User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 627 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 93 out of 627
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  1. DaveS
    Aug 19, 2005
    2
    If you are a dark, negative anti-catholic red state bigot you will love it. It may be the slowest movie of all time. The only people who could give this a high rating are those unfortunate souls who are pretending to be different and deep.
  2. EdwardJ.
    Jan 30, 2005
    1
    Slow-moving, dull, depressing, and worst of all, emotionally manipulative, oscarbait. Eastwood once again invokes a gritty facade for a forgettably conventional melodrama.
  3. lenz.
    Feb 2, 2005
    2
    Hated this over rated cliched piece of crap.cannot believe how people can be minupulated by critics into thinking this is anything but pedestrian at best.
  4. Abrahamsson
    Mar 8, 2005
    3
    OVERRATED! This movie gets one point each for the dedication of Eastwood, Swank, and especially Freeman. But come on! The boxing throughout is portrayed in a very superficial, disingenuous manner, and I am by no means a boxing fan. A dozen consecutive first round KOs? Why not aim for a little realism here? And the "twist." Let's just say that wouldn't happen, and if it didOVERRATED! This movie gets one point each for the dedication of Eastwood, Swank, and especially Freeman. But come on! The boxing throughout is portrayed in a very superficial, disingenuous manner, and I am by no means a boxing fan. A dozen consecutive first round KOs? Why not aim for a little realism here? And the "twist." Let's just say that wouldn't happen, and if it did **SPOILER ALERT** they'd hang the "scabby kraut" from the rafters. Did Maggie really "not win"? She was felled by A Cheap Shot After the Bell. Hello DQ, followed by lynch mob.
    The title character's family is the most ridiculous caricature of a selfish white trash family. Give them some kind of dimension, ANYthing. Instead, they're slaveringly selfish Mickey Mouse-emblazoned louts with thick drawls and thicker torsos. Ho hum.
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  5. MattF.
    May 7, 2008
    3
    I thought that this film was well-made; beautiful direction from Clint Eastwood and terrific performances from everyone in the cast. However, I had some problems with some of the material. The depiction of poor people in the film was ignorant and offensive; Haggis seems to think that all poor people are white-trash slobs who don't even care about their loved ones. Also, the film I thought that this film was well-made; beautiful direction from Clint Eastwood and terrific performances from everyone in the cast. However, I had some problems with some of the material. The depiction of poor people in the film was ignorant and offensive; Haggis seems to think that all poor people are white-trash slobs who don't even care about their loved ones. Also, the film seems to think that one is better off dead than paralyzed, I suggest that Paul Haggis views "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," the best film of 2007, and a much finer picture than this one. Expand
  6. Guy
    Sep 12, 2005
    0
    Maudlin garbage. The worst example of emotional manipulation I've seen in a long time. As the tragedies piled on, I had a hard time keeping from laughing. The only excuse for this kind of contrived plotting is if it were actually true.
  7. AstridF
    Jun 9, 2007
    2
    Sorry, this is totally unbelievable. What a sentimental mess from beginning to end. I am trying to write something nice about this, but Mr Eastwood, I love you and therefore I forgive you for this.
  8. KenL.
    Sep 7, 2007
    0
    If there were a prize awarded for the largest collection of whopping fat cliches in a movie, this maudlin mess would win hands down over any movie in recent memory. It would also break the needle off the sentimentalometer. It's all served up with the straightest of faces, a classic recipe for unintentional comedy. Yes, that's right, when maggie somehow manages to suffer a broken If there were a prize awarded for the largest collection of whopping fat cliches in a movie, this maudlin mess would win hands down over any movie in recent memory. It would also break the needle off the sentimentalometer. It's all served up with the straightest of faces, a classic recipe for unintentional comedy. Yes, that's right, when maggie somehow manages to suffer a broken neck at the the hands of a malicious stool, i laughed. Whilst all around me, the sound of sniffling noses signalled breaking hearts by the score. perhaps someday when the impenetrable eastwood mystique finally begins to dissipate, people will awaken as if from a dream and say, Expand
  9. MarcPosner
    Jan 15, 2005
    0
    came out of this movie furious -- and I'm a Clint Eastwood fan........

