Be warned: What starts out looking like a routine if well-acted boxing drama has a sucker punch in reserve. Adapted from F.X. Toole's 2000 collection Rope Burns: Stories from the Corner
, Clint Eastwood's slow-building story of loss and deliverance is a fine, understated piece of storytelling that earns every emotional body blow it lands. Frankie Dunn (Eastwood) has spent his whole life around the ring, first as a cut man — the guy who stanches blood and closes wounds between rounds, keeping injured boxers in the game — then as a trainer, manager and owner of a run-down Los Angeles gym called The Hit Pit. Deeply estranged from his only daughter — his regular l...