Tough Guy: The Bob Probert Story

7.31 h 32 min201916+
An intimate portrait of legendary NHL tough guy Bob Probert told through exclusive interviews with his family, friends, teammates and rivals, featuring game footage, news reports, and never before seen home movies.
Geordie Day
Bob ProbertJoe KocurDon Cherry
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Tie DomiJeremy RoenickChris Chelios
Geordie Day
Dark Star Pictures
Content advisory
Alcohol usefoul languagesubstance useviolence
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4.8 out of 5 stars

418 global ratings

  1. 84% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 11% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 4% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 1% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

A.CReviewed in the United States on May 24, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Heartbreaking but insightful to inner workings of hockey
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Probie was my hockey idol growing up. This film was a blunt look at his life in hockey and how it impacted his family. Honestly, between watching this well made documentary film and previously reading the John Kordic biography and hearing of the passing of other enforcers like Todd Ewen and Derek Boogard, it's changed my lifelong love of fighting in the game of hockey.

Biggest takeaway from this film IMO is anyone wanting to have a long life with a family best not plan a career in pro hockey as an enforcer (or hand to hand combat sports). Highly recommend this film to any hockey fans especially those who followed Probie.. RIP Big Bob!!
23 people found this helpful
Sandra GillReviewed in the United States on February 24, 2020
3.0 out of 5 stars
A Selfish Guy in a Ruthless Sport
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This is a hard-to-watch study in self-destruction. A boy raised by an abusive father enters a hockey system that chew up young men for profit. But Probert chooses to indulge his worst instincts and is drawn to the approval of the mob crowd at hockey games -- fans who really want a boxing match, not a hockey match. The roar of the crowd as two young men beat each other mercilessly (while referees stand uselessly by) is sickening and heart-breaking. But, I don't know why people like boxing or football or any "sport" where people hurt each other over a ball or a puck or a belt. Permanent brain damage and loss of one's soul is the result.

I couldn't finish this movie because it was just a horror film about the tragic descent of a young man into addiction and an early death. He didn't care about anyone and his fans forgot about him as soon as he was our of the "ring." The worst of human nature on display here.
12 people found this helpful
JeffReviewed in the United States on April 15, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
Good documentary but Probert was not the victim as portrayed
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I grew up playing hockey shortly after Probert's glory years and respect him as one the games greatest enforcers who was a skilled player as well. Obviously, I didn't know the guy but the documentary seems to encapsulate his life in a cluff note version well. The story clearly attempts to shift the blame of consequences away from his personal choices, but not to the extent that will lead most from assigning him some responsibility for his personal struggles. After watching the documentary I was left with impression lack of anyone holding him accountable mid teens onward other than his performance on the ice as the primary factor that held him back from ever maturing as an adult. He was quite self-centered in large part created by being revered for his hockey status shielding him from acknowledging responsibility for his actions. Despite alluding to chronic traumatic brain injury leading encephalopathy; I have a hard time believing chronic alcoholism, drug abuse and potentially anoxia from the heart attack didn't play a larger role in the findings of his brain autopsy. My take is he was responsible for victimizing more people than he was a victim himself by living up his personal desires, ultimately resulting in his life cut short. Although he provided for his family,a he didn't put his kids and wife above himself which was his greatest flaw. Someone else may watch this documentary and come to a completely different conclusion, which really represnts an overall well done documentary that is captivating.
4 people found this helpful
Sean MurphyReviewed in the United States on April 28, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
An Emotional Ride With A Devastating End
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If you’re a fan of sports, Detroit, or Bob Probert, Tough Guy: The Bob Probert Story is going to tug at your emotions a little.

Tough Guy starts by detailing how a guy like Probert could reach the level of being a crowd favorite of his hometown Detroit Red Wings. Although the Wings weren’t quite on their famous Cup Run, Probert provided a much needed boost in toughness and entertainment. All this came at a time when the Red Wings were known as the Dead Wings. Probie would turn out to be one of the players that would lay the ground work for the Red Wing’s dynasty that would soon follow his tenure. As long time NHL player Jermery Roenick described Probert in the documentary- “he was Mr. Detroit”.

Unfortunately, Probert’s contributions would come at a cost. In order to continue playing (more so fighting) at such a high level, Probert had to resort to various substances to ease the pain. At several points in Probert’s career he faced legal issues ranging from cocaine possession to drunk driving.

Probert’s demons would continue to haunt him for the majority of his life.

Probert will be forever known as one of the greatest fighters in NHL history. Fans loved Probert’s rivalries with other NHL enforcers Wendel Clark, Tie Domi, and Stu Grimson. There was several references in the documentary about Probert’s injuries from these fights including CTE.

When a documentary is able to build a strong emotional bond between the subject and the viewer, especially when the story has already been played out in real life, this is what I view as a classic documentary. A classic documentary can create this bond that will cause the audience to feel pride when the subject is successful, anger at controversial topics, and deep sadness at failures or death.
2 people found this helpful
Just usReviewed in the United States on April 2, 2020
3.0 out of 5 stars
Becomes redundant
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Probert was a goon on and off the ice, and he killed himself with drugs and booze. In his own words during this doc, he showed more bitterness than self-awareness. Still, I feel bad for his family that he left behind.

This was interesting to a point, but it got redundant and was probably at least 20 minutes too long. Actually, this could be a half-hour or hour-long TV doc. The CTE part bothered me because it tried to shift the blame from Probert's ample substance abuse (steroids, alcohol, cocaine) to the game.
2 people found this helpful
Kevin R.Reviewed in the United States on June 13, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great Documentary
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Got tired of hearing him called just a coke head goon, drove me nuts. This shows the public the set of circumstances that set his lifestyle in motion. He was the best Enforcer period.
6 people found this helpful
Daniel HolmReviewed in the United States on February 8, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
be a man
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He was fuckd up before hockey. I had friends of mine, bigger than Bob, just blue collar guys, did drugs, dwi's etc.. But we never made so many ....If we did what bob did as regular guys? We would have been done. I have had a few friends that did kill people drinking and driving and went to prison. After so many 'mistakes'? Really.....hard to feel sorry for him when so many working slobs like us did the same but after a few? You have to wake up.... If ya cant handle it big dude? DONT DO IT! Seems like us little dudes can handle it better, the booze, the drugs, hell Im 5.10 180 and I did more drugs than maybe even bob... however....I knew when to stop after binges...A man has to know his limitations!
TylerReviewed in the United States on January 1, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great Story about a hockey enforcer who could win his own personal battles
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Really good documentary about a tough guy who couldn't get out of his own way. As a huge Wings fan I remember the fights on and off the ice. I loved Probert and Kocur enforcing for the Wings, it's too bad Bob had such bad demons that ultimately cost him his life much too soon.
3 people found this helpful
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