    This movie is just an overbearing piece of propaganda for sanctioning euthanasia -- or as it is commonly known -- MURDER..... Life ain't fair, as this movie graphically illustrates,,,,,but murdering the unfortunate among us just makes it worse.... Yet another example of a film suggesting that
    came out of this movie furious -- and I'm a Clint Eastwood fan........

    This movie is just an overbearing piece of propaganda for sanctioning euthanasia -- or as it is commonly known -- MURDER.....

    Life ain't fair, as this movie graphically illustrates,,,,,but murdering the unfortunate among us just makes it worse....

    Yet another example of a film suggesting that "situational ethics" trump "absolute truths"

    The Hollywood loonies could do us all a favor by taking some of those "painkillers" that Eastwood gave to Swank at the end of this disgusting film...
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  10. JimF.
    Nov 8, 2005
    3
    Great actors and director... interesting story... terrible ending! I was looking forward to renting this move and enjoyed it right up to the final five minutes - it bothers me that murder is Ok if its done under the right circumstances or for the right reason.
  11. ReneeR
    Dec 4, 2005
    0
    Truly horrid film. The acting is contrived, the plot is unbelievably sappy and the concept overdone.
  12. JohnM.
    Mar 6, 2006
    0
    The worst boxing movie I have ever seen. In fact one of the worst movies ever made. You don't have to work too hard now days to fool people. For those who thought it was OK go and watch a proper boxing movie like Raging Bull. The movie was clearly made for, well you know those less fortunate in society.
  13. JackT
    Jan 14, 2007
    0
    Along with "Lost in Translation", one of the worst films of 00's. Clint's recent work has been crassly over praised. This film is sentimental, ridiculous and formulaic.
  14. bobkorg
    Jan 26, 2005
    2
    The most depressing film I've seen since Mystic River. MR was basically unrelenting in keeping my mood low but Million Dollar Baby was good for about the first 3/4's until the main character becomes a quadrapelegic, then has her legs amputated, then wants to die but can't get any assistance so she bites her tongue to try to bleed to death, then is saved but keeps trying toThe most depressing film I've seen since Mystic River. MR was basically unrelenting in keeping my mood low but Million Dollar Baby was good for about the first 3/4's until the main character becomes a quadrapelegic, then has her legs amputated, then wants to die but can't get any assistance so she bites her tongue to try to bleed to death, then is saved but keeps trying to kill herself, then finally succeeds in getting help to die. Fortunately, I survived this movie and learned that I will have to do more thorough research before going to a film. Expand
  15. AlyE.
    Aug 22, 2005
    3
    Simply put, this movie was just not good. I was so excited when it came out on DVD because I felt left out during the Oscars. Now that I've seen it, I think people say it's good because the "right" people say it's good (Hollywood is, after all, an industry of followers who can't form their own opinions). But the "right" people have been wrong about a lot lately Simply put, this movie was just not good. I was so excited when it came out on DVD because I felt left out during the Oscars. Now that I've seen it, I think people say it's good because the "right" people say it's good (Hollywood is, after all, an industry of followers who can't form their own opinions). But the "right" people have been wrong about a lot lately (Aviator, Sideways, etc.). None of the actors had any depth, the story was too long, and the plot was both unbelievable and predictable. The writers didn't develop the B-line at all (Frank's alienation from his daughter) and Maggie's family was just too exaggerated to be believed. Actually, the only likeable character in the movie was Dangerous! I tried to convince myself that the movie was good-- that perhaps I was just distracted or apathetic-- but turns out, my gut instinct was right: Million Dollar Baby is another Hollywood miss that got backed by the right people because of Clint Eastwood. Expand
  16. Mar 1, 2014
    0
    will i watch million dollar baby or will i stick a needle in my eye. Its a difficult decision but i think il go with the needle. Why anyone would want to watch this miserable pile of crap is beyond me but the taste of the unwashed masses generally does. Avoid like the plague
  17. BobE.
    Jan 28, 2005
    0
    I am sorry to say but this is the most overestimated film this year. Republican Eastwood is starting to come off as a pompous snoot, who thinks he's better than Ford and Welles. This is a manipulative, cliche-ridden smug movie, that will deservedly lose to Martin Scorsese's "The Aviator" in the Best Picture race. Similarly, I hop Imelda Staunton manages to get the Oscar over Ms. Swank.
