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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★★★★ review by Dave Imboden 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 Andrew Morin on Letterboxd
★★★½ review by Hannah Stevenson on Letterboxd
good story, well shot
★★★★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.
★★★½ review by Dustin Baker on Letterboxd
Filled with a lot of personality and fire, but the filmmaking around it is rather pedestrian and paceless.
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