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The Fighter

David O. Russell's 2010 film chronicling the rise of an up and coming boxer and his drug addict ex-boxer brother.

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The Fighter

  • Jan 22, 2011
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This was an absolutely wonderful film. I was absolutely floored by it even though I saw it with two people who were less than thrilled to be there. The performances were top-notch and this would be on my Best Movies I Saw in 2010 list if I didn't see this in 2011. Like The King's Speech, this is the perfect Oscar formula and that's sure to pay off come awards time. First of all, the Academy has often had a thing for uplifting dramas (whether or not they pertain to sports) and secondly, it's based on a true story, which the Academy loves as well. I went and saw it thinking that it would be somewhat like Rocky, one of my favourite films of all time, and it was completely different.

This movie would have absolutely sucked had it not been for its actors. Christian Bale was just so wonderful that I'm going to dedicate the paragraph after this one to him. Mark Wahlberg was an okay leading man, even if his character was too often upstaged by his mother and brother. Even with that, he still was good and played good loyal brother to Christian Bale's crack addict. The mother was wonderful too and will get nominated for supporting actress for sure. In fact, pretty much all the major actors are going to get nominated.

However, out of all the actors that are going to be nominated, Christian Bale is the only one that has a serious shot at winning. Seriously, give that man an oscar, he deserves it. Bale was easily the best actor in the movie because his character was the most interesting. I had never really seen him in anything outside the Batman movies and Swing Kids, but the man is a seriously good actor, possibly one of the best of our era.

The movie has some comedy relief in it too which comes in the form of the sisters and their interaction with Micky's girlfriend Charlene (Adams). It's a shame they don't give awards for best comedy relief because they would have a shot at winning. However, the comedy relief takes a backseat along with the boxing to the dysfunctional family. I have always said that every family is dysfunctional, there's no such thing as a functional family, and this family takes the cake for dysfunction.

The film is essentially about Micky, who gets offered a shot at the heavyweight championship and can do so if he gives up his mother and brother as his manager and trainer but he doesn't want to. His brother taught him everything he knows and despite his crack addiction, he still knows what he's doing. That bugs me during the second last fight because Micky wasn't listening to his brother and he got horribly beaten. For those people who are suckers for uplifting sports dramas this movie is definitely for you.

I have been singing the praises of this movie to every one of my friends and for good reason. This movie is sure to get nominated in all the major categories and Christian Bale definitely has a shot at winning. Great acting, great boxing, great story, just general greatness. I would recommend this to anybody unless you expect this to be some sort of epic action film because it's not that. All in all, a fantastic movie.

