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.
Author: Ray Pride
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.)