Get us in your inbox


  • Film
  • 2 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars
David Mamet has always been preoccupied with aggressive competition between men, so it’s only natural that he should make a film about fighting. Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Mike Terry, a principled martial arts teacher who’s married to Sondra (Alice Braga), the daughter of a Brazilian fighting clan, and is too noble, or humble, or something, to compete. A series of bad turns involving a protégé, a jittery lawyer (Emily Mortimer), a dodgy movie star (Tim Allen) and his dodgier factotum (Joe Mantegna) raises the stakes, however, and before long that big-money contest is looking tempting…

Ejiofor (right) appears in nearly every scene and does a fine job with both the fighting and the slightly precious sermonising required of him, but Mamet has tackled these subjects – alpha-male rivalry, conjuring deception, threatened principles – before and to better effect. The plotting is  contrived, the supporting characters two-dimensional, and the ending slides from predictable to absurd to maudlin.
Written by Ben Walters

Release Details

  • Rated:15
  • Release date:Friday 26 September 2008
  • Duration:99 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:David Mamet
  • Cast:
    • Chiwetel Ejiofor
    • Tim Allen
    • Alice Braga
    • Emily Mortimer
    • Joe Mantegna
    • Ricky Jay
    • David Paymer
    • Rebecca Pidgeon
You may also like
You may also like