33 user 9 critic

Cardboard Boxer (2016)

Not Rated | | Drama | 16 September 2016 (USA)
2:01 | Trailer

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Gentle and broken, a homeless man is coerced by two teens to fight other men on video for cash but soon finds comfort in an unlikely friend and the lost diary of a young girl.


Knate Lee (as Knate Gwaltney)


Knate Lee (as Knate Gwaltney)





Cast overview, first billed only:
Thomas Haden Church ... Willie
Terrence Howard ... Pope
Boyd Holbrook ... Pinky
Rhys Wakefield ... J.J.
Macy Gray ... Den Mother
William Stanford Davis ... Jazzy
Zach Villa ... Tyler
Adam Clark ... Skillet
Conrad Roberts ... Methusalah
Patrick Davis ... Evan
James Logan ... Mullet
David Henrie ... Clean Cut Man
Johanna Braddy ... Clean Cut Girl
Jay Charan ... Pawn Shop Clerk
Elyse Cole ... Young Girl


Gentle and broken, a homeless man is coerced by two teens to fight other men on video for cash but soon finds comfort in an unlikely friend and the lost diary of a young girl.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

16 September 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kartonharcos See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA


Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


Knate Lee's directorial debut. See more »


Staff Sergeant had Sergeant Major stripes in recruiting office. See more »


Who Don't Know
Performed by NY77
Written by Knate Lee & Jarrod Brom
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User Reviews

Caught me by surprise
16 September 2016 | by graemeburke-28832See all my reviews

Generally, I don't go for dramas much, and I really dislike long draw- out dramas. I watched Cardboard Boxer knowing zero about it apart from the title, and got totally sucked into the story. Its a story about a human being, not a "homeless person". It didn't dwell on the plight of the homeless, or try to preach about the class divide.

I thought the movie made outstanding use of its unashamedly simplistic characters and setting to tell a very thoughtful story with a rich vein of truth and humanity at its core. I found much I could empathise with despite never having been anywhere near homeless myself.

But yes, it is no more about "bumfights" than Romeo and Juliet is about hot-rods and Brylcreem. For people wanting to see that sort of thing, give this one a miss and skip straight to WWE.

Whatever its shortcomings may be, this movie tackles some of the darkest places in the soul of man and still manages to bring the viewer through it feeling optimistic and uplifted without having to resort to anything as patronising as a 'happily ever after'.

Cardboard Boxer touches on many facets of human-nature, but at its heart, it's a love story told through the eyes of someone so utterly alone that they have never even known anyone well enough to develop an unrequited crush, let alone fall in love. By rights, it should be the type of utterly depressing movie that makes me switch off after 10 minutes, but it was quite the opposite. That's a pretty neat trick Mr. Lee.

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