Hands of Stone Review


Photo courtesy of the Weinstein company

Rating: 2 out of 5

Hands of Stone is, in a word, passable. Although it does a decent job of telling lightweight boxer Roberto Duran’s story, it lacks the ability to pull the viewer in and leave them wanting more.

After hearing of world class boxer Roberto Duran (Edgar Ramirez) and his struggle to fame, renowned boxing trainer Ray Arcel (Robert De Niro) decides to come out of retirement to mentor the lightweight sensation. After an extensive winning streak, Duran challenges lightweight champion Sugar Ray Leonard (Usher) to a rematch that shocked the world.

The main fault with this movie is that it can’t seem to find a center. It switches between various plot lines, not allowing the more important aspects of Duran’s life to have nearly enough screen time. Viewers aren’t given enough time to fully understand the dynamics in the rivalry with Leonard or the extent of his relationship with his trainer. This also caused little attachment to the character providing viewers less investment in the movie.

The non-linear plot line felt scattered at times, but overall gave the movie the unique touch it needed to stay relevant. Providing a look at Duran’s past and his strife to make it as a professional boxer helped to establish a connection between viewers and Duran, and keep them from leaving the theater. The only stand out actor here was Robert De Niro, and even he struggled to engage the audience.

Unless you’re a sports movie fanatic, I would recommend you save your money on this one and go rent 2015’s Creed, a better boxing movie.

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