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3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

This should have been something truly remarkable: a peerless cast of playing-against-type Hollywood bigwigs, a director whose track record (‘Capote’, ‘Moneyball’) screams quality and a real-life story that speaks to timely themes of wealth, privilege and exploitation. But somehow ‘Foxcatcher’ is more fascinating curio than genuine heavy-hitter: intense, thoughtful and studded with startling moments, it’s just too dour and muted to ever properly catch fire.

Channing Tatum gives the performance of his career as Mark Schultz, the bruised but unbowed Olympic wrestler who signs up to a new training centre run by oddball millionaire John DuPont (Steve Carell), the scion of a serious old-money family. Grasping the chance to escape the shadow of his successful older brother (Mark Ruffalo), Schultz Jr falls increasingly under DuPont’s malign, mesmerising influence.

It’s hard to say exactly what’s at fault here: the performances are flawless – Carell fully justifies his unlikely casting, while Ruffalo is as dependable as ever –  and the script is astute, intimate and at times shocking. But there’s just no real life in the film: aiming for a tone of studied foreboding, director Bennett Miller instead sucks all the energy from his story. ‘Foxcatcher’, then, is something of a failure – but it’s a peculiarly compelling and indelible one.

Release Details

  • Release date:Friday 9 January 2015
  • Duration:130 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Bennett Miller
  • Screenwriter:E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman
  • Cast:
    • Channing Tatum
    • Steve Carell
    • Mark Ruffalo
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