Hands of Stone


Action / Biography / Drama / Sport


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
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November 02, 2016 at 04:38 PM


Robert De Niro as Ray Arcel
Ana de Armas as Felicidad Iglesias
Édgar Ramírez as Roberto Durán
Ellen Barkin as Stephanie Arcel
720p 1080p
823.03 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 51 min
P/S 5 / 197
1.7 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 51 min
P/S 8 / 154

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Ricardo Del Rio 10 / 10

Hands Of Stone and Hearts of Gold

Roberto Duran's (Edgar Ramirez) story goes beyond his rise, fall and comeback to the ring. Its shaped by the political turmoil in Panama during the 70's and the early 80's so when he confronts Sugar Ray Leonard (Usher), his stakes are as high as to carry along his nation's pride with him. His trainer Ray Arcel (DeNiro), shapes him from a bully in search for revenge, into a Champion who's at his best after he realizes dignity is much more than just winning the belt. Many have won fights but few fighters have won the respect of their foes as did Duran and Sugar Ray back in the days. True heroes with Hands Of Stone and Hearts of Gold.

Reviewed by Paul Allaer 6 / 10

By-the-numbers script holds back the movie

"Hands of Stone" (2016 release; 195 min.) is a bio-pic about Panama boxing legend Roberto Duran. as the movie opens, it is"Madison Square Garden, 1971" and we dive straight into a Duran fight, while Ray Arcel (played by Robert de Niro) is checking it out. As Duran makes quick work of his opponent, Arcel's voice over comments "In 66 seconds, Duran changed my life". Arcel is convinced by Duran's manager to train him, to make him the next world champion. We then go to "US Canal Zone, January 9, 1964", as we see little Roberto participate in the social protests surrounding the Panama Canal. At this point we are 10 min. into the movie, but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this move is written and directed by little known Venezuelan director Jonathan Jakubowicz. The cast is strong, no doubt about it. De Niro gets to play in yet another boxing film, and he knows the ropes (sorry, no punt intended) like no other. A big surprise was to see Ellen Barkin, playing his wife (and now in her early 60s if you can believe it). Another big surprise was to see the role of Sugar Ray Leonard played by none other than the singer Usher, who does quite well in fact. Edgar Ramirez plays Duran convincingly. Some of the boxing scenes are quite good, but there is nothing that you haven't seen before. The movie's big challenge is that the script seems strictly by-the-numbers. There isn't much that comes as a surprise, the movie brings the required romantic interest, etc. It all feels very straight-forward, and hence there was no emotional investment on my part to feel connected to any of this. I was simply watching it, nothing less, nothing more. Last but not least, there was a nice orchestral score, courtesy of composer Angelo Milli.

The movie opened two weekends ago on a handful of screens here in Cincinnati. The Tuesday evening screening where I saw this at was attended okay but not great, which probably is the norm for a weekday evening. "Hands of Stone" certainly isn't bad per se, but neither is it an unexpected pleasant surprise (such as "Creed" last Fall). If you are into boxing, or boxing moves, this is worth checking out, be it in the theater, on Amazon Instant Video or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray.

Reviewed by bkrauser-81-311064 7 / 10

It Borrows From the Best

Hands of Stone is a rise, fall and rise again story of famed Panamanian boxer Roberto Duran (Ramirez) who leapt into notoriety in the 70's after his first controversial appearance at Madison Square Gardens. By the time of his retirement in 2002 at the age of 50, he had 199 fights under his belt with 103 wins and four titles as a light weight, welter weight, light middle weight and middle weight. The film however focuses on his relationship with legendary boxing trainer Ray Arcel (De Niro) whose own exploits in the boxing world made him the first trainer to be inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame.

Doing a movie of this nature, a couple of questions arise. How do you accurately and intimately make a film about the life and times of Roberto Duran who in addition to being a legend was also a legendary pre-fight s**t talker? How can one best encapsulate the real life of a man who at one point was the guiding light of an entire nation yet had enough of an ego to name all of his male heirs Roberto? Finally, how do you do make that movie great while siphoning off of cues and themes from inspirations like Rocky (1976) and Raging Bull (1980)?

The answer is of course you can't; but you can make a half-way decent film out of everything. And that's basically what director Jonathan Jakubowicz and Bob and Harvey Weinstein have done. It plods its course, steadily paces itself, jab at the appropriate emotional moments and ducks from the energy-sucking minutia that episodic plot-lines tend to have in abundance. Robert De Niro is fine as Ray Arcel giving a spry, worthwhile performance in the same ballpark as Billy Sunday in Men of Honor (2000). Likewise Edgar Ramirez hits all the right notes as our beleaguered hero giving the screenplay a much better performance than it honestly deserves. Ana de Armas, Usher Raymond, Ruben Blades, Oscar Jaenada and Ellen Barkin are all very good with Reg E. Cathey giving a very small but showstopping performance as infamous boxing promoter Don King. Heck even the balance of languages (English and Spanish) is respectfully and organically done. If a great film is three great scenes and no bad ones, then Hands of Stone is 50% of the way there.

Yet much like the underrated Southpaw (2015), it also has no pivotal, never forget scenes or iconic lines. The brightly colored barrios of Panama City and the glitzy sparkle of Las Vegas, not to mention the atmospherics of locker rooms inexplicably filled with smoke, don't really leave an impact. Neither do the stakes of Duran's life which, much like Billy Hope's, was and probably still is filled with conflict, inner-turmoil and a pride that manifests in nationalistic fervor. It's a shame too because if the film decided to explore that aspect of Duran's life, i.e. his relationship to Panama and its people, it could have been unique enough to recommend strongly.

Yet instead, the film doubles down on the "success is ruination" themes picked up by Raging Bull, while kneading out the supposed nobility of a sport in which two grown men beat the crap out of each other. Yet while watching Hands of Stone, I kept hoping they would change up the kinetic, fast-paced editing of the fight sequences with moments that were, say a little more poetic. For those of you who know what I'm insinuating, congratulations you've seen a "great" scene from a "great" movie about boxing.

The best that can be said about Hands of Stone is it does what it does predictably and well, like a cover band that's been around for years. It's energetic, it's fun to watch, it certainly has talented people who put their heart and soul into the project and it plays all the hits...yet it's not the real thing. Oh well, a tin star still shines, a discount belt still buckles and Hands of Stone is still good. Watch it if you must, otherwise watch Rocky again instead.

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