  18. JoeM.
    Jan 28, 2005
    1
    Major dissapointment! A slow, trdious and eventually formula film that belongs on cable. Eastwood is far from the staggering genius many seem to think he is.
  19. LucilleJ.
    Jan 28, 2005
    0
    It was a slow, boring and predictable drama that falls far short of the effusive praise it is getting. I liked Mystic River, but this one was forgettable.
  20. lindas.
    Jan 30, 2005
    2
    Honestly one of the most boring , contrite, cliched, cliched, cliched movies I've seen in ages. The ending was depressing. The acting was okay. I guess I just expected a better film than this. I imagine that if it wins the best picture award, in 5 years people will be saying, what in the heck was the academy thinking?
  21. ShaylaM.
    Jan 30, 2005
    0
    This movie was awful! I hated it. seriously the worst movie of the year!
  22. SamJ.
    Jan 6, 2005
    1
    The year's most overated film, dull, uninspiring, sluggish filmaking with too many cliches.
  23. DavisD.
    Feb 22, 2005
    3
    I'm not a big Clint Eastwood fan, but I had high hopes with all the good press that this movie would make my day. I was disappointed. Rather than a movie with an interesting twist at the end, it was like it was 2 unrelated movies cobbled together. Both were filmed beautifully, but neither worked for me indepedently and the combination just left me very disappointed. I wish I had gone I'm not a big Clint Eastwood fan, but I had high hopes with all the good press that this movie would make my day. I was disappointed. Rather than a movie with an interesting twist at the end, it was like it was 2 unrelated movies cobbled together. Both were filmed beautifully, but neither worked for me indepedently and the combination just left me very disappointed. I wish I had gone to see Hotel Rwanda instead which seems to have such heavy subject matter but appears in the end to be uplifting. MDB seemed to be gratuitously "heavy" and "deep" while ultimately missing the mark and was a big disappointment. Expand
  24. patriciam.
    Feb 4, 2005
    2
    Acting was wonderful but making the first part a hi 10 and the middle to ending a 0 was so depressing for us. It bothered my husband a lot who has had tragedy in his family and it brought back memories. We didn't like it at all.
  25. rhondas.
    Mar 13, 2005
    1
    The most disappointing movie I've ever seen. Sentimental cliches strung together. I was so bored. Why does everyone think this film is so great? What a joke.
  26. Shootsy
    Jan 17, 2005
    0
    Hollow script made even worse by the " damn this movie is going nowhere after 1 hour!" syndrome. "...hey let's break her neck! " yeah right...a total bore.
  27. StephenD.
    Jan 21, 2005
    1
    [***SPOILERS***] This movie is marketed as a female version of "Rocky" to get good box office. They're keeping the end a "surprise" because people don't pay 8 dollars or more to see that kind of film. It's grossly inaccurate about what happens with spinal cord injury, and turns on some really lame plot points to make the ending work.
  28. davee
    Jan 20, 2005
    3
    Million dollar baby is a turkey. A lot of boxing (faked) and I'm not even an expert with KO's in the first round. I think Swank is a great actress but does not deserve an Oscar for this film. Maybe a nomination but that's it. What really irritates me the most is the voice over from Morgan Freeman. There is too much of it in this film This is a cheap and badly produce film. Million dollar baby is a turkey. A lot of boxing (faked) and I'm not even an expert with KO's in the first round. I think Swank is a great actress but does not deserve an Oscar for this film. Maybe a nomination but that's it. What really irritates me the most is the voice over from Morgan Freeman. There is too much of it in this film This is a cheap and badly produce film. I am getting tired of film makers like Stone doing the same thing in Aleaxander. It's a cheap device to plug or fill the gaps or holes. Musicians call it a filler. If you can make a screenplay without a voice over you deserve an Oscar. The film makers are doing it to often to make make the film more cohensive. But is is overdone here in this film. Morgan Freeman has a great voice but to do this constantly is tiresome. Look at the film GODFATHER there no voice over in that film. Expand
