Pain & Gain
|Pain & Gain|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Michael Bay|
|Screenplay by||Christopher Markus
|Based on||Pain & Gain
by Pete Collins
|Music by||Steve Jablonsky|
|Edited by||Joel Negron
Thomas A. Muldoon
|De Line Pictures|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Running time||129 minutes|
Pain & Gain is a 2013 American crime-comedy film directed by Michael Bay and starring Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson and Anthony Mackie. The film is loosely based on a story published in a 1999 series of Miami New Times articles written by Pete Collins and compiled in Collins' 2013 book Pain & Gain: This is a True Story, which details the kidnapping, extortion, torture, and murder of several victims by an organized group of criminals that included a number of bodybuilders affiliated with Sun Gym. The film's title is a play on the common exercising adage of "No pain, no gain".
The film was released on April 26, 2013, to mixed reviews. Critics praised the direction, acting, and script while criticizing the violence, the comic chemistry, and historical differences. Against a $26 million budget, the film grossed more than $94.7 million worldwide.
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (July 2014)|
In 1995, schemer Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) is a recently released convict who served time for Medicare fraud. Sun Gym owner John Mese (Rob Corddry) hires him to increase membership and make the gym more fitness based. Lugo triples the gym's membership within six weeks and befriends trainer Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie). Doorbal, a bodybuilder, uses steroids, which render him impotent. Lugo soon lusts after the earnings and lifestyle achieved by Victor Kershaw (Tony Shalhoub), a new gym member he begins to train who Lugo believes is a crook. Inspired by motivational speaker Johnny Wu (Ken Jeong), Lugo decides to be a "doer" and hatches a plan to extort Kershaw for his assets by kidnapping and torturing him.
Lugo recruits accomplices Doorbal and Paul Doyle (Dwayne Johnson), a recently released cocaine-addicted convict who has turned to Christianity. Though Doyle is reluctant to join the team, he soon caves in after a violent altercation with his priest. This "Sun Gym gang" unsuccessfully attempts to kidnap Kershaw at home but incapacitates him with a taser outside his deli and takes him to a small warehouse he owns (which is stocked with sex toys). The kidnappers disguise their voices, but Kershaw identifies Lugo from his distinctive cologne. The scheme goes as planned otherwise: Kershaw makes calls, under duress, to provide fake explanations for his disappearance, gets his family to move out of state, and signs the documents that transfer his assets to Lugo. Lugo even bribes John Mese to notarize documents in Kershaw's absence by presenting documents signed by Kershaw and using Kershaw's money to sponsor the Sun Gym.
The Sun Gym gang is able to collect Kershaw's money and assets, but they realize releasing him is a bad idea. Therefore, Lugo concocts a plan to kill Kershaw by forcing him to drink liquor and crash his BMW, making it look like a drunken accident. When Kershaw survives the crash, the gang burns the car with Kershaw in it. Kershaw escapes the blazing vehicle, so the gang runs over his body and leaves him for dead. Unbeknownst to them, Kershaw survives and is hospitalized. The Sun Gym gang members spoil themselves with Kershaw's riches. Lugo takes over Kershaw's car and his home in a ritzy Miami suburb; Doorbal marries his nurse, Robin (Rebel Wilson), and uses his cut to purchase penile erection treatments; and Doyle abandons his restraints of religion and sobriety and fritters away his money on cocaine and his new stripper girlfriend.
Kershaw reports what happened to the police, but they are turned off by his unpleasant manner and don't believe his bizarre story even when he gives them Daniel Lugo's name, particularly because of Kershaw's blood alcohol level. He then contacts Ed Du Bois, III (Ed Harris), a retired private investigator, who declines to take the case but warns Kershaw to quickly leave the hospital before the gang returns to kill him. Kershaw takes his advice and hides in a motel. Upon reflection, Du Bois takes Kershaw's case and tails the Sun Gym gang. He visits the Sun Gym and meets with Lugo, who is suspicious after he mentions Kershaw's name.
