TWO brothers go to war in this brutal story of redemption and self-loathing.
Bone-crunching skirmishes between the characters and their opponents become a backdrop to the potential reconciliation of the estranged siblings, one battling for his country, the other for his family.
These two male archetypes – valiant soldier and selfless father – are put in the fighting ring, with emotional fallout as they deal with their tortured pasts in the present day.
Marine Tommy Conlon (Tom Hardy) arrives home unexpectedly after 14 years’ service, surprising his father Paddy (Nick Nolte), who has turned to religion to help him beat the bottle.
He asks his old man to train him for Sparta, a televised mixed martial arts fighting competition with big money prizes and Paddy agrees, desperate to rebuild bridges. But his son isn’t interested in playing happy families.
Meanwhile, Paddy’s other son, Brendan (Joel Edgerton), is struggling to make ends meet as a schoolteacher and secretly fights in the back-rooms of bars for money behind the back of his wife Tess (Jennifer Morrison).
When he’s suspended from his job, his future rests on winning Sparta, putting him on a collision course with his hulking sibling.