  29. MarjanS.
    Jan 23, 2005
    3
    I'm in shock over the raves for this film. Emotionally manipulative, predictible, poor writing, trite melodrama - and simply mediocre acting. At best a TV movie - with interesting use of light.
  30. JasonG.
    Jan 28, 2005
    0
    Too bad the film dosen't live up to its hype. It is so overated, it is pathetic. This is a fight movie with all the familiar trappings and Eastwood's final forty minutes is stilted soap opera.
  31. JanetM.
    Jan 28, 2005
    0
    THE AVIATOR blows this movie away! I hope Scorsese beats Eastwood to the Oscar. Million Dollar isn't worth two cents!
  32. LarryB.
    Feb 1, 2005
    0
    Not only is Million Dollar Baby miserable and contrived, it also manages to take a partisan stance, thanks to Clint Eastwood's always refreshing dose of conservatism (note the sarcasm). If this is the best movie of 2004, I'm never going to watch another movie again.
  33. davidw.
    Feb 12, 2005
    1
    This movie has few if any redeeming qualities. Bad writing, simplistic and in-your-face emotions, poor acting (Morgan Freeman played the same role in Shawshank Redemption, and Clint was an older Any Which Way but Loose), superfluous characters (Family adds nothing), characatures instead of characters (Everybody but the three leads) and a thin to non-existent story. Other than that, it was This movie has few if any redeeming qualities. Bad writing, simplistic and in-your-face emotions, poor acting (Morgan Freeman played the same role in Shawshank Redemption, and Clint was an older Any Which Way but Loose), superfluous characters (Family adds nothing), characatures instead of characters (Everybody but the three leads) and a thin to non-existent story. Other than that, it was okay. Oh yeah, it is so bad it makes you not care about the "Big Secret". Expand
  34. RachaelRayA.
    Feb 19, 2005
    2
    [***SPOILERS***] It is sad after watching a girl who describes herself as " Trailor trash from the ozarks ", who wants to be somebody and her dreams is to box. She trains herself year after year, celebrates each bithday by holding on to her dream and trains harder. Clint Eastwood an aged trainer who has lost his big shot at a title starts training . Eastwood pulls us into a world were [***SPOILERS***] It is sad after watching a girl who describes herself as " Trailor trash from the ozarks ", who wants to be somebody and her dreams is to box. She trains herself year after year, celebrates each bithday by holding on to her dream and trains harder. Clint Eastwood an aged trainer who has lost his big shot at a title starts training . Eastwood pulls us into a world were losers get used up, the weak just pretend to be human and we as the audience is manipulated into believing that with hard work, Keep your guard up, fight hard you can overcome any opponient. Frankie fights, she learns from being on the ropes,and knocks out each and every fighter she fights. We care about Frankie and Scrap played with fragility and charm always give us a voice over that tells us that boxing is haunting, boxing is moving your feet and boxing is about winning. Frankie wants to be a winner and she fights and moves and learns to keep here guard up. Scrap gives her advice on style, how to hit and watches as she comes to be a dream come true. Frankie who after fighting local , then bigger matches K.O's every fighter. She gets her shot at the chapionship and we are shown the fighter she will fight is dirty, a streetfighter and from the wrong side of the tracks. This is a match that Frankie has prepared for all her life. She has learned to move her feet, hitting from the right foot then a combination from the left and one two three... count of ten and her punching bag opponent is out. Forty minutes into MILLION DOLLAR BABY Frankie, her dreams and basically the movie are all sucker punched twice and the movie goes down for the count. Now the movie changes from haunting storyline of fight hard and you can make something of yourself to hospital melodrama where everything is taken away piece by piece. Frankie as the tuff street fighter should have side shuffled the Blue Bomber that had sucker punched her one time but twice and landed the stinging blow that both