88

New Orleans Times-Picayune

By Mike Scott
With Knuckle, Palmer offers a thorough -- and extraordinarily compelling -- portrait of the Travellers.
Full Review
80

Empire

By David Parkinson
Chock full of larger-than-life characters, it's an enthralling insight into a raw, bloodied world.
Full Review
78

Austin Chronicle

By Marc Savlov
Knuckle is the real deal, with the strapping, brutally human Traveller clans butting heads with not only one another but with the very future of their subculture's existence.
Full Review
75

New York Post

By Kyle Smith
Thick-necked, booze-loving and angry men beat each other with their naked fists: so far, so Irish. But the feuding clans in the documentary Knuckle actually think their habits of antagonizing one another can be fixed by just one more problem-solving brawl.
Full Review
75

indieWIRE

By Eric Kohn
With the exception of a few candid moments featuring James at home, Knuckle isn't particularly well-made, but there's an inherently fascinating quality to the material.
Full Review
70

The Hollywood Reporter

By Stephen Farber
Palmer keeps his focus tightly on the families, which makes the movie admirably unpretentious but also incomplete. Nevertheless, the picture has a vibrant central character in James McDonagh, the leading fighter in the clan who begins to question the rites of violence.
Full Review
60

New York Daily News

By Joe Neumaier
While the film becomes slightly redundant, the anger and strife its characters cannot overcome is awful, poetic and, frankly, astonishing.
Full Review
60

NPR

By Scott Tobias
For all their brutality, the fights are so seductive and exciting that their consequences - the physical and mental toll exacted from the men and their families - sometimes fail to register.
Full Review
50

Slant Magazine

By Bill Weber
A documentary of bareknuckle fights among feuding Irish Traveller clans can't give the participants' self-perpetuating, dead-end rivalry the scope of tragedy.
Full Review
40

Time Out New York

By David Fear
Palmer's acknowledgement of his own involvement in, and thrill at watching, these events speaks volumes, but simply showing generations of pasty, fat men pounding each other to a pulp shouldn't be mistaken for an in-depth exploration of Gaelic machismo.
Full Review
65 out of 100
Generally favorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.