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

User Score
8.9

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
    75
    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
    60
    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
    60
    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

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