determined that all four of his sons will succeed in a wrestling ring where he didn't. His sons "Kevin" (Zac Efron) and "David" (Harrison Dicksinson) are destined to work for a shot at the world title, "Kerry" (Jeremy Allen White) for Olympic glory and finally "Mike" (Stanley Simons) - the more creative, musically minded, one brings up the rear. President Jimmy Carter and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan puts paid to the Olympic ambitions and so now the three siblings can work together to climb the rankings in Texas and maybe earn a shot at the world title. Meantime, plastic Zac falls in love with Pam (Lily James) and it's at their wedding that Kevin discovers his dad's favourite (David) might not be doing so well. Tragedy ensues, indeed an whole slew of tragedies follow the Von Erich family as their dogged pursuit of glory causes the family to reel from one disaster to another - without anyone seeming to learn from it! Now as family dramas go, it's a sad story - no doubt about that. As a piece of cinema, it merely marries a fairly mediocre script with living proof that the spirit of method acting is alive and well. Certainly these men have put their bodies through the mill, and the fight scenes do impress - but none of the rest of it looks or feels real. Their characters are under-cooked, the dynamic between the boys and the parents, their mother (Maura Tierney) especially, is scarcely addressed and by the time we reach the historically accurate conclusion, I found myself completely devoid of sympathy or empathy for a family that had no grasp of what was important. There's a touching line at the end about brotherhood, but it was all just too little too late in a story of obsession and ambition that just didn't engage me at all.

A Review by Louisa Moore - Screen Zealots
Written on 2024-07-17

First things first: “The Iron Claw” isn’t so much a movie about wrestling as it is a movie about family. Those expecting a traditional, feel-good biographical sports film may be slightly disappointed by this heart wrenching, hard-hitting drama from writer / director Sean Durkin. He brings the true story of the Von Erich brothers to the screen in one of the saddest movies of the year, and this tragic tale will absolutely rip your heart out. In the competitive world of professional wresting in the early 1980s, West Texas family the Von Erichs were a household name. Led by their demanding father Fritz (Holt McCallany), the four brothers, Kevin (Zac Efron), David (Harris Dickinson), Kerry (Jeremy Allen White), and Mike (Stanley Simons) would often wrestle together and battle opponents in the ring. One of their main claims to fame was the popularization of the iron claw pro wrestling hold, a move that would almost always insure victory over the opposition. The family left a legacy in the sports world, but also had their share of personal demons. Over the years, the brothers had to fight something much more serious: years of misfortune and a string of personal tragedies that were believed to be a result of the “Von Erich curse.” Durkin’s film is one of tragedy and triumph, and it’s packed with unbridled masculinity. With a domineering father who was more of a coach than a caring dad to a quietly suffering mother (a wonderfully understated Maura Tierney), the Von Erich brothers turned to the biggest stage in sports to seek immortality as athletes. Some of the brothers took to the spotlight (and the sport) better than others, but all of them wrestled to earn their father’s approval. The story is a painful one, and it’s made even more so because the family is so likeable. These aren’t inherently bad people, but it’s a sad reality that really awful things happen to good people. The Von Erichs are a clan that suffered far, far more than their fair share of tragedies. Everything about the film clicks, with the directing, writing, storytelling, and acting working together in harmony. Efron is nothing short of breathtaking with a performance that is incredibly demanding both emotionally and physically (his physique is startling, and he’s so buff it’s borderline scary). White and Dickinson hold their own in equally strong supporting roles, and Simons’ gentle turn as their youngest, most sensitive brother is highly affecting. The film has its cliché-ridden moments, but Durkin’s vision is fully realized across the board. The wrestling scenes in the ring are perfectly edited and thrilling, and the highly emotional, dramatic scenes leave an impact. “The Iron Claw” definitely is not a feel-good movie, and it is at times unbearably sad. But this is a beautifully made film that chronicles the rise, fall, and unfathomable misfortune that befell one of the most influential families in the sport of wrestling. By: Louisa Moore / SCREEN ZEALOTS

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