The Fighter (2010)

9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 10/10
Visuals: 9/10

Great acting by almost all of the cast, nice directing



Movie Info

Movie Name: The Fighter

Studio: Mandeville Films

Genre(s): Drama/Sports

Release Date(s): December 17, 2010

MPAA Rating: R


Hey bro…stick with me…I'll completely screw you up!

The true story of Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) and his attempts to rise above his brother Dicky Eklund (Christian Bales) fame and infamy.  When Micky’s new girlfriend Charlene Fleming (Amy Adams) enters the picture, Micky finds himself torn between his mother, sisters, and brother and his girlfriend…plus a shot at the title.

The Fighter is an actor’s movie.  All the performances are good if not great.  Wahlberg is at his best (and I’m not a Wahlberg fan).  He fits the role and is helped by the fact that Micky comes off as a kind of wimpy character outside of the ring.  Amy Adams as the “intellectual” girlfriend (she went to community college for a couple of years) also shines and shows her incredible acting ability.  Melissa Leo plays Alice Ward and won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress as her role as Micky and Dicky’s mother…and leader of the disgusting, gross harpy sisters (one of the sister is Conan O’Brien’s sister Kate O’Brien).


You thought it was tough in the ring…try taking out me!

Christian Bales finally achieves his high point as an actor and was award the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.  He replaced Brad Pitt in the role and steals most of the scenes he’s in.  Dicky also sidelines Micky in story through his addiction and problems with the law.  This aspect of the story is interesting in the real documentary that was shot about Dicky Eklund for HBO called High on Crack Street:  Lost Lives in Lowell.  Much of the movie revolves around how HBO shot the story and how the family reacted to the premiere.  I’ve liked Christian Bales for years, but he also kind of seems like a second-rate Daniel Day-Lewis with his method acting.

The Fighter also benefits from a skilled director in David O. Russell whose Three Kings was amazing (I was not so much in love with I Heart Huckabee…though the viral fight between Lily Tomlin and Russell is fun to watch).  It was originally going to be directed by Darren Aronofsky who dropped out to direct Black Swan (this was probably best for both directors).  The movie has a very real feel and Russell does a good job with the boxing scenes (which are always tricky since none can surpass Raging Bull).

He’s my spineless boyfriend…He will do what I say!

The Fighter was a pleasant surprise that actually lives up to the hype.  It is engrossing and entertaining.  The predictability of a boxing story (and a real life boxing story at that) is overridden by good acting and great direction…It is a fight you’ll remember.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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