stunned it got the message across we can fight my way or I can fight your way. Frankie was a better fighter, she did not deserve to be waylayed to such a traguc end. Because of Eastwood's emotional manipulation and Scraps voice over we see a haunting beauty that breaks your heart. We care for Frankie and she cannot fight the good fight. So we watch the Million Dollar Baby slowly fade away no more dreams and return back to the boxing gym and Scrap sitting , waiting for the next fighter to walk through the door. Clint Eastwood never to return . He goes somewhere else because he can not live with himself anymore because he has killed his dreams, taken away Frankie's hope for her dream to come true and leaves us with the feeling that you can make mistakes, be sucker punched, knocked down and there is no redemption and no pay backs. We are left sitting shocked that Frankie never got to prove herself. She never got to show she could fight, she could side step and avoid a second sucker punch and one, two; out go the lights. We are left sad that Frankie did not deserve her background and her family and Clint Eastwood's stripped-down emotional rollercoaster that derails and sents every emotion in your body down for the count. It is sad to see someone climb out of a black hole and work really hard in a world that is filled with characters we don't care for, dirty, sweating and very dark world where a fighter can make something out of nothing and by listening to Eastwood, who she calls Boss we are watching her wait for her moment and move in for a quick kill. We are left sad that we did not see her dream come true. Eastwood's metaphor for balance of power, give me pain and I will overcome is not achieved . We watched lost souls fade to black and the lights go out. Frankie , with her power right jab and her combinations cannot fight and is reduced to being knocked out by a sucker punch that never should have connected. Frankie could have taken one punch but the second one would have been blacked and then the fight, her dream, would have been on. Million Dollar Baby is incorrect. A better title would have been ; ON THE ROPES FROM A SUCKER PUNCH , or I AM DOWN FOR THE COUNT. It is sad when you watch every cliche from every boxing movie have each trascend into a dull , dark world where we don't care for any of the characters because everyone fights and loses. In any boxing match you have a winner and a loser. Because we care, Frankie deserved a better fight; She deserved to fight and win. Don't show me persecution, annoyance from persecutors and not show me a balance of redemption. Expand
  35. ArthurO.
    Feb 21, 2005
    3
    I thought I was going to see a boxing movie. Instead what I saw was a half-hour snooze at the beginning, some decent action in the middle, and an anti-climatic, non-logical drama at the end. Fantastic cinematic values couldn't save this over-hyped clunker of a movie. When will there be some good movies nominated for an Oscar?
  36. Sean
    Feb 27, 2005
    1
    Perhaps the most hideously contrived movie I've ever seen (only "AI" is in the same league in this regard). The circumstances behind Swank's boxing injury are so preposterous that the whole last act (overwrought to begin with) is rigged to such a degree that it is robbed of any emotional valence. Also, Swank's aw-shucks naiveté and plucky optimism is quickly becoming Perhaps the most hideously contrived movie I've ever seen (only "AI" is in the same league in this regard). The circumstances behind Swank's boxing injury are so preposterous that the whole last act (overwrought to begin with) is rigged to such a degree that it is robbed of any emotional valence. Also, Swank's aw-shucks naiveté and plucky optimism is quickly becoming a tiresome shtick. The fact that the Academy lavishes such tripe with high praise and a plethora of awards is disconcerting to say the least. Expand
  37. BruceC.
    Feb 9, 2005
    2
    A mawkish made-for-tv quality, cliche ridden script with some quality acting. It is emotionally powerful in the way an automobile accident is. Its screenwriter's other credits include THE LOVE BOAT, THE FACTS OF LIFE and RETURN OF THE SHAGGY DOG, which gives you an idea of the level of this script.
