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A Greek tragedy set in the American heartland, The Iron Claw tells the true story of the inseparable Von Erich brothers, who made history in the intensely competitive world of professional wrestling in the early 1980s. Kevin (Zac Efron), Kerry (Jeremy Allen White, The Bear) and David (Harris Dickinson, Triangle of Sadness) are not only pitted against each other in the ring, but also for the approval of their stoic-to-a-fault and dictatorial father and coach, Fritz (Holt McCallany, Mindhunter). Often called the Kennedys of wrestling, the Von Erichs were haunted by a family ‘curse’ – an unthinkable run of catastrophe and grief. Through tragedy and triumph, the brothers seek larger-than-life immortality on the biggest sports stage in post-counterculture red-state America.
“This is the heavyweight tearjerker of the year.”
“A perfect movie for this moment.”
“A soaring power ballad that should prompt a lot of loud sniffling in the theater.”
This is a career-best performance from Efron, who is front and centre for most of the film, and whose beefed-up physical transformation recalls Robert De Niro’s for Raging Bull. In fact, writer-director Sean Durkin (Martha Marcy May Marlene, The Nest) drew inspiration from Scorsese’s boxing masterwork, as well as fellow De Niro drama The Deer Hunter to craft this Texan King Lear tale, and he treats the theatrics of wrestling with earnest sincerity. This is a heartbreaking piece about misguided masculinity, brotherhood and the illusions of success.