If "Hands of Stone" was just a boxing movie it would be on the same level as some previous pugalistic classics like The Boxer (Mark Wahlberg), Million Dollar Baby (Clint Eastwood and Hilary Swank) and of course ALL of the Rocky movies, but if you add to it the fact that it is a true story "Hands of Stone" is an amazing film. The movie tells the untold story of what was behind Roberto Duran's descion to quit mid fight in his historic "no mas" fight with Sugar Ray Leonard. It also fills in most of the blanks in the life story of one of the greatest boxers of all time. Edgar Ramirez portrays Duran, one of Panama's favorite son's. The movie shows Duran as the national hero that was (and still is) loved by Panamanian's.
Robert DeNiro plays the role of the legendary trainer Ray Arcel and it's the interaction between "teacher" (DeNiro) and "student" (Ramirez) that is the highlight of the film. Arcel didn't just teach Duran how to be a boxer; he taught him how to be a man. He was a surogate father to a man who never knew his own father.
The supporting cast of Ruben Blades (Duran's manager), Ana de Armas (Duran's wife) and Usher Raymond (Sugar Ray Leonard) is stellar. Each one is another brush stroke in this excellent portrait of characters.
What I liked best about the movie was the film's sympathetic portrayal of Duran. The movie is truly a story of redemption and I absolutely loved it.
"Hands of Stone" is rated R for violence, language and some nudity and sexuality and the movie has a run time of one hour and forty five minutes.
On my "Hollywood Popcorn Scale" Hands of Stone gets my highest rating; a JUMBO with extra butter!