Gavin O'Connor (2011)

12A Certificate


Our Score
This rousing mix of sports and family drama from writer/director Gavin O'Connor makes an impact from its very first scene. Sitting drunk on his estranged father's doorstep, Tommy Conlon (Tom Hardy) cuts a dark and brooding figure, bubbling with pent-up anger. Little time is wasted explaining how he got there, but it becomes evident that his alcoholic father (an Oscar-nominated Nick Nolte) divided the family, leading the young Conlon brothers to take very different paths: the elder, Brendan (Joel Edgerton), throwing in a promising career as a fighter to become a high-school teacher; and the younger, Tommy, joining the marines. Reconciliation seems impossible, with bitterness and resentment on all sides, until the brothers enter a mixed martial arts tournament. The pace of the story is thrilling, with snatches of family history never undermining the action, and it's all brought to a head in a tremendously emotional finale that rivals Rocky. Hardy certainly makes for a commanding screen presence, with Edgerton just as compelling, and it's their intense investment in the characters that makes the film as powerful as one of Tommy Conlon's knockout punches.


Two estranged brothers are drawn to enter a mixed martial arts tournament, one a military veteran looking for a way to escape his troubled past, the other a struggling teacher who needs the prize money to support his family. As they progress through the contest, both emerge as likely winners - putting them on course to face each other in the final. Drama, with Joel Edgerton, Tom Hardy and Nick Nolte.

Cast & Crew

Tommy Conlon Tom Hardy
Brendan Conlon Joel Edgerton
Paddy Conlon Nick Nolte
Tess Conlon Jennifer Morrison
Frank Campana Frank Grillo
Principal Zito Kevin Dunn
Bryan Callen Bryan Callen
Koba Kurt Angle
Dan Taylor Noah Emmerich
Director Gavin O'Connor
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: LionsgateGuidance: Violence, swearing.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 23 Sep 2011