Rated 4.0

Director James Toback draws a great deal of candor from his friend and title subject of the entertaining documentary Tyson, a genuine accomplishment considering that the ex-champ readily admits to his own lack of trust. Although not nearly the masterwork on the intersection of athletic domination, black identity and hypersexualized celebrity in America as Spike Lee’s Jim Brown: All-American, Toback’s film stands as an arresting portrait of an individual who lived a punch-drunk version of the American dream. The film is told entirely through Tyson’s narration (always a credible shit talker, he once coined the immortal phrase, “I’m gonna eat his children. Praise be to Allah!”), and his detractors will view him differently after walking a mile in his shoes. To his discredit, though, Toback is too generous in glossing over the more difficult questions that arise.