Review – Bleed for This

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: September 19, 2017 (Last updated: January 5, 2024)

Bleed for This is a true story account of a local fighter turned world champion ‘Vinny Pazienza’ (Miles Teller) who, after winning two world title fights, is involved in a car accident in which he broke his neck and was told he might never walk again. The film follows Pazienza’s determination to return to boxing.

To start off with I think it’s worth mentioning that Miles Teller is underrated. Although every film he’s been in hasn’t been spectacular I have always enjoyed his performances.

Despite the heavy topic of this film, it still delivers as a light hearted story. You instantly fall in love with Pazienza and his family. His mother, Louise Pazienza (Katey Sagal) who can barely just listen to his fights, let alone watch them, even before Vinny’s accident. His father, Angelo Pazienza (Ciarán Hinds) who seems fun loving, however, turns out to be one of the most protective over Vinny especially during his recovery. You also fall heavily for Vinny’s relationship with his coach Kevin Rooney (Aaron Eckhart) and it seems their partnership is more of a friendship which runs more deeply as the film goes on, and Rooney is the only one who fully supports and aids Vinny on his journey.


We see Vinny Pazienza struggle to maintain his weight and even collapse due to dehydration at the start of the film. After a match at the start of the film with Roger Mayweather for the World Light Welterweight Title, which is disastrous from the start, Vinny and his father hire Kevin Rooney as his new coach who instantly moves Vinny up to a weight class that was much more suited. Vinny gains more and more success to then be involved in a car accident which results in him breaking his neck. Wearing a halo, Vinny directly defies his doctor’s instructions and starts a workout regime just under 3 months after initially breaking his neck. Throughout Vinny’s recovery you’re waiting for something bad to happen. Much like boxing itself, Vinny’s recovery is not depending on luck, it takes the right knowledge, precision, and just the right timing for him to not only get back on his feet but back in the ring. Even after all of his hard work, Vinny still has the struggle of finding an opponent, as its public knowledge how at risk he still is of injury. The pinnacle point in this film is the end scene, after just a year of recovery and training Vinny steps back in the ring to fight Luis Santana for his first fight after his injury and what many people expected to be his last. You’re completely hooked, every punch to Vinny’s head you feel yourself clench and flinch knowing it’s even more fatal than usual.

I don’t want to give too much away but this film is spectacular. Made even more marvellous through the fact it’s based on a true story.

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