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June 12, 2011
I have not seen this one yet but I love your review - this one is on my "to see" list for sure!!
More The Fighter (2010 film) reviews
review by . December 18, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A Fight To Win In Life and in The Boxing Ring!
   Sports dramas that channel an inspiring ‘underdog’ story. It is pretty cliché nowadays in the halls of filmmaking. Well, director David O. Russell’s “The Fighter” stems from cliché but then again, sometimes real life is all about cliché. It centers on the real-life story of Irish boxer Micky Ward and his half-brother Dickie Eklund. This film is the third collaboration between Russell and Wahlberg, the first two being “Three Kings” …
review by . January 19, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Around the end of the year one of the things that typically happens is you get a lot of good... but boring movies.  The end of 2010 wasn't like this really.  Most of the movies driving for the Oscar actually entertained.  Usually far too many get themselves far too concerned with being artistic and intellectual.  Which is actually well and good, but they always miss the mark in terms of entertainment.  The Fighter does another turn around by being a film that isn't …
review by . February 05, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Mark Wahlberg stars as Micky "Irish" Ward, a young man seemingly going no where in Lowell, MA. but with a dream of becoming the next boxing welterweight champion of the world.    He's managed by his mother and his brother. Christian Bale plays Micky's brother. In the film Bale has a drug habit and constantly lets his brother down, not showing up for fights and scheduling fights with fighters who are inappropriate for Micky. Eventually, Bale is arrested and sent to jail.    Du …
review by . January 01, 2011
THE FIGHTER may be based on a true story, but that doesn't mean that much of the skeleton of its plot doesn't feel like a rehash of Hollywood clichĂ©s. Struggling blue-collar guy from a dysfunctional family gains a shot, late in life, at boxing glory. Various obstacles get in his way, but with the love of a good woman and some unconventional training & methods…he gets his shot at the title. It's the kind of plot that would not normally get my blood pumping in anticipation.     But …
review by . April 16, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****     David O. Russell hasn't made a good film since "Three Kings", which isn't saying too much considering there was only one other film between that one and "The Fighter", and it was called "I Heart Huckabees". I was not pleased with that film, and I didn't think it functioned well enough to be a true "David O. Russell film". Now here is what I would call a "David O. Russell film", and I say that with the utmost respect. Here it is, the film that everyone has …
review by . December 19, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
As is the case with many inspirational sports movies, “The Fighter” uses physical competition as a metaphor for emotional competition. It’s based on the true story of Lowell, Massachusetts boxer “Irish” Micky Ward, who went pro in 1985, went on hiatus after losing four consecutive fights in 1990, and then made a comeback that lasted from 1997 until his retirement in 2003. His final match was a trilogy of fights with Arturo Gatti, but all events in the film lead up to …
review by . December 10, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Now that's what I call a fight!
THE FIGHTER   Written by Eric Johnson, Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy   Directed by David O. Russell   Starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Melissa Leo       Before a boxer sets foot in any ring, he most likely has a plan of attack in place.  If he is serious about what he does, he has studied his opponent; he knows his strategies, his weaknesses.  A great boxer is in control of the game even when it seems like he might …
review by . March 09, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
The Fighter Will Keep You Interested, Just Like Rocky Did.
It is not too often lately that my wife and I  get a chance to see a movie, so when this came to our local theater we decided to take the night off from school work and just plain work. So, if you liked the movie Rocky then you will love this true story, The Fighter is rated "R" and lasts for just a shade under two hours. This movie starring Mark Wahlberg who portrays Micky Ward, who's rise to stardom mimics the Rocky movies a little bit. Micky goes through all of the trials and …
review by . April 17, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
“The Fighter” plays like “Rocky” set in the same neighborhood as “Gone Baby Gone;” indeed, Ben Affleck ought to watch this film to understand why his first film was so much better than his most recent one, “The Town.” I’ve mentioned before that lower-class, Irish-Catholic Boston has become fertile ground for cinema the last few years, and “The Fighter” can take its place alongside “Mystic River,” “The Departed” …
review by . January 12, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Recently it seems like a lot of movies are moving Northeast. The cities here seem to have split personalities from hoity-toity, ivy league elitism to gritty drug filled cesspools. Seeing this movie in Boston added a little something special to the screening. Boston often gets depicted as a tough place to live with a lot of characters who tend to be rough around the edges. The Boston accent is one of the most notorious out there and often gets butchered as actors try to pick up the nuances of Boston, …
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About this movie


The Fighter
is an upcoming film directed by David O. Russell and executive produced by Darren Aronofsky, starring Mark Wahlberg. The film centers on the life of professional boxer "Irish" Micky Ward (Wahlberg) and his older brother Dickie Eklund (Christian Bale). Amy Adams has also been confirmed as a love interest of Ward. The film is set to be released worldwide in theaters on December 10, 2010. The film is Russell and Wahlberg's third film collaboration, following Three Kings and I Heart Huckabees.
Darren Aronofsky was previously attached to direct before David O. Russell. Both Matt Damon and Brad Pitt were also once attached to play Dick Eklund before the role went to Christian Bale.  Bale has reportedly been training for the role. About the film, he said, "It’s a true story of two incredibly gifted boxers who were half brothers. The one, Dicky Ecklund, who fought Sugar Ray Leonard at a very young age, when he was twenty-one, was an incredible natural talent. He lived a very hard life. Then he came to train his brother, Irish Mickey Ward, to the world title." Wahlberg also trained for two years for the role of Mickey Ward. A trailer was released on September 15, 2010.
Filming began in July 2009 in Lowell, Massachusetts and was completed by September. Filming continued at Paramount in April 2010 for final additional scenes.
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Director: David O. Russell
Genre: Drama, Sport
Release Date: Dec. 10, 2010
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Paul Attanasio
Runtime: 115 minutes
Studio: Paramount Pictures Corp.
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