When Kershaw calls Mese about his stolen money, Lugo, Doyle, and Doorbal go to the motel to kill Kershaw but arrive too late, as he has checked himself out of the motel and is hiding at an abandoned baseball stadium. When Lugo and Doorbal find out that Du Bois is paying for Kershaw's room using Du Bois's credit card, they plan to kidnap him at his home. They arrive and prepare to kidnap Du Bois, but the plot is thwarted when the police stop by to drop off Du Bois. In order to evade arrest, Lugo and Doorbal run and jump off the dock into the water. Du Bois gets a message from Kershaw and goes to the stadium to take him home. Meanwhile, Doyle has wasted all of his cut and attempts to rob an armored car. However, dye-packs planted in the money bag explode, and he narrowly escapes the police, getting his toe shot off. He and Doorbal (who depleted his share on payments for treatments, his and Robin's wedding, and a new home) explain to Lugo they need more money, and they propose another kidnapping.
They target Frank Griga (Michael Rispoli), who owns a phone sex operation. After a promising discussion at Griga's mansion, the gang invites Griga and his wife Krisztina Furton (Keili Lefkowitz) to Doorbal's home to propose an investment scheme. Griga insists on meeting with someone more experienced and questions Lugo's amateurish business savvy. This angers Lugo, who attacks Griga and accidentally kills him. Krisztina discovers this and tries to shoot Lugo, but Doorbal injects her with a horse tranquilizer. Lugo and Doyle try to use codes obtained from a heavily sedated Krisztina to open a safe at her and Griga's home, but the codes do not work. When Krisztina rouses and tries to escape, Doorbal gives her a second injection, accidentally killing her.
Lugo and Doorbal purchase equipment to dismember the bodies and dump the body parts in several barrels, which they sink in a lake, while Doyle incinerates their hands (on a barbecue grill) to eliminate their fingerprints. Doyle realizes what he's become over the violence and gore, leaves the gang, and returns to the priest's church. The police learn of Griga and Krisztina's disappearances, and with evidence from Ed Du Bois, they set a plan to arrest the Sun Gym gang. The film returns to June 17: The police arrest Doyle at the church, Doorbal at home, and Mese at Sun Gym. Lugo sees the raid and flees. Although he is hit by a police car, he escapes and heads out by sea in Kershaw's go-fast boat. Kershaw and Du Bois deduce Lugo is going after Kershaw's hidden bank account in the Bahamas and accompany the police to capture him. Lugo's pursuers catch up with him and Lugo runs. Du Bois shoots him, Kershaw chases Lugo in a car and incapacitates him, and the authorities arrest him. Lugo is brought back to the United States and stands trial with Doyle, Doorbal, and Mese. At the trial, Doyle rolls over on Doorbal and Lugo with a full confession while Robin divorced Doorbal the night before she testifies against him.
- Daniel Lugo was sentenced to death, plus 30 days for "being an asshole" to a guard.
- Adrian Doorbal was sentenced to death.
- Paul Doyle, for his full confession, was sentenced to 15 years, serves 7 years, and goes free and tries to apologize and converts back to Christianity.
- John Mese was sentenced to 15 years and died in prison.
- Victor Kershaw's name was changed to protect the survivor.
- Sorina Luminita's name was changed to protect the survivor. She's currently not a movie star.
The movie ends with Lugo's voice saying: "That's the American dream".
