Total Film - 04/01/2009 4 stars out of 5 -- "This is Mike's show. And the ex-champ shows himself no mercy...[revealing] a tortured human being still struggling to understand his own flaws."
New York Times - 04/24/2009
"[P]owerful....Mr. Toback's film, partly because it restricts itself to Mr. Tyson's point of view, offers a rare and vivid study in the complexity of a single suffering, raging soul."
Los Angeles Times - 04/24/2009
"The result is as gripping as a title fight and as mesmerizing as a conversation with a cobra..."
Rolling Stone - 04/30/2009 3.5 stars out of 4 -- "You won't know what hit you after watching TYSON. This power punch to the gut is one of the best movies of any kind this year....A world-class exhibition of punch-drunk love."
Wall Street Journal - 04/24/2009
"[T]errific....Iron Mike, having meted out epic suffering in the ring and other venues, seems to be a man who has suffered genuinely, even terribly, in the course of a life he never believed would last 40 years."
Chicago Sun-Times - 04/29/2009 4 stars out of 4 -- "James Toback's TYSON is a documentary with no pretense of objectivity. Here is Mike Tyson's story in his own words, and it is surprisingly persuasive."
Washington Post - 05/08/2009
"TYSON is a sort of guided tour through Mike Tyson's mind with the former prizefighter playing psychic usher....His is a deeply affecting story, as James Toback's often mesmerizing documentary reveals."
Chicago Sun-Times - 12/22/2009
Included in Chicago Sun-Times's "The Ten Best Documentaries Of 2009" -- "Toback asks the right questions and Tyson opens up in ways he may never have before."
Love him or hate him, Mike Tyson is inarguably one of popular culture's most fascinating figures. In this riveting documentary portrait of the controversial boxer, filmmaker and friend James Toback lets Tyson tell his own volatile story. It all started in a rough-and-tumble Brooklyn neighborhood, where Tyson was picked on and beaten up as a youngster. But when he turned his fear into anger, he realized that his fists had the ferocity to frighten everyone around him. As a teenager, Tyson moved upstate to live with trainer Cus D'Amato, who became the devoted and compassionate father figure he never had. This support helped Tyson develop the strength and focus needed to become a devastating champion inside the ring. But when D'Amato died, something inside Tyson died too, turning him into an even more dangerous monster outside of the ring.
As Tyson speaks openly about the ups and downs in his tumultuous life--alternating between moments of sincere introspection and animalistic rage--Toback employs a split-screen approach to further emphasize his emotionally unstable nature. Mixed into this talking-head monologue is striking archival footage that shows Tyson in his prime, when he was one of the most feared and idolized athletes on the planet. TYSON is an appropriately subjective journey into the mind of a massively complicated man.
Mike Tyson reveals insights into his life in this no-holds-barred look at one of the most controversial and misunderstood boxers to ever step inside the ring.