Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 34
  2. Negative: 1 out of 34
Watch On
  1. While Rodriguez punches through the indie clutter to announce herself as a superb new movie talent, so Kusama scores big points in her first main event.
  2. 90
    Confirms its place as one of the best first films in recent memory, and one of this year's very best films.
  3. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    A terrific little uppercut of a boxing movie and close to a perfect one.
  4. Refreshing and surprising, the way independent movies are supposed to be.
  5. The effect is as potent as a straight right to the solar plexus.
  6. 88
    It's always about more than boxing.
  7. 83
    Rodriguez, who never acted before auditioning for the director, is utterly convincing, fluid and determined and jaded and wild like any teen-ager, but with a bracing spirit and a shocking store of ferocity.
  8. 80
    A near-irresistible button-pusher that's agile enough to hold a mirror to its own aspirations: The Sundance prize-winning filmmaker and her prize discovery, Michelle Rodriguez, merge in the image of a self-invented amateur boxer.
  9. A powerful and empathetic melodrama with feminist underpinnings.
  10. Reviewed by: Ernest Hardy
    Held together by strong writing, insightful direction, and a stunning turn by newcomer Rodriguez, who is not only a gorgeous young woman but a fiercely charismatic screen presence.
  11. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    Belongs to that most promiscuous of genres -- the go-for-it sports melodrama -- but transcends it and then some.
  12. 80
    A strong, stinging film, alive with conflicts that defy glib resolutions.
  13. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Gives its fine actors room to breathe and behave--and in Michelle Rodriguez's case, glow.
  14. Reviewed by: Emanuel Levy
    Blends in a most satisfying manner the conventions of several genres, resulting in a coherent picture that is at once a poignant inner-city drama, a rousing sports movie, an emotional family yarn and, above all, a sweet romance.
  15. The movie belongs to Ms. Rodriguez. With her slightly crooked nose and her glum, sensual mouth, she looks a little like Marlon Brando in his smoldering prime, and she has some of his slow, intense physicality. She doesn't so much transcend gender as redefine it.
  16. The movie belongs to Rodriguez: A gorgeous woman with a powerful body and the face of an Aztec princess, she's also a natural talent who instinctively understands the importance of economy in good acting.
  17. 75
    Gets everything right.
  18. Uplifting and moving in a traditional Hollywood way, while also seeming as raw and unfiltered as cinema vérité.
  19. Rodriguez is riveting, with a drop-dead cynical charm.
  20. There's a sense of genuineness throughout Girlfight.
  21. 75
    A coming-of-age tale that truly floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee.
  22. 70
    A persuasively feminine coming-of-age story.
  23. 70
    Kusama's impressive feature debut is an affecting coming-of-age drama whose story is familiar without being hackneyed.
  24. 70
    A scrappy independent film that packs the same emotional punch as "Rocky."
  25. A rousing, girl-positive, indie success story whose dynamic rhythms deliver a connecting punch.
  26. Girlfight, for its skill and theme, will please many. It's a shame it's no knockout.
  27. Reviewed by: Gemma Files
    Kusama understands her subject intimately, and it shows.
  28. 50
    Kusama leads with feminist empowerment, but her sucker punch is a sappy romance.
  29. Rodriguez's acting almost scores a knockout even though the movie's directing and dialogue are fairly routine.
  30. 50
    A little more flair and polish could have made Girlfight a terrific movie instead of just the decent one it is.
  31. 48
    A modest project with an agreeably modest point of view, but it cries out for a sharp, believable naturalism Kusama simply doesn't supply.
  32. We're in for a long, unpleasant, reactionary ride.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 22 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. NadineF.
    Jul 29, 2001
    I love Michelle Rodriguez. I would give anything to be like her!!