Generally favorable reviews - based on 41 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 363 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 41
  2. Negative: 0 out of 41
  1. Reviewed by: Adam Smith
    Jan 31, 2011
    An exhilarating fight-flick that, like its scrappy central character, is impossible not to root for.
  2. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Dec 8, 2010
    This one, as thoughtful as it is rousing, scores a TKO.
  3. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Dec 9, 2010
    The rousing The Fighter tries a number of risky maneuvers and manages to make them pay off in the end. The movie initially feels like more of a near thing than the filmmakers anticipated, but as in boxing it's only the final decision that counts.
  4. 80
    The movie has so much texture that once it gets you, you're good and got.
  5. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Dec 16, 2010
    Ultimately, The Fighter loses its courage and betrays the terms of its own story by fashioning an interpretation designed to please the people it portrays. It does a switch on us, by changing its focus from Micky's character to Micky's career and then pretending it was really about the career all along.
  6. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Dec 9, 2010
    The screenplay, credited to three writers, has that over-doctored feeling to it, and we're asked to take on a larger redemption tale that undermines the truth of Bale's wholly unsympathetic portrayal of a drug addict and a narcissist. The Fighter's desire to show us what that awful combination looks like is overwhelmed by its urge to show us a Hollywood-style triumph.
  7. Reviewed by: Kirk Honeycutt
    Dec 6, 2010
    So like much of this film, the viewer is turned into an observer. You never feel close enough to the action, either in the ring or in the kitchens, living rooms and tough streets where the story takes place. The characters engage you up to a point but never really pull you in.

See all 41 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 99 out of 108
  2. Negative: 4 out of 108
  1. Dec 19, 2010
    Wahlberg not Warlberg...sorry. My impressions remain the same with regard to my earlier review of this fantastic movie !!!! Additionally, I must also compliment the other actors who all played an integral role in without this total chemistry it may have just been good rather than fantastic. Expand
  2. Feb 14, 2011
    "The Fighter is an Emotional , compelling , Truly inspirational film. Christan Bale and Mark Whalberg give the performances of there career in One of the finest boxing films i have ever seen. The Fighter will have you stand up and cheer .. SEE THIS MOVIE!!" .. A+ Expand
  3. Dec 26, 2010
    A great sports drama, elevated by powerful supporting turns from Bale, Adams, and Leo. The story is uplifting, without being melodramatic, and is greatly helped by Russell's realistic direction. If Bale does not win, let alone be nominated for, an Oscar for this, I'll be shocked, as it's right up the Academy's alley. Expand
  4. Dec 19, 2010
    With films such as Rocky or Raging Bull, it would seem as if that boxing-based movies would be a died out and worn out genre. While I will not say director David Russell's The Fighter brings a new aspect to the table, his film extensively brings out the talent of its actors overshadowing the ensemble of other 2010 favorite Inception. The Fighter is a well-directed and captivating piece, and is as true as its performances.

    The Fighter is a biographical film depicting the life of aspiring professional boxer Mickey Ward, played by the surprisingly multi-dimensional Wahlberg, and his half-brother Dicky Eklund (Christian Bale). Ward is living under the shadow of Dicky, a former boxer who falls into the nightmare of crack addiction and violence. When Dicky faces a full decline, Ward, with the aid of love interest Charlene Fleming (Amy Adams), he learns he must rely on his own decisions to find success. Complimented by Wahlberg's acting, Adams puts on her finest performance since 2008's Doubt. Melissa Leo, who plays Mickey's overbearing mother, also gives a commendable act.

    The film is not solely based on the sport and Ward's effort to "rise to the top." Instead, The Fighter also diverges into two trails illustrating the drug addiction of character Dicky Eklund, who is magnificently played by Christian Bale. Let me say this, Christian Bale gives an unforgettable tour de force performance. No matter what opinion you may have on Bale, from his viral outburst to his laughable performances in the Batman series, the actor is unbelievably good. Bale puts underlying passion and grit into his performance that will crawl under the skin causing either a sense of deep pathos or disturbance. The Fighter is a captivating film with an ample spectrum of emotion. While telling a "rags to riches" story, it also gives an illustrative view into the lower classes of White America. Although the movie's story is overall somewhat cliche and predictable, the depth put on the ensemble and direction makes it solid entertainment and subtle commentary. It at first is slow to buildup, but The Fighter, led by its magnificent trio, will grab and toss you in multiple directions.
  5. Dec 23, 2010
    Most realistic boxing action yet to grace itself on the big screen. Memorable and convincing roles from Adams and Bale make this one of the best movies of the year. Wahlberg takes us somewhere special in the ring, but loses his rhythm amidst the side plots and out-of-ring action. Overall, you have to give credit where credit is earned, and The Fighter does just that as it throws you with a hook that you can't seem to dodge. Highly recommended; a can't miss holiday outing. Expand
  6. Mar 13, 2011
    Ah, Bale experience is always a nice one. Fine acting, nice story, not so good performance by wahlberg, but for me he is more producing genius, not so good in acting. therefore 8/10... Expand
  7. Jan 23, 2011
    Horrible movie. Another boring boxing movie filled with unnecessary drama? We need something new. I would much rather watch Reel Steel than this rubbish of a movie. Expand

See all 108 User Reviews


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