- Mark Wahlberg as Daniel Lugo
- Dwayne Johnson as Paul Doyle (based on Carl Weekes, Mario Sanchez, and Jorge Delgado)
- Anthony Mackie as Adrian "Noel" Doorbal
- Tony Shalhoub as Victor Kershaw
- Ed Harris as Det. Ed Du Bois, III
- Rob Corddry as John Mese
- Rebel Wilson as Robin Peck
- Ken Jeong as Johnny Wu
- Bar Paly as Sorina Luminita
- Michael Rispoli as Frank Griga
- Tony Plana as Captain Lopez
- Emily Rutherfurd as Cissy DuBois
- Yolanthe Sneijder-Cabau as Analee Calvera
- Larry Hankin as Pastor Randy
- Peter Stormare as Dr. Bjornson
- Brian Stepanek as Brad McCallister
- Kurt Angle as Prison inmate
Michael Bay first announced the film after the release of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009). Bay stated he wanted to do Pain & Gain between the second and third Transformers films. The project was put on hold when Paramount gave the third film, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, a 2011 release date.
On February 13, 2012, it was confirmed that the budget for the film would be funded by Paramount Pictures as part of a two-picture deal with Bay, and the budget would be $26 million, making it the cheapest film he has ever directed, since his first feature film Bad Boys (1995), thanks in part to Bay, Johnson, and Wahlberg's not taking salaries. They instead signed on in exchange for back ends on the film's profits. Bay later confirmed that production would begin in Miami the following April, stating: "I'm extremely excited to simplify my film career this spring with a great character piece." On February 17, 2012, reports surfaced that Ed Harris had officially joined the cast and Rob Corddry was rumored to play John Mese, a former competitive bodybuilder who now owns the gym where Wahlberg's character works as a personal trainer. On February 23, 2012, it was confirmed that Anthony Mackie had joined the cast as "a bodybuilder and workout partner of Wahlberg's character Adrian Doorbal, who has little to show for his time in the gym and decides to get involved with the twisted plan."
On February 28, 2012, it was reported that Israeli model Bar Paly and Lebanese-American actor Tony Shalhoub had joined the cast. Paly is cast as "an illegal immigrant and former beauty queen who dreams of becoming the next Marilyn Monroe. Wahlberg's character promises to make her a star, and she in turn agrees to do whatever he asks in the service of her new country." Shalhoub's role in the film is that of "Marc Schiller, the target of the kidnapping scheme." On March 5, 2012, it was reported that Scott Rosenberg was brought on board to punch up the script. Rosenberg had worked with Bay previously on Armageddon (1998).
On March 27, 2012, Rebel Wilson joined the cast as Robin Peck. and principal photography began in Miami on March 31, 2012. On April 4, 2012, Dutch actress Yolanthe Sneijder-Cabau joined the cast as Wahlberg's character's object of desire. On April 5, 2012, Ken Jeong joined the cast as a character named Johnny Wu. The official trailer for the film was released on December 19, 2012.
The film received mixed reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a 50% rating based on 181 reviews, with the site's consensus: "It may be his most thought-provoking film to date, but Michael Bay's Pain & Gain ultimately loses its satirical edge in a stylized flurry of violent spectacles." Metacritic gave the film a weighted average score of 45% based on reviews from 42 critics.
|This section requires expansion. (July 2014)|
||It has been suggested that this article be split into a new article titled Sun Gym gang, accessible from a disambiguation page. (November 2013)|
Francisco Alvarado's Miami New Times article, "Pain & Gain: Where the Real-Life Sun Gym Gang Characters Are Now" (April 4, 2013), details the actual crimes, the real-life gang members' sentences, and the characters' post-trial experiences and current status.
Additionally, the Florida State Commission on Capital Cases publishes and regularly updates the trial summaries, court information, and information about the offenses, criminal sentences, and post-trial legal and prison developments for defendants. This information is cross-posted with that of the Florida Department of Corrections, Prison Offender Network, which posts regularly updated Inmate Population Information Detail and the Death Row Roster. Details from those sources pertinent to the Sun Gym gang are summarized below:
- Noel Doorbal (DC# M16320, DOB: December 21, 1971, Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Dade County Case # 95-17381-B); death sentence received August 31, 1998
- Daniel Lugo (DC #M16321, DOB: June 4, 1963, Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Dade County, Case# 95-17381C); death sentence received August 31, 1998
- John Mese (DC# Q03835): "Mese was indicted on October 2, 1996 (Case# 95-17381-F) for the kidnapping, extortion, and murders of Griga and Furton and the kidnapping and extortion of Marc Schiller. A jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts of the indictment; however, the judge set aside the convictions pertaining to the Griga/Furton crimes. On July 20, 1998, Mese was sentenced to 56 years imprisonment for the kidnapping and extortion of Schiller.
