Bruiser is a coming of age film with powerful themes of family.

14-year-old Darious explores the boundaries of his manhood with Malcolm, his strict but loving father, and Porter, a charismatic drifter. When Darious learns Porter’s true identity, he is thrust into a conflict between the two men.

Bruiser is one of those coming of age stories that has a lot more to it when you really look at it. The film starts out as one, but evolves into a film that tackles a lot of themes that really compliment the film well. 

The performances are all really strong here particularly Jalyn Hill, Trevante Rhodes and Shamier Anderson all three really compliment each other well and have some of the strongest moments I’ve seen so far this year. Jalyn Hill previously portrayed Emmett Till in last years Till the absolute mind blowing range between portraying Emmett Till and this role is quite fascinating and really shows Hill’s talent quite well. Two completely different roles that have very different meanings and he hits them both out of the park flawlessly. 

Bruiser is also a directional debut from Miles Warren and it’s one hell of a directional debut for sure, Warren captures a lot of the usual coming of age movie elements but makes them his own and puts in a lot of family elements and wanting the family to connect to one another. He also shows the effects of fighting, how it can damage families, bonds or relationships. The film does this in a way that while has been done before is still very investing and really grabs the viewer’s attention. 

The only major flaw is the ending mostly, it doesn’t compliment the rest of the movie very well and it doesn’t quite give the striking powerhouse blow that the rest of the movie had shown previously and does come off as a little rushed. 

However that doesn’t take away that Bruiser is such a strong film, it’s a very investing film that really holds your attention with a lot of strongly portrayed themes. Definitely be sure to check this one out. 

Bruiser is available on Hulu. 

8/10 B+


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