Rage | When toxic dad Ethan Hawke throws you a curveball, hit it out of the park!

Rage Ethan Hawke The Phenom

Hopper Gibson throws one hundred miles per hour. Now he needs to stop thinking.

Ethan Hawke is making a habit of playing flawed fathers, but his feckless dads in Boyhood and Ten Thousand Saints appear positively benign in comparison with the toxic parent he plays in psychological sporting drama Rage (aka The Phenom).

His character is the bullying ex-con father of Johnny Simmons’ baseball pitching prodigy, Hopper Gibson, and it is his malign influence that has derailed his son’s seemingly irresistible rise from high-school star to the major leagues. Simmons does a fine job as the troubled young sportsman, and so does Paul Giamatti as the therapist striving to sort out his daddy issues. Hawke has less screen time than either, but it is his warped machismo that dominates the movie.

Certificate 15. Runtime 84 mins.

Rage debuts on Sky Cinema Premiere on Sunday 10 September. Released on DVD & Digital by Precision Pictures.


Jason Best

A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.