The Last Gladiators Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 5 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Through interviews with hockey’s toughest players, director Alex Gibney explores the career of Chris "Knuckles" Nilan and what it means to be an enforcer in the National Hockey League.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Feb 6, 2013
    Blending archival footage and new interviews with Nilan, his family, journalists, and fellow combatants, Gibney celebrates hockey's fisticuff traditions while also recognizing how such brutality ultimately takes its greatest toll on those who perpetrate it.
  2. Reviewed by: Nicolas Rapold
    Jan 31, 2013
    [Mr. Gibney] scales down his approach considerably here, generally for the better, rather than extrapolate a theory of violence and everything.
  3. Reviewed by: Kalvin Henely
    Jan 30, 2013
    Makes room for tender moments of reflection from a guy who, against impossible odds, still managed some victories, the biggest of which may be that he's still standing.
  4. Reviewed by: Farran Smith Nehme
    Jan 31, 2013
    When The Last Gladiators treats brawls like greatest-hits clips for more than half the movie, then suggests fighting is behind Nilan's decline, it feels like trying to have it both ways.
  5. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Jan 31, 2013
    He tells his story honestly, but with no great sense of self-awareness or insight.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jul 14, 2013
    This is an real-life hockey version of "The Wrestler". Nilan's personal story has various parallels with the autobiography by his friend (since deceased) NHL enforcer Bob Probert. The Last Gladiators raises questions on what types of persons are drawn to the role of enforcer and what is the price they have to pay. Expand