- "Mese appealed and the State cross-appealed the sentence to the Florida District Court of Appeal, Third District. On 06/19/02, the DCA ruled that the trial judge improperly set aside the two RICO convictions and ordered a new sentencing hearing to be conducted on those counts.
- "On January 15, 2003, Mese was sentenced to 30 years' imprisonment for one count of Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering."
- John Raimondo (DC# 198195): "Raimondo was indicted on October 2, 1996 (Case# 95-17381-I) on one count each of Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering, First-Degree Murder (Furton), Kidnapping (Furton), and Attempted Extortion. The State nolle declined to prosecute all but the kidnapping charge, and Raimondo was convicted and sentenced to eight years imprisonment for the crime."
- Jorge Delgado (DC# 198219): "In return for testifying for the State, Delgado was sentenced to two prison terms of 15 and 5 years for his role in the murders of Griga and Furton and the attempted murder of Schiller."
Slash Film reporter David Chen shares a real-life twist related to Marc Schiller (portrayed onscreen as Victor Kershaw) that was excluded from the film: "The Schiller Twist – Reading through Pete Collins’ Pain & Gain story, I thought I had a pretty good handle on the direction it was going in. I was shocked to discover that at the end, in an M. Night Shyamalan-like twist, the Kershaw character is arrested immediately after he testifies against the Sun Gym gang and charged with a fraudulent Medicare scheme that generated $14 million. It’s stunning and a little bit heartbreaking. As Collins writes, '[A]ll he could think was that [the State Attorney General] had sold him out. For three years she had used him, forced him to relive every excruciating detail of his confinement: the starvation, the burns and electric shocks, the beatings, the abject terror, the absolute physical and psychological mortification. She had extracted everything she could, and then she had disposed of him.'"
Comparisons between the film and actual events
Multiple media properties compare and contrast details shown in the film and actual events. As David Haglund and Forrest Wickman wrote in Slate's culture blog, "Browbeat": "the film more or less adheres to a very rough outline provided by the novella-length, three-part, highly detailed series written by Pete Collins and published in the Miami New Times over a decade ago. Not surprisingly, many details, and a number of significant characters, are dropped from the movie. A lot of new, fictional detail – and one largely made-up character – takes its place. When the movie first tells us that it's a true story, we're seeing something that didn't happen. When we're told it's 'still a true story,' we're watching one invented character watch a semi-fictional character do something that sorta kinda took place."
The film portrayed the Sun Gym gang as consisting of three primary members (Daniel Lugo, Adrian Noel Doorbal, and Paul Doyle) and two accomplices [John Mese (the Sun Gym owner and Miami Shores accountant who notarized Kershaw's – in reality, Marc Schiller's – documents for Lugo) and stripper Sorina Luminita (based on Sabina Petrescu), whom Lugo recruited – he said – to serve as the gang's "Femme fatale"]. In reality, the gang was larger; Doyle's character is a composite of several real life individuals who were not depicted in the film, such as Carl Weekes, Jorge Delgado and Mario Sanchez; and Doorbal's real-life girlfriend (Cindy Eldridge) helped scrub blood off Doorbal's condominium walls after Doorbal had dismembered Griga and Furton's bodies. Additionally, unlike Sorina, who in the film Lugo passes on to Doyle, Sabina and Lugo remained together as a couple and became engaged, and they fled together to the Bahamas (with Lugo's parents). Additional real-life players in the events are detailed in the Miami New Times article, "Sidebar: Cast of Characters".
