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Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 326 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: An ex-Marine haunted by a tragic past, Tommy Riordan returns to his hometown of Pittsburgh and enlists his father, a recovered alcoholic and his former coach, to train him for an MMA tournament awarding the biggest purse in the history of the sport. As Tommy blazes a violent path towards theAn ex-Marine haunted by a tragic past, Tommy Riordan returns to his hometown of Pittsburgh and enlists his father, a recovered alcoholic and his former coach, to train him for an MMA tournament awarding the biggest purse in the history of the sport. As Tommy blazes a violent path towards the title prize, his brother, Brendan, a former MMA fighter unable to make ends meet as a public school teacher, returns to the amateur ring to provide for his family. Even though years have passed, recriminations and past betrayals keep Brendan bitterly estranged from both Tommy and his father. But when Brendan's unlikely rise as an underdog sets him on a collision course with Tommy, the two brothers must finally confront the forces that tore them apart, all the while waging the most intense, winner-takes-all battle of their lives. (Lionsgate)

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 35
  2. Negative: 1 out of 35
  1. Reviewed by: Dan Jolin
    Sep 3, 2011
    100
    It hardly rewrites the rulebook, but Warrior is a powerful, moving and brilliant sports-pic-cum-family drama. Like "The Fighter," but with kicking.
  2. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Sep 8, 2011
    90
    It is appropriately blunt, powerful and relentless, a study of male bodies in sweaty motion and masculine emotions in teary turmoil.
  3. Reviewed by: Andrea Gronvall
    Sep 8, 2011
    80
    This high-powered sports melodrama benefits from its strong male leads, a sinewy narrative, and the maverick attitude of MMA. But for all the contemporary references, it's essentially a spin on the story of Cain and Abel, which may be the reason it feels timeless.
  4. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Sep 6, 2011
    75
    It overcomes inescapable boxing and martial arts clichés and leaves you thoroughly sated, energized and wanting more.
  5. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Sep 8, 2011
    75
    Warrior aspires to myth. It's Cain and Abel battling it out in the face of a decidedly ungodly father before humanity goes down for the count. Strong stuff.
  6. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Sep 10, 2011
    67
    Warrior becomes increasingly shameless until, by the end, with the big fights fought, we are clearly meant to rise as one and applaud the indomitability of the human spirit. But the only indomitable thing about Warrior are its clichés.
  7. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Sep 9, 2011
    38
    A cheap exploitation picture wrapped in miles and miles of stale would-be Oscar scenes.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 76 out of 78
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 78
  3. Negative: 2 out of 78
  1. Apr 5, 2014
    10
    One of the best boxing movie ever. This movie made me scream and shout at moments. Lose yourself in this amazing action based family drama. AnOne of the best boxing movie ever. This movie made me scream and shout at moments. Lose yourself in this amazing action based family drama. An awesomely directed movie. And the action seems to be too real. Enjoy this movie. ;) Expand
  2. Dec 23, 2011
    10
    Best movie. Mens and boys who have brothers can truly understand the point of this movie. In the end of the movie even the hardest guys willBest movie. Mens and boys who have brothers can truly understand the point of this movie. In the end of the movie even the hardest guys will cry some tears. Expand
  3. Sep 24, 2011
    10
    Best movie of the year hands down. Very unique in that it does not have a clear antagonist. You're rooting for all of them each with their ownBest movie of the year hands down. Very unique in that it does not have a clear antagonist. You're rooting for all of them each with their own promises to fulfill. Tom Hardy's Tommy is just outstanding, the level of intensity showcased is unbelievably scary. Joel Edgerton's Brendan who is trying to make ends meet as a school teacher moonlights as a fighter in parking lots after hours to provide for his family and Nick Nolte's heart-breaking performance as the willing-to-do-anything-to-make-it-right-again estranged father of his two distant sons. And that barely scratched the surface of their story, the depth of the characters is amazingly rich. The first half of the movie builds the foundation for the brothers, their present lives, their rough childhood and their own motivations to get back in the cage, it's as exciting and entertaining as the fighting scenes itself. There's about 4-5 climaxes in Warrior it's outstanding. Unlike a lot of sports/boxing movies we've seen you feel the high-octane scenes. You're really immersed in the fighting sequences, you feel every punch, every kick, every takedown and every headlock because you care about the characters, you know the journey of how they got where they are and you know all too well their hopes and promises to the people they care for. Expand
  4. Dec 30, 2011
    9
    With great MMA fights and powerful storytelling, "Warrior" is definitely a triumph. I really don't know which brother I liked better: Tommy,With great MMA fights and powerful storytelling, "Warrior" is definitely a triumph. I really don't know which brother I liked better: Tommy, an ex-Marine with regrets whose trying to make up and repair for it, or Brendan, whose family's welfare rides on his success or failure. You too will face this tough decision in this amazing film. Expand
  5. Aug 28, 2013
    8
    "Warrior" strikingly illustrates that victory is possible in defeat, and it's not what happens during the final bout that defines Gavin O'"Warrior" strikingly illustrates that victory is possible in defeat, and it's not what happens during the final bout that defines Gavin O' Connor's picture, but what occurs afterwards. "Warrior" is a poignant, touching drama where familiarity with the sport isn't necessary, because ultimately it's not about what transpires in the cage. The movie presents dynamic, strained relationships and the bond of family, coupled with the challenging choices we must make throughout life.

