Born and Bred

Film
2 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

By the time Justin Frimmer's documentary on underage pugilists finally enters into the boxing ring, there's no mistaking the Greater Meaning of It All: For teenage Olympic hopefuls Oscar, Javier and Victor, the sport is their only shot at fame and economic stability. Frimmer spent years in East L.A. charting the trio's exhaustive training and eventual bouts, but his meandering, repetitive interviews dilute the sport's intensity, while his rigorously linear approach buries the suspense. Once Javier lands a primo trials slot, the sense that every jab is a life-changer truly hits home. It's the sort of harrowing clarity you wish Born's flabby, hour-long prologue hadn't KO'd entirely.

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