In the film, Victor Kershaw states he was born in Bogotá, Colombia. His real life counterpart, Marc Schiller, was born in Argentina.
Schiller and Lugo did not befriend each other; Schiller actually distrusted Lugo. It was Delgado (who worked for Schiller, as did Delgado's wife), who befriended Lugo and targeted Schiller, and it was at Delgado's (not Schiller's) warehouse where the kidnappers held and tortured Schiller for a full month, while extorting him and before trying to kill him.
In the film, a blindfolded Victor Kershaw recognized Lugo by his cologne. In reality, Marc Schiller recognized his voice.
The car with which the gang tried to kill Schiller, by crashing it (into a construction vehicle, in the film; into a utility pole, in reality) and then by setting Schiller and it ablaze, was a Toyota 4Runner, not a BMW. In contrast to the film, the gang did not secure Schiller's seatbelt before crashing the car, and Schiller did not survive the crash from inside the car; rather, Schiller bailed out of the car, rolling onto the ground, before it hit the pole. When crashing the car and setting Schiller ablaze failed, the gang ran over Schiller's body twice, but with a Toyota Camry, not a van.
The movie portrays "Paul Doyle" as first running into a demeaning Frank Griga at a strip club. In reality, Griga was first discovered by Doorbal when he spotted a picture of a Lamborghini Diablo in a photo album belonging to his Hungarian stripper girlfriend, Beatriz Weiland. He asked her who owned it. It turned out that Griga was one of Weiland's former generous boyfriends. It was she who introduced Griga to the Gang.
Frank Griga had a Hungarian accent, not a New York accent.
The gang did meet at Frank Griga's home as in the movie (and three times), then met the last time at Doorbal's Miami Lakes apartment, where the murders actually took place.
In reality, Lugo did not kill Griga—Doorbal killed him, by first cracking the side of his head with a blunt object, then strangling him with a headlock, and finally injecting him with Rompun. Krisztina Furton ran to see what had happened, and screamed. Lugo covered her mouth and tackled her. She had no gun, as the movie portrayed. She was bound, then Doorbal injected her. Overall, Doorbal injected her three separate times, not two.
Miami New Times' reporter Francisco Alvarado reports the facts associated with the power tools purchased by the gang, the cause of the chainsaw's failure, and the ensuing details, some of which differed from their film portrayal: "They bought a gas-powered chainsaw from Home Depot to cut off body parts but forgot to fill it with motor oil, so it broke the first time they cranked the power tool on. Lugo returned the chainsaw to Home Depot, demanding a refund. He left the home-improvement store with an electric Remington Power Cutter, which came with a one-year guarantee to 'handle all your cutting chores quickly and easily.' He went back to the warehouse and handed the chainsaw to Doorbal, who took charge of the grisly dismemberment. When the power tool's teeth got caught in Furton's hair, Doorbal had Lugo chop off her head with a hatchet. The two murderers then used a curved blade and pliers to remove the faces and teeth off the heads."
The movie depicted Lugo and Doorbal dumping the body parts in several barrels into a lake. In reality, Lugo, Doorbal, and "Little Mario" Gray dumped Griga and Furton's torsos-in-drums into a drainage ditch in southwest Miami.
Details in the scene in which Paul was shown incinerating the victims' severed hands on a barbecue grill (to remove the fingerprints) were changed; in reality, Daniel Lugo did the grilling, and Lugo used a steel drum with an iron grate laid on top, not a barbecue grill. Lugo tossed Frank Griga and Krisztina Furton's hands, feet, and skull fragments onto the grate, doused them in gasoline, and began to grill. When Jorge Delgado returned to the warehouse, he yelled at Lugo, who reluctantly agreed to move his operation from in front of the warehouse to the rear alley.
In the film, Paul Doyle robbed an armored truck and got his toe shot off while escaping. That sequence is entirely fictional; no member of the Sun Gym gang actually robbed an armored truck or had their toe shot off.
