• Trust Weighted Really Great
  • 83 Trust Points

On Demand

Netflix On Demand

Not Available

Amazon Instant Video On Demand

$9.99 Buy

iTunes On Demand

Rent from $3.99


Not Available

Tag Tree


Wick's Review

Created Dec 12, 2014 11:59PM PST • Edited Mar 09, 2019 04:14AM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Really Great 4.5

    Channing Tatum’s tortured performance as Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler Mark Schultz anchors Foxcatcher. Mark Ruffalo and Steve Carell orbit above him as Dave Schultz, his older brother and fellow Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler, and John du Pont, the crazy rich guy who murdered one of them.

    Foxcatcher has particular resonance for me, since it’s based on a true-crime story with Silicon Valley roots. The legendary Schultz brothers are from Palo Alto, so the news that an heir to the Du Pont fortune killed one had quite an impact in 1996. Utterly senseless then, the movie now provides some closure by showing how unhinged and drug-addled Du Pont was, making his still senseless crime somewhat understandable.

    Bennett Miller has crafted another atmospheric masterpiece with Foxcatcher, sort of a cross between the incisive sports insight of Moneyball, his previous movie, and the true-crime celebrity of Capote, his first.

    Regarding incisive sports, Foxcatcher unthrones Win Win as the greatest ever wrestling movie.

    The Schultz Brothers are legendary wrestlers for many reasons – California State Champions, NCAA Champions at Oklahoma, 1984 Olympic Gold Medalists in Los Angeles, World Champs beyond that.

    Foxcatcher vividly captures world-class match action, brutal weight loss and other spot-on details.

    Ready? Wrestle!

  3. Really Great 4.5

    Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo essay Mark & Dave Schultz, America’s Greatest Wrestling Brothers. Their performances involve much grappling with each other, literally manifesting fraternal love & conflict.

    Ruffalo’s Dave Schultz was the older, outgoing Schultz brother. A great American wrestler in his own right, Ruffalo plays him as a wrestling savant, a guy who walks on the balls of his feet. Fraternally, Dave is also presented as Mark Schultz’s coach and male role model.

    Tatum’s Mark Schultz gets played as a neurotic wreck, which isn’t how he comes across when interviewed. Cinematic ploy or not, this Oscar-caliber performance is physical as hell. Is it any surprise that Channing Tatum can credibly play a world-class wrestler? Uh, no. Wrestling aside, the psychological clinches complete his intense performance. How many moviestars have both sides? Many can play internal agony, few can credibly wrestle, with the intersection of those who can do both vanishingly small.

    Steve Carell plays John Eleuthère du Pont, American multimillionaire, philanthropist, and wrestling enthusiast, not to mention alcoholic coke-head. Carell sports a phony proboscis half the size of Delaware and mouth-molding that harks back to Brando’s Don Corleone. Given how over-the-top the role is, Carell wisely underplays it, which seems accurate to the real John E. du Pont. Carell long ago proved to be a great actor, recently proved it again in The Way, Way Back, and underscores it as Foxcather’s Golden Eagle.

    The women in their lives are played strongly by Vanessa Redgrave, as John du Pont’s mother Jean Liseter Austin du Pont, and wanly by Sienna Miller, as Dave Schultz’s wife Nancy Schultz. It’s worth noting that the real Nancy Schultz is very pleased with the movie.

  4. Male Stars Perfect 5.0

    Tatum, Ruffalo & Carell

  5. Female Stars Great 4.0
  6. Female Costars Great 4.0
  7. Male Costars Great 4.0
  8. Really Great 4.5

    Bennett Miller directing from a Dan Futterman script is a recipe for greatness, as they showed with Capote.

    Their film flies over-the-top of achievement and power, viewing people primarily as moral actors in their own lives. This makes it personal, yet limited.

  9. Direction Really Great 4.5
  10. Play Really Great 4.5

    The screenplay rides on a central duality: Du Pont maintained the Great Schultz Brothers like his Mother maintained championship horses. He was derisive of her horseflesh, with no insight into his own habits.

  11. Music Great 4.0
  12. Visuals Perfect 5.0

    Foxcatcher is a visual feast, with a trove of awesome scenes.

    To this Son of Pennsylvania, I most appreciated the scenes of driving through a perfect PA countryside.

  13. Content
  14. Risqué 1.6
  15. Sex Innocent 1.0
  16. Violence Fierce 2.1
  17. Rudeness Salty 1.6
  18. Glib 1.2

    For filmic purposes, Bennett Miller, Dan Futterman and Max Frye seem to have conjured up a second tortured soul to pair with John du Pont’s. This gives them license to minimize Mark Schultz’s Olympian accomplishments and heighten his internal anguish, even if not true to his real-life persona.

    They also engage in significant time compression.

    Filmic tomfoolery aside, the true story is one of sad excess.

    To wit, it’s not hard to believe that a drunken coke-head would up and shoot a guy over an imagined beef. Actually, the beef wasn’t imagined, just sublimated. Not discussed, since John E. Du Pont never talked about anything he didn’t want to talk about, as clear a sign of emotional disturbance as there is.

    Two Helpful Accounts About The Real Story

  19. Circumstantial Glib 1.6
  20. Biological Natural 1.0
  21. Physical Natural 1.0


Subscribe to Foxcatcher 0 replies, 0 voices
No comments as yet.