HANDS OF STONE – Rated R

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HANDS OF STONE ~ Rated R

Starring Edgar Ramirez, Robert DeNiro and Usher Raymond IV

Based on the real-life story of legendary boxer Roberto Duran, we venture from Panama to the US to see if he really can become WORLD CHAMPION…this is HANDS OF STONE!

Born into a life of poverty and despair, we meet young Roberto Duran (David Arosemena), stealing to feed his family, and learning to fight on the streets of Panama.

Proving in his own right at a young age that boxing is in his blood, Roberto Duran (Edgar Ramirez) and his trainer secure the backing they need from local businessman, Carlos Eleta (Ruben Blades), who starts him on his way…

When Eleta realizes how gifted Duran really is, he secures him a new trainer, America’s master of boxing Ray Arcel (Robert DeNiro), who takes him under his wing, and teaches Roberto everything he knows about the sport.

Back in the states and taking on American boxing star Sugar Ray Leonard (Usher Raymond IV), Duran must find every ounce of finesse he can muster up, if he is to take on this flashy, quick footed “ballerina” to become boxing’s Champion of the World.

I give HANDS OF STONE a rating of MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN BUT AT A LESS EXPENSIVE MATINEE~ Okay, you are just as surprised as I was, that I am giving this film this high rating. I was going in thinking “Not another boxing movie, please!” but I came out saying, “That was way better than I ever expected!” Ramirez is phenomenal as Duran, from his smooth moves both in the ring, and out. DeNiro is good too, not RAGING BULL good, but we are going to give him a break, he’s a few years older and playing the manager this time around 😉 And Usher surprised me as well with his performance, portraying the legendary boxer Sugar Ray Leonard – as he came across very convincing with his portrayal, even mastering Leonard’s fancy footwork. All in all, I think if you love boxing, or DeNiro, or just want to see Ramirez and Usher duke it out, you should go check out HANDS OF STONE. This film is full of dimension and heart, that expands way beyond Duran’s stints in the ring…

Kathy Kaiser