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

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Universal acclaim- based on 266 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 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)

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 35
  2. Negative: 1 out of 35
  1. Reviewed by: Dan Jolin
    Sep 3, 2011
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    A cheap exploitation picture wrapped in miles and miles of stale would-be Oscar scenes.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 73 out of 74
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 74
  3. Negative: 1 out of 74
  1. Aug 30, 2012
    Being a huge MMA fan i was a little bit nervous to watch this film, i was extremely disapointed with the movie never back down and thought this movie would make MMA look like a joke again, but i have to say i was extremely impressed by this movie, it delivered on all levels, story, emotion, and a real take on MMA fighting, must see movie for MMA fans or just fans of good movies! Expand
  2. Sep 12, 2011
    Gripping movie with a great caste. The film does a great job at building up the fights by slowly filling in the blanks of the the two brothers past. The fight scenes are also realistic and intense. Expand
  3. Sep 24, 2011
    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 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
    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. Apr 8, 2013
    Here you go, another good film of 2011. It seems like an ordinary action/fighting but one must not be deceived by the looks of this film, there's 'Extra' delight in it. warrior features a less-popular cast which includes Joel Edgerton, Tom Hardy, Nick Nolte and Jeniffer Morisson.

    Perhaps the biggest letdown of Warrior is the clichés which it possesses. It follows the route of many mediocre films, a character is equipped with insufficient talent or experience, faces a problem, joins a competition or goes for a fight and ultimately achieves victory, and you will see that in Warrior.

    Despite being clichéd, it is still well-occupied with a properly written screenplay. Fine dialogue throughout the movie and what makes Warrior a worthy experience is the moving elements that it contains. A fiercely moving motion picture is what Warrior is.

    The fighting scenes of the film, which takes up the majority of the movie's moments, are choreographed wonderfully. Having established a fine direction for it's action scenes during the movie's final hours, is like witnessing a real MMA matches in high definition, rather than watching a film, and I think that is an utmost quality of movie-making and I could conclude that Gavin O'Connor is a promising, talented and 'far above the level of mediocrity' filmmaker.

    The acting performances in this film are spectacular. Tom hardy plays Tommy Conlon whose character is disturbed by past events which made him 'harder'. Hardy's performance in this film is so good that I would say 'It could have knocked me out for a second' and I think Tom Hardy is one of the most consistent actors working in Hollywood today. On the other side of the note, there is Joel Edgerton, a completely unknown Australian actor to me, who plays Brendan Conlon and too gives a delightful performance. The element which makes Edgerton's delivery is good is the naturalistic materials which he possessed, and he's well composed too. But, in my opinion, the actor which stands out from the rest is Nick Nolte. His portrayal of a father filled with mistakes moved me much. In addition, Nolte's perfect navigation on his body movement, facial expression and verbal communication is perfect and that will lead to a conclusion that Nick Nolte is a very skilled actor.

    Yes, Warrior is very much clichéd, but I guess those clichés are neutralized by fine performances and impeccable moving moments. A great film, but not a masterpiece for sure.

    ( ( Twitter (Alex_DeSmall)
  6. Nov 8, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The true power of this movie, is the simple subtle honesty. It does not try to give great big background stories, or hugely emotional 'have it all out' redemption. It let you see the pain each character feels, let you guess at some of the experiences these characters had gone through. Words DONT solve everything, and they certainly dont always help. Much of our lives and relationships are subconciously built around things Unspoken, and this movie recognises this and therefore makes its interactions more honest becuase of it.

    Also, the fight scenes were spot on. Honestly brutal, while not being overly bloodthirsty. If your fighting at that level, you need focus. Without it, your just brawling. The overwhelming intensity of Tommy (Tom Hardy) is almost shocking. Made more so becuase there is no boasting, no glorification, no real menace to him, he is just that strong, just that physically powerful. This contrasts with his brother who has little actual physical presence, but a focus and a drive that makes it possible for him to challenge at this level. i.e. Tommy knocks you out, Brenden taps you out etc.

    Part of the power of the enstrangement in this film is that Brenden is just as eager for forgiveness and reconcilliation from his younger brother as their father is, even while he struggles with unreconcilled jelousy from the attention 'Tommy' got from their father (who was training Tommy in junior wrestling). While Tommy is just a huge powerderkeg of continued PTS, Survivors guilt and emotional abandonment.

    To be honest, I think it might have been a bit too suble and unspoken on occasion, so many people who have not had any similar expeciences, or known anyone who had, may not have grasped the true ramifications of what was left unspoken. In particular the Surviors guilt for Tommy and Brenden's first true understanding of the regret that unresolved guilt brings. I thought it was a brilliant movie. Entertaining, powerful, interesting and quality. It was not shown at a lot of cinema's in America (prob becuase of the whole 'friendly fire' issue) so it wont make the money it normally would, but I expect it will do a brisk trade on DVD. And to be honest it was not really advertised as the emotional sucker punch it actually was. The fighting, while entertaining, wasnt the focal point of the movie at all. Becuase of this its viewing base may be mislead. A lot of people who would truly enjoy this movie may be scared off by the apparent physical violence of it. If you are one of those people, go watch it. It is seriously worth it.
  7. Dec 12, 2011
    I love UFC so this movie had to score high for me. Raw, MMA, guy story...all the fails. No suspense. No story. No tension. No neckhold. Its a Sunday afternoon movie about two brothers and a Dad who had a falling out years ago....About nothing. Expand

See all 74 User Reviews


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