Ian Palmer’s rough, ragged “Knuckle,” a Sundance 2011 entry, follows over a decade in the brawling, battering life of the warring Irish Traveler Quinn McDonagh and Joyce families, who specialize in bare-knuckle-boxing street fights. The blood and bruises will likely seem excessive in the mooted HBO fictionalization, but in its real-life endless grudge match, the “Knuckle” manages to make “Fight Club” look like a model of restraint. Watching, you fear, you learn why to empathize, and eventually you wish you were a referee who could just step in and make them stop. 97m. (Ray Pride)
“Knuckle” plays Saturday and Sunday at Facets.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic, editor of Movie City News and a contributing editor of Filmmaker magazine. He is also a photographer: his history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images is forthcoming. Check a few signs on Twitter (@chighostsigns) as well as daily photography on Instagram (instagram.com/raypride). Twitter: @RayPride. (Photo: Jorge Colombo.)