Robin Peck (Rebel Wilson's character), Doorbal's future wife in the film, is based on Cindy Eldridge, who did refer Doorbal to a doctor. Contrary to events in the film, they did not meet at a medical office, they did not have a whirlwind courtship or marry at home, and Doorbal did not need to commit further crimes to fund his injections. Furthermore, Doorbal was violent and sadistic in real life, unlike Anthony Mackie's mild-mannered character in the movie.
ARRESTS: In the movie, the police arrest: A. Mese at the Sun Gym—In reality, Mese was arrested at his own bodybuilding competition in Downtown Miami. B. Doyle at the church—Doyle's real composite counterparts were all arrested at home.
In the film, Daniel Lugo escapes in Victor Kershaw's (real: Marc Schiller) go-fast boat. In reality, Schiller did not own a boat. Only Frank Griga owned a boat, and it was a tall yacht named "Foreplay."
Near the end of the movie, Daniel Lugo is seen getting hit by a car driven by Victor Kershaw, in the Bahamas. This event did not happen. In reality, Lugo fled to the Bahamas with his fiancee and his parents, and neither Marc Schiller nor detective Ed Du Bois were there during his capture. Instead, a multi-agency task force apprehended Lugo at the Hotel Montague in Nassau.
At the end of the movie, "Paul Doyle" has an attack of conscience, confesses, and testifies against Lugo. In reality, Jorge Delgado had an attack of self-preservation, testifying against everyone to receive a more lenient sentence. Instead of the death penalty, he got 15 years, but only served 7½ years. Carl Weekes, the religious and recurring drug-abuser part of Doyle's composite, drove the car that ran over Schiller, and got 10 years for Attempted Murder. He served 7 Years.
In the film, Ed DuBois is portrayed as a retired police officer who takes over his "old man's detective agency" when he accepts Kershaw's case. Ed Du Bois has been a licensed private investigator since 1960 and took over his father's agency in 1968. Du Bois continues in this capacity to this day.
Slash Film writer David Chen notes multiple major differences between the film and the real-life story. One relates to the real-life gang member whose temperament is most like that of the character played by Dwayne Johnson:
- In reality, the third man in the Sun Gym Gang was a man named Carl Weekes, who most closely resembles the Paul Doyle character in the film — both are trying to make a new life in Miami, and both are born again Christians. But Weekes is a weakling; Collins describes him as "a lightweight" who weighed only 140. Moreover, he’s almost totally excluded from the later events in the story, in which sex mogul Frank Griga is killed.
Chen also noted that gay references in the film were fabricated by the filmmakers.
The Associated Press published an article interviewing survivors and investigators of the Sun Gym gang. Miami-Dade Police Sgt. Felix Jimenez stated: "You are talking about real people. And in this particular case, especially when you're talking about the murder victims, these were innocent victims." Zsuzsanna Griga, whose brother and his girlfriend the gang killed and dismembered, said she didn't want the American public to sympathize with the killers.
David Haglund and Forrest Wickman of Slate wrote, in a post titled "How True is Pain & Gain?": "In addition to the usual Hollywood streamlining and the amping up of certain scenes, the changes seem largely designed to make the central criminals more sympathetic. Whether you think that's a respectable thing to do will depend on what you think of their actual story – and perhaps, of the movies in general."
In popular culture
- Writer Pete Collins parlayed his three-part Miami New Times article series, that inspired the film, into a consultancy for film's screenwriting team, a book titled Pain & Gain – This Is a True Story (April 5, 2013 from Premier Digital Publishing, Inc.), multiple post-film articles (such as those in Miami New Times), and media appearances.
- Private Investigator Ed Du Bois, III (portrayed by Ed Harris in the film) released a single on iTunes titled "Pain and Gain - Redemption Song" which he wrote and recorded in 2012 as an homage to his client, Marc Schiller.
