AVClub: Jake Gyllenhaal has played cops, soldiers, even time-traveling action heroes, but he’s never looked less meek and sensitive, less Donnie Darko, than he does in Southpaw. As Billy Hope, a pugilist going several rounds with his personal demons, the actor sports a military buzz cut, a chin caked in dark stubble, and mounds upon mounds of glistening muscle. It’s a real blood, sweat, and tears kind of performance, extra emphasis on the blood: Crimson drips perpetually from a swollen eye or dangles from a clenched jaw, leaving red stains everywhere—on shirt collars, on pillowcases, on battered flesh. Physically speaking, the transformation is as impressive as the one Gyllenhaal underwent a year ago to embody the gaunt, wiry sociopath of Nightcrawler. But was this character, a boxer battling the myriad conventions of his genre, really worth the training regimen that brought him to life?