    The narrative focuses on three men: estranged brothers Tom and Brendan Conlon (Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton) and their father, Paddy (Nick Nolte). Tom, a withdrawn marine, has come home to Pittsburgh to train for a spot in "Sparta," a winner-takes-all MMA tournament held in Atlantic City. He is willing to put aside his abusive upbringing in return for his assistance in training. Paddy, a recovering alcoholic, embraces the opportunity to reconnect with his son, even though Tom makes is clear that their relationship will consist strictly as one of trainer and fighter.

    Meanwhile, across the state in Philadelphia, former UFC fighter and current high school teacher Brendan finds himself in need of cash in order to save his home from foreclosure. Against the wishes of Brendan's wife Tess (Jennifer Morrison), Brendan becomes involved in low-level MMA contests, and suspended by the school board once word spreads. One would need be hopelessly naïve not to recognize that this is all going to come down to a match between Tom and Brendan, with a torn father on the sidelines. The first half of the film is mostly devoted to the dramatic setup and character development, before it launches into the Atlantic City bouts that take up the majority of the second half of the film.

    "Warrior" offers strong performances across the board, two of which are standouts. Tom Hardy, who redefined his career with his screen-searing work in "Bronson," (2008) is simply tremendous. The word "volcanic" was often used to describe Hardy's work in "Bronson," and it applies here as well. Nick Nolte, who has received his share of accolades over a long and prosperous career, provides a terrific performance as a remorseful father who is desperate to reconnect with his sons.

    This real battle here is outside of the cage, involving redemption, reconciliation, and putting demons to rest. O'Connor's filming has a gritty, grainy, sensibility that is only enhanced by utilizing locations around the Pittsburgh area. Putting aside the fighting in the cage, it's the emotional tussle they must contend with that is far more daunting than any opponent in the cage. "Warrior" has the heart of a champion that keeps this film alive and pumping to the bloody end.
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  6. Nov 27, 2011
    8
    The first third of Warrior has some of the best blue collar acting, blue collar writing and American filmmaking in decades. Joel Edgerton, TomThe first third of Warrior has some of the best blue collar acting, blue collar writing and American filmmaking in decades. Joel Edgerton, Tom Hardy and Nick Nolte give outstanding performances. The last third of the film, which is an MMA tournament is very good, but by that point, Warrior has poured on more plot that ten movies. We know a great deal about these characters. We care. But the plot is thick and heavy. I hope the film finds an audience on video. Expand
  7. Oct 5, 2014
    1
    stupid movie and an insult to knowledgable mma fans. A walk-in that just mauls resident fighters at an mma gym? **** Ripping the doors off astupid movie and an insult to knowledgable mma fans. A walk-in that just mauls resident fighters at an mma gym? **** Ripping the doors off a tank and disappearing? What a load of **** A highschool teachers with one of the squishiest guards in mma history makes it to the finals and defeats the undefeated Russian machine? This is just blatant flag waving crap! Expand

See all 78 User Reviews

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