T-Rex is an intimate coming-of-age story about a new kind of American heroine. For the first time, women’s boxing is included in the 2012 Olympics. Fighting for gold is 17-year-old Claressa “T-Rex” Shields. From the streets of Flint, Michigan, Claressa is undefeated and utterly confident. Her fierceness extends beyond the ring. She protects her family at any cost, even when their instability and addictions threaten to derail her dream. As she gets closer to her dream her relationships with her coach and her family get more complicated. But Claressa is determined. She desperately wants to take her family to a better, safer place and winning gold could be her only chance.
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★★★½ review by The Armando Jimenez on Letterboxd
Flint, Michigan has a bad reputation for having corrupt leaders and citizens living in day-by-day grind and hustle.
In 1908 General Motors was founded and Flint had never seen better days; that is until GM moved out. People lost their homes, people lost their wages, now living below middle class, at poverty line.
Flint became known for its high crime rates and has repeatedly been ranked among the most dangerous cities in the United States and now has all of its residents facing a water crisis as all the water has been tainted with lead.
This is the hometown of director Michael Moore. But it is also the home for, now as of 2016, 2X Olympic Champion of Boxing, representing the United States, Claressa Shields. We follow her everyday life at school, home, training, and up to her bouts in the Olympics. As an amateur and, then, only 17 years old she was undefeated, but money was still thin for her and her family. As she celebrates by the giving and receiving of hugs one thought lingers in her head, How will I pay bills? She does many interviews and yet no sponsors or endorsements.
Random Woman: "I would love for you to stop saying you like beating people up and making them cry."
Random Man: "Because it makes you seem like you're a bully."
Claressa: But "I box."
Both randoms: *laugh*
Claressa: "It's not about money. It's just about...getting what you deserve. Respect me as bein' a woman. Respect me as bein' black. Respect me as bein' an athlete..."
As an amateur she has 78 wins-1 loss. As a professional she's now 6-0.
It's pathetic how everything comes down to money, greed, the facade, and the wins. This young woman just wants to knock people out and get what she deserves in return. She stands toe-to-toe in the center of the ring delivering knockout blows. Never running away like Mayweather.
We all get what we deserve, she's just getting started.
★★★★ review by Davis. on Letterboxd
We have a T-Rex!
Wanna know something cool? Claressa Shields is the first woman to ever win an Olympic gold medal in boxing. At Rio this summer, she became the first American boxer to ever win consecutive golds. She won't get the recognition of Phelps or Ledecky or Biles but if you ask me she's a god damn American hero. You can watch this documentary about her rise from the streets of Flint (topical!) to Olympic gold in London for free on the PBS website. I highly recommend it! It's human and funny and thought-provoking in all the ways a good documentary should be. I am not a big documentary guy so this is a big time push for me. It'll have you fist pumping like ROCKY.
★★★★½ review by Kurosawa on Letterboxd
I came to this film not knowing a thing about T-Rex the boxer, and oh my goodness this is a real gem. Maybe if you know the outcome of her story it might have slightly less impact, but since it is so well crafted a documentary the telling of her journey would be no less gripping.
T-Rex is Claressa Shields, a 17 year old amateur boxer in Flint, Michigan who earns a shot at qualifying for a spot on the US Women's Olympic boxing team in 2012.
While it tells the story of Claressa's struggles in and out of the ring, it also tells the story of her coach Jason Crutchfield, himself a former boxer. His mentorship and his role as father-figure play a huge role in developing and protecting young Shields. But as she grows older and more successful that relationship gets strained.
"T-Rex" is wonderfully photographed and edited and highly recommended.
★★★★ review by SnowboardJunkie on Letterboxd
Nothing fancy, just a bare bones real life story of hard work, determination, and dreaming big. Then going and getting it done. Anyone who needs a little inspiration in their life should watch T-Rex.
★★★½ review by Andrew Morin on Letterboxd
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