TIFF 2018 Review: DONNYBROOK (USA 2018) ***

Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2018. Go to TIFF 2018 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.

Donnybrook Poster
Two men prepare to compete in a legendary bare-knuckle fight where the winner gets a $100,000 prize.


Tim Sutton


Tim Sutton

  Jamie Bell is all pumped up in the role of an ex-marine trying to get out of drugs.  Drugs are bad!  His wife is addicted and he has to escape the wrath of a meth cook/dealer.  The story eventually ends with the two men — the ex-marine, Earl who struggles to provide for his family and that violent drug dealer with an undefeated fighting record — competing in the Donnybrook, a legendary, bare-knuckle brawl with a cash prize of $100,000.  
 Sutton’s film is not perfect, choppy and paints an unflattering look of America – best envisioned by a woman singing of the U.S. National amidst having a drag of her cigarette.  It is an America of clandestine drug deals, shady motel rooms, alcohol-fuelled brawls, and abandoned dreams.  
The film depends largely on Bell, who thankfully is believable as a tough guy though not believable to be tough enough to fight his opponent.