- Judge Alex Ferrer, who heard the Sun Gym gang case and subsequently provided supportive testimony in Marc Schiller's Medicare fraud trial, is a former local policeman and attorney who stars in the arbitration-based reality court television show, Judge Alex.
- Marc Schiller (portrayed in the film as Victor Kershaw) has published multiple books about the ordeal and its aftermath.
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- Kit, Borys (April 5, 2012). "'Community' Star Ken Jeong Joins Michael Bay's 'Pain and Gain' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter.
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- Philip French (Sunday 1 September 2013). "Pain & gain review". The Observer.
- Francisco Alvarado (April 4, 2013). "Pain & Gain: Where the Real-Life Sun Gym Gang Characters Are Now". Miami New Times.
- Florida Department of Corrections. "Death Row Roster". Corrections Offender Network. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
- The Florida State Commission on Capital Cases. "Judicial Circuit, Dade County Case # 95-17381-B". Florida Capital Cases, Case Updates. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
- "Inmate: Daniel Lugo, Case Updates". The Commission on Capital Cases (Florida Department of Corrections).
- David Chen (April 26, 2013). "Four Differences Between ‘Pain and Gain’ and Real Life, and What They Say About Michael Bay". Slash Film.
- David Haglund; Forrest Wickman (April 26, 2013). "How True Is Pain & Gain?". Slate.
- Pete Collins (April 25, 2013). "'Pain & Gain' Writer Pete Collins' 15 Minutes of Fame Have Arrived". Miami New Times.
- Francisco Alvarado (April 4, 2013). "Pain & Gain: Where the Real-Life Sun Gym Gang Characters Are Now".
- "Sidebar". Miami New Times. December 30, 1999.
- Francisco Alvarado (April 3, 2013). "Pain & Gain: A Pictorial Dummy's Guide to the Real-Life Tale". Miami New Times.
- Francisco Alvarado (April 3, 2013). "Pain & Gain: A Pictorial Dummy's Guide to the Real-Life Tale". Miami New Times.
- David Chen (April 26, 2013). "Four Differences Between 'Pain and Gain' and Real Life, and What They Say About Michael Bay". Slash Film.
- "'Pain & Gain' Real-Life Survivors Furious With Movie's Comic Take On Ordeal". The Huffington Post. April 4, 2013. Retrieved April 10, 2013.
- Francisco Alvarado (April 4, 2013). "Pain & Gain: Where the Real-Life Sun Gym Gang Characters Are Now". Miami New Times.
- Pete Collins (April 5, 2013). Pain & Gain – This Is a True Story. Premier Digital Publishing, Inc.
- Pete Collines (January 6, 2000). "Pain & Gain, Part 3: A wealthy couple disappears, the slumbering Metro-Dade Police Department awakens, and the ghastly deeds of Miami's Sun Gym gang at last come to an end". Miami New Times.
- Chuck Strouse (April 26, 2012). "New Times' 'Pain and Gain': Murder, Drugs, and a Major Motion Picture". Miami New Times.
- Marc Schiller (January 25, 2013). Pain and Gain – The Untold True Story (1 ed.). Star of Hope Inc. ISBN 0615740065.
- Marc Schiller (April 3, 2013 (first published March 30, 2013)). Pain and Gain – How I Survived and Triumphed. Star of Hope Inc.
- "Pain and Gain Blu-ray". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved August 18, 2013.
- Official website
- Pain & Gain at the Internet Movie Database
- Pain & Gain at Box Office Mojo
- Pain & Gain at Rotten Tomatoes
- Pain & Gain at Metacritic
- "Pain & Gain True Story vs. Movie - Real Daniel Lugo, Paul Doyle". History vs. Hollywood.
The original Miami New Times articles by Pete Collins
- "Pain & Gain, Part 1" – December 23, 1999
- "Pain & Gain, Part 2" – December 30, 1999
- "Pain & Gain, Part 3" – January 6, 2000