Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Refreshingly gritty and hard-nosed.
  2. If Southpaw leaves you hungry, this much is also true: The "food" was good in the first place.
  3. The picture is more sociologically instructive than emotionally involving, serving as a document of contemporary Irish life rather than an ordinary inspirational story.
  4. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    There's an engagingly homegrown quality to much of the footage.
  5. 70
    The small-town Irish feel of the movie is infectious, and McGrath uncovers some great supporting players.
  6. Barrett's trajectory is exciting, but his tribe is hilariously, dryly Irish about the experience.
  7. Reviewed by: Sean Means
    It's the hardships that led to Atlanta -- and that he faced after -- that make his story so compelling.
  8. Warm and appealing, but there clearly was a far more informative and comprehensive film to be made of the life and world of Francis Barrett.
  9. A rousing and gently inspirational story of an underclass kid made good, but it's in those cultural glimpses that the film shines.
  10. Less a complete story than a work-in-progress.
  11. 63
    So look for (Francis) at the 2000 games in Sydney, which may provide a more heated ending to this lukewarm story.
  12. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    If ever an English-language film needed English subtitles it's this.
  13. 50
    The ingenious if erratic slickness is disorienting and makes the movie more like drama than journalism.
  14. 50
    What the film resembles more than anything else is one of the miniature human-interest profiles that the networks have taken to inserting between the events in their Olympic coverage.
  15. 50
    Does not offer much in the way of exciting boxing footage.
  16. Be forewarned: The rural Irish accents may be incomprehensible to viewers who aren't accustomed to them.

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