Never Back Down

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Released 2008

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Movie Summary

Director:
Jeff Wadlow
Released:
2008
Rating:
PG-13
Never Back Down is a 2008 action movie about underground mixed martial arts fighters. Jake Taylor (Sean Faris) is a recent transplant to Orlando and quickly gains a reputation as a hot tempered fighter. Jake is invited to a party by Baja Miller (Amber Heard) where he is unsuspectingly put into a fight against the top fighter at his school, Ryan McCarthy (Cam Gigandet). Jake refuses to fight and is defeated and humiliated. After the fight, Max Cooperman (Evan Peters) tells Jake all about the wonderful world of mixed martial arts fighting. Jake really takes to the sport and decides to do whatever it takes to become a master. Max Cooperman takes Jake to see his mentor Jean Roqua (Djimon Hounsou) who agrees to train Jake. Through learning mixed martial arts, Jake not only learns to compete, but gets over his emotional problems that caused him to want to fight in the first place. Jake decides that he will not compete in the tournament after all. Ryan hears the news of Jake not competing and beats up Max to gain Jake's attention. It works, and Jake and Ryan have a final showdown to settle the score.moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 60

    Variety

    Best part, though, is the cast: Everyone's a model, everyone beats each other half to death, and no one looks as if they've ever suffered so much as a coldsore.

  • 50

    Los Angeles Times Jan Stuart

    A disposable sports drama.

  • 30

    The New York Times Jeannette Catsoulis

    The movie speeds up and slows down as though controlled by a director in the grip of competing medications. For those who make it to the final beatdown, however, the only pill wort...

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    Categories

    Sports

    Themes

    Martial Arts, underdogs, bullies, pressures of high school, teen angst