Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 22
  2. Negative: 1 out of 22
  1. 88
    Fighting has real grit and excellent acting. In other words, there is gold in that dirt.
  2. 83
    Fighting doesn’t break new ground so much as animate B-movie types, but New York movies this gritty and flavorful don't come along very often.
  3. 75
    I like the way the personalities are allowed to upstage the plot in Fighting, a routine three-act fight story that creates uncommonly interesting characters.
  4. 75
    Fighting arrives fully charged by the charisma of its star, Channing Tatum, who has landed the lead in the upcoming "G.I. Joe."
  5. In a genre where too many films are all brawn and no brain, Fighting is a contender.
  6. Reviewed by: Jordan Burchette
    Fighting is a fun, frank and faithful homage to simple inner-city drama.
  7. Reviewed by: Michael Ordona
    It's not "Raging Bull" or "Fight Club," but Fighting is populated by believable losers and lovingly adorned with just the right faces and peeling wallpaper to absorb you in Montiel's world.
  8. 70
    Not everything that happens in Fighting entirely makes sense -- it’s a fable, after all, and a fable doesn't necessarily have to -- but it breathes with a rough, exuberant realism that you rarely see in movies of its kind.
  9. 70
    Yet, even if the movie is a fake as a fight picture, it's still a decent commercial entertainment.
  10. 67
    Howard's snappy-smooth performance, unsurprisingly, is what elevates Fighting from its hoary genre predecessors.
  11. In Channing Tatum, who also starred in "Saints," the film has a good-looking, magnetic hunk to draw a crowd. Terrence Howard lends the pedigree of great screen acting, and Zulay Henao adds charm and glamour.
  12. As its defiantly bland title suggests, Fighting is a bare-bones effort that tries just hard enough to keep us watching. By making good use of its New York setting, Montiel does bring a certain indie grit to the generic story.
  13. Reviewed by: Jeremy Wheeler
    It's not as if Fighting is terrible. The acting is well done, as is the unique look at the underbelly of the Big Apple.
  14. Fighting is a crude love letter to seventies' New York cinema but set in the present.
  15. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    The director plays a visual game of three card monte on us for this silly, weakly acted and yet sometimes entertaining variation on the “Big Fight” movie formula.
  16. 50
    Every so often you catch glimpses of a better movie behind the simplistic structure and formulaic plot.
  17. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    For all the utter phoniness of Fighting -- the cockeyed, faux-verite shooting, the lurches in storytelling, the lack of character development, a contrived crisis between Shawn and his would-be girlfriend Zulay and Tatum's dopey-charming thing--Fighting's not so bad.
  18. Authentic locations and careful attention to detail help evoke several New York boroughs in all their gritty vitality, but the screenplay about a hunky street vendor turned underground fighter is sloppy and false.
  19. Reviewed by: Adam Markovitz
    Murderously dull stretches of dialogue suck most of the fun out of this sloppy drama.
  20. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    The movie never works up a pulpy head of steam. It's like an exploitation movie that thinks it's an art movie, only there's no art to be found.
  21. Reviewed by: Dan Kois
    Fighting isn't very good, but it will make you hope that someday, some great director will give Tatum's pecs the star vehicle they deserve.
  22. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Fighting seriously lacks punch.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 40 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 16
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 16
  3. Negative: 9 out of 16
  1. kgm
    Apr 29, 2009
  2. Jun 13, 2014
    I didn't expect to enjoy this film, but I did. Not the predictable storyline, but the characters. I actually enjoyed the way every one of the actors played their parts - and that's not something you can say of many movies. I'm sure the director can take a lot of the credit for the way the nuanced performances made a quite enjoyable film from what was probably a terrible script, but I still liked all the characters, right down to the love interests' elderly relation. This is a bad movie made into an enjoyable one by the people who made it. Full Review »
  3. Mar 20, 2012
    Unwatchable. Bad story, bad acting, bad fight corry. I knew it was time to stop watching when I caught myself reading something else with the movie going in the background. Full Review »