  38. DWBrown
    Mar 17, 2005
    2
    This is the most over rated movie since "About Schmidt." This goodnatured semi-retarded girl who loves savagely beating other woman in fake/hokey boxing scenes, a ridiculous twist (they say the fighter who punched her in the back of the head after the bell won!) Clint Eastwood abandons his best friend at the end of the film for no reason other than it seems melodramatic. Terrible.
  39. MarkS.
    May 13, 2005
    3
    Cliched and obvious. Nothing happens in the film without being an obvious tear-jerker appeal to sentiment while lacking the subtlety to legitimately inspire such sentiment on its own. The ending in particular felt like it was forced for the sake of melodrama.
  40. BarbaraG.
    Feb 12, 2005
    2
    I was eager to see the film based on the critical reviews. Now that I've seen it, I can't understand what the fuss is all about. The story line is not believable, Eastwood's character is harsh and stiff, and the "relationships" we hear about are pretty fake. Even Frankie's issue with his daughter is never fully revealed and makes for an unsatisfying resolution of his I was eager to see the film based on the critical reviews. Now that I've seen it, I can't understand what the fuss is all about. The story line is not believable, Eastwood's character is harsh and stiff, and the "relationships" we hear about are pretty fake. Even Frankie's issue with his daughter is never fully revealed and makes for an unsatisfying resolution of his final decisions about Maggie. Probably worth seeing just so you have a handle on the Oscars, but other than that, I was looking at my watch an hour into it. Expand
  41. nWA4LIFE
    Mar 19, 2005
    0
    This is just an over blown Lifetime movie. Hilary Swank has no talent.
  42. JeremyK.
    Mar 23, 2005
    0
    This is the worst movie of the century so far. The characters are pathetic dweebs who give you no reason to care about them, the dialogue is vacuous while pretending to be witty and profound, and the ending will drain whatever energy of yours that the rest of the movie didn't take away. I therefore present the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with the coveted Oscar the This is the worst movie of the century so far. The characters are pathetic dweebs who give you no reason to care about them, the dialogue is vacuous while pretending to be witty and profound, and the ending will drain whatever energy of yours that the rest of the movie didn't take away. I therefore present the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with the coveted Oscar the Grouch Award, which is reserved for people who like garbage. Collapse
  43. MarkA.
    Apr 27, 2005
    2
    Taylor's review for Salon.com is spot on. Ugh.
  44. TomJ.
    Jul 16, 2005
    1
    I sincerely believe this is the worst movie I have ever seen. The movie is bad, but on its own it wouldn't be the worst. But given the nearly universal praise it's received-- including the Best Picture Oscar -- actually watching the movie is one of the most disappointing experiences you will ever have.
  45. LouisA.
    Dec 24, 2004
    1
    Very boring and overestimated movie. Far inferior to MYSTIC RIVER.
  46. LarryW.
    Dec 27, 2004
    2
    Are you guys kidding? This movie was filled with trite and stereotypical characters that make trite and stereotypical choices. The acting is okay, but the writing is so horrible and stock, that I'm shocked that this movie is getting so much attention. Perhaps, so many people identify with the film because they recognize the stock characters and situations from other films and their Are you guys kidding? This movie was filled with trite and stereotypical characters that make trite and stereotypical choices. The acting is okay, but the writing is so horrible and stock, that I'm shocked that this movie is getting so much attention. Perhaps, so many people identify with the film because they recognize the stock characters and situations from other films and their mind fills in the blanks. Seriously, folks, just because a movie deals with something sad, doesn't make it a great movie. Expand
Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 39
  2. Negative: 2 out of 39
  1. Under Eastwood's painstakingly stripped-down direction -- his filmmaking has become the cinematic equivalent of Hemingway's spare though precise prose -- the story emerges as that rarest of birds, an uplifting tragedy.
  2. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    100
    Staying at the top of his game when most of his contemporaries have long since hung up their gloves, Clint Eastwood delivers another knockout punch with Million Dollar Baby.
  3. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    100
    Eastwood takes the audience to raw, profoundly moving places. If you fear strong emotions, this is not for you. But if you want to see Hollywood filmmaking at its most potent, Eastwood has delivered the real deal.