Mixed or average reviews - based on 12 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 33 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Jerry Ferro's 40th birthday has brought his life into sharp relief, and it's not a pretty picture. A once-promising amateur boxer who quit so he wouldn't risk his perfect record of underachievement, Jerry has been knocking around from one construction job to another and spinning his wheels in an unsatisfying relationship, all the while with an eye toward eventually getting his shit together. His last connection to the fight game is the evening boxing class he teaches to middle-aged, middle-class, middle-management types at a gym in Pasadena, where he also works as a handyman. When venerable boxing coach Eddie Bell asks Jerry if he'd like to spar a couple of rounds with Malice Blake, an up-and-coming pro, Jerry reluctantly steps into the ring. Despite the butt-kicking Jerry otherwise receives, a one-punch knockdown of Blake convinces Jerry that it's time to make his return to competitive boxing. Thus ends a 20-year layoff and begins a hilarious fish-out-of-water quest for Olympic gold. (Independent Film Circuit) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 12
  2. Negative: 1 out of 12
  1. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    The Hammer benefits from Carolla's low-energy, low-impact style. He doesn't so much deliver quips as let them dribble out the side of his mouth.
  2. 75
    It's genuinely funny, oddly romantic and surprisingly engaging for what could easily have been an obnoxious vanity project.
  3. Nothing groundbreaking, but there's an easy charm in the movie.
  4. So many movies these days are overworked or overblown: The Hammer feels genuinely tossed-off. It isn't a great movie, or even a consistently good one. Yet it gets to elusive feelings about failure and success, hope and mortality (and reveals a quietly subversive attitude toward the boxing-movie genre).
  5. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    Rambling and disorganized. At the same time, though, The Hammer also has dry wit and unforced working-class swagger, and hits some surprising emotional notes.
  6. Reviewed by: Ronnie Scheib
    This inordinately likable and consistently funny boxing saga-cum-romantic comedy doesn't so much ridicule the "Rocky"-type inspirational sports fable as gently deflate its heroic overdrive.
  7. Plays like a pilot for a situation comedy about a 40-year-old carpenter who decides to return to the boxing ring.

See all 12 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 17
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 17
  3. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. DerekG
    Jun 29, 2009
    I went in to The Hammer expecting the worst: Two hours of Carolla's frank, dry observational humor with a tacked on story. What I got was a surprisingly deep and even touching story of a 40 year old never-was trying to make something of himself. The acting is all charming and well casted, the music is top notch for an independent project, and it all works very well. I was on the brink of tears when I wasn't laughing out loud. Expand
  2. VanceP.
    Mar 21, 2008
    SUCH a good movie, there is something in it for everyone. Must go see it.
  3. HeatherR.
    Apr 8, 2008
    This movie was very charming and a great breakout work for Adam! Go Ace Man!
  4. Sam
    Mar 21, 2008
    A rare thing. A comedy that is funny! I watched this film in a small theater in downtown Seattle with my wife and rarely did more than a few minutes ever go by without a big laugh. It's climax was met with utter silence... the good kind of silence. It's simple charm reminded me of Swingers, a favorite of mine. Seek out this movie and ignore the latest "the-guy-accidentally-ate-dog-feces" and "pubic-hair-got-on-the-wedding-cake" unfunny yawnfest. Expand
  5. JulieH.
    Apr 22, 2008
    A funny, warm story from the underdog's point of view. I don't get the R rating, but it is a movie about a boxer. I loved the characters (especially Ozzy!), and how good the whole story felt. Expand
  6. DouglasQ.
    Mar 23, 2008
    It has some very funny scenes (I like the jump rope bit), a cool story, and a very likable sidekick. It didn't challenge any film conventions, rather it used them well to drive the action forward and pace the movie just right. Expand
  7. JayH.
    Jun 21, 2008
    Adam Carolla's style of humor is very endearing and quite funny. Pretty good movie, better than I was expecting. Great cast, well written, nicely developed characters and it has an original approach. Expand

See all 17 User Reviews