The Boxer (1997) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Boxer (1997)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Jim Sheridan (In the Name of the Father) directed this drama about a Belfast boxer, filmed with Dublin locations substituting for Belfast. Released after his 14-year prison sentence for IRA activities, 32-year-old Danny Flynn (Daniel Day-Lewis) returns to his old neighborhood and sees former-flame Maggie (Emily Watson), who has an unhappy marriage and now raises her son alone while her husband is in prison. To get back in the boxing ring, Danny gets the community-center gym back in operation and starts training, encountering opposition from militant IRA members, including Harry (Gerald McSorley). Danny and Maggie grow closer, but after a bomb sets off events leading to the destruction of the gym, Danny leaves for a disastrous boxing match in London. More grim situations arise when he returns to Belfast.more
Rating: R (for language)
Genre: Sports & Fitness, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Jim Sheridan, Terry George
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 7, 1998
Universal Pictures


Daniel Day-Lewis
as Danny Flynn
Brian Cox
as Joe Hamill
Ken Stott
as Ike Weir
Damien Denny
as Eddie Carroll
Kenneth Cranham
as Matt Maguire
Frank Coughlan
as Prison Officer
Daragh Donnelly
as Prison Officer
Sean Kearns
as Prison Officer
John Wall
as Priest
Carol Scanlan
as Wedding Guest
Kate Perry
as Wedding Guest
Andrea Irvine
as Wedding Guest
Joan McGarry
as Wedding Guest
Theresa McComb
as Wedding Guest
Catherine Dunne
as Wedding Guest
Kerrie Duggan
as Wedding Guest
Sharon Dunne
as Wedding Guest
Derbhla McClelland
as Wedding Guest
Oliver Maguire
as Prison Governor
Sandra Corbally
as Cake Decorator
David Hayman
as Joe Hamill's Aide
Pat Mulryan
as IRA Man
Martin Dunne
as IRA Man
Joseph Rea
as Agnes' Son
Peter Sheridan
as Peter Mallon
Larry Byrne
as Old Man in Shelter
Joe Gallagher
as Car Bomb Driver
Sean Brunett
as Boy on Bicycle
James Hayes
as Bomb Victim
Richie Piggott
as Sean's Helper
Jack Waters
as Soldier on Roof
Padraic O'Neill
as Doorman at Gym
Mark Mulholland
as Old Man in Gym
John Cowley
as Old Man in Gym
Don Foley
as Old Man in Gym
Tim McDonnell
as Caretaker of Gym
Philip Sutcliffe
as Boxer on Pads
Britta Smith
as Mrs. Boots
Eamon Brown
as 1st Fight Referee
Martin Lynch
as Journalist
David Gavin Brown
as Liam's Opponent
Noel O'Donovan
as 1st Fight Timekeeper
Joe Colgan
as Danny's Cornerman
Nye Heron
as Eddie's Trainer
Paul Ronan
as Eddie's Cornerman
Liam Carney
as Mr. Walsh
Veronica Duffy
as Mrs. Walsh
Des Braiden
as Mr. Orr
Vinny Murphy
as Danny's Supporter
Mick Nolan
as Danny's Supporter
Bernard Berts Folan
as Danny's Supporter
Juliet Cronin
as 1st Fight Cardgirl
Kirsten Sheridan
as Girl with Drinks
Mickey Tohill
as Billy Patterson
Ian McElhinney
as Reggie Bell
Conor Bradford
as TV Announcer
Anna Meegan
as Woman at 2nd Fight
Al Morris
as 2nd Fight Referee
Ian Thompson
as Child at 2nd Fight
Paul Wesley
as Danny's Sparring Par...
Michael James Ford
as Head Waiter
John Cooke
as Toastmaster
Cornelius Carr
as London Fighter
Norman Kelly
as London Fighter
Gerry Storey
as Cornerman
Fred Tiedt
as London Fight Referee
Jer O'Leary
as London Fight Timekee...
Jules Kingelesi
as Akim's Cornerman
Dennis Mika
as Akim's Cornerman
David Heap
as Maitre D'
John Hewitt
as Ike's Drinking Buddy
Janine McGuinness
as London Fight Cardgir...
Tom Maguire
as Policeman at Checkpo...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Boxer

Critic Reviews for The Boxer

All Critics (71) | Top Critics (27)

In each film he makes, Day-Lewis seems to adopt a new persona.

Full Review… | May 14, 2013
Associated Press
Top Critic

Day-Lewis has the ability to make the will to nonviolence look positively volcanic. And Watson, with her 200-watt incandescence, makes longing look radiant.

Full Review… | May 14, 2013
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

If The Boxer doesn't quite score a knockout, that's because of such flaws as the too-sketchy development of the character of Maggie's son, who turns out to be pivotal. But the movie carries the day by aiming its strongest punches straight at the heart.

Full Review… | May 14, 2013
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

With Watson and Day-Lewis you can almost feel the heat, and their situation never feels contrived or artificial.

Full Review… | May 14, 2013
Top Critic

The critic dutifully tabulated each blunt plot point, each refried cliche.. And yet, when Danny's nemesis did something monstrously rotten, the critic was so enraged by the dastardly act that he had to stop himself from spitting his candy.

Full Review… | May 14, 2013
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Though we've seen this unquiet terrain before, this new film about boxing, star-crossed lovers and the Irish Republican Army temporarily gives us fresh eyes.

Full Review… | May 14, 2013
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Boxer


A boxer returns from an unjust prison sentence to try to rebuild his life in an Ireland at odds with itself. Lewis carries the picture easily as a man of few words but his scenes with Watson up the ante: watching them communicate when they know it's against the rules but unable to help themselves makes the film. The boxing scenes are good as well.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Daniel Day-Lewis doing what he does best. The plot is really good as well, dealing with the IRA and a forbidden love between Day-Lewis and an old flame. Also, it seems that Cinderella Man's style and plot points seemed to borrow a lot from this movie, but out of the two, this is definitely the one to see.

Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

The best part of this movie is that you know DDL was training his ass off and probably could have been a featherweight champion. Watching him jump rope and fight in those matches was great. Then there is the speech that he gives to Watson about jail, it's almost worth the price of admission. Basically, even though the movie is just okay and left me wanting more, you keep watching because of the acting, Brian Cox is great as well. I am on a huge IRA kick here lately.

Tim Sigur

Super Reviewer

The Boxer Quotes

– Submitted by Jesse K (3 years ago)

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