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‘The Iron Claw’ review: Taking the heavyweight belt for tearjerker this year

Early into the movie Zac Efron as Kevin von Erich professes to his date Pam (Lily James) that he loves his brothers so much that he doesn’t care what he does, as long as he does it with them. It’s a line delivered with so much love that even if you don’t know about the von Erich curse you know there’s no way that the movie can end happily from there. The first half of the movie dares you to dream as you’re treated to a series of vignettes of dudes being bros and bros being dudes. Working out, on the farm, sneaking Mike (Stanley Simons) out to a gig and glowing as they see him light up the stage.

And then the second half hits and you’re thrown into an unending wave of tragedy. All of the muscles in the world (and Efron has so, so many of them) can’t help him save his brothers as they get swept up in the life. And for all the training their father gave them none of it gave the brothers the strength they truly needed to survive.

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