Miles Teller gets physical in ‘Bleed for This’

“Bleed for This” exists in the same New England world of dropped “r’s” and cluttered homes filled with larger-than-life personalities we’ve seen in so many movies it’s practically its own genre. But that’s not all that’s wholly familiar about this picture from writer-director Ben Younger (“Boiler Room”).

It’s about a champion fighter, Vinny Paz (Miles Teller), and his quirky family, and in that vein it often plays like an imitation of David O’Russell’s “The Fighter,” which was also about a boxing pro and his kin and also set in this universe, albeit Lowell, Massachusetts, instead of working-class Rhode Island.

Still, Teller totally immerses himself in the physically taxing role and the movie distinguishes itself thanks to its painstaking depiction of the real-life Paz’s grueling comeback after breaking his neck in a car accident and being forced to rehab with a Halo metal brace screwed into his skull. It’s a compelling triumph over adversity and the sort of dynamic performance that can single-handedly give life to a movie.


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