The Last Gladiators
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Academy Award (R) Winning Director Alex Gibney examines the NHL's most feared enforcers while also exploring the career of Chris Nilan. (c) Official FB
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The opening sections of this film play like a greatest-hits clip collection, but when Gibney delves deeper into Nilan's personality, it's a magnetic portrait of a rinkside Raging Bull."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Pretty or not, the stories of dropped gloves and smashed faces shed some clarity on the game's violence ..."
‑ Nicolas Rapold, New York Times
"Even if you're not a hockey fan, Nilan is a modest and insightful guy."
‑ Chris Hewitt (St. Paul), St. Paul Pioneer Press
"It doesn't try to sell you on fighting in hockey, it just presents the environment, the personalities, and lets it all speak for itself..."
‑ Mark Bell, Film Threat
"Gibney celebrates hockey's fisticuff traditions while also recognizing how such brutality ultimately takes its greatest toll on those who perpetrate it."
‑ Nick Schager, Village Voice
"At his best, Gibney focuses on his subject and then explodes it outward. But with "The Last Gladiators," he's taken a rare misstep. There is undoubtedly a great story within the bruised history of NHL enforcers. Why, though, did he choose Chris Nilan's?"
‑ Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News
"Reflecting the sweep of aggression that swallowed the game throughout the 20th century, Gibney tackles his points smartly, laboring to communicate the thrill of combat and the shock of retirement."
‑ Brian Orndorf, Blu-ray.com
"Makes room for tender moments of reflection from a guy who, against impossible odds, still managed some victories, the biggest of which may be that he's still standing."
‑ Kalvin Henely, Slant Magazine
"Gibney deserves credit for making a hockey film that the uninitiated can watch with interest, and for focusing on an issue even some hockey fans can't make up their minds about."
‑ Farran Smith Nehme, New York Post
"In a way, this doc is Bully, grown up, and from the bully's perspective."
‑ Sara Maria Vizcarrondo, Movies With Butter
"Gibney, always a master of the documentary interview, gives us another captivating talking head in Chris Nilan."
‑ Christopher Campbell, Film School Rejects
More reviews for The Last Gladiators on Rotten Tomatoes