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The Boxer (1997)

tomatometer

85

Average Rating: 7.9/10
Critic Reviews: 27
Fresh: 23 | Rotten: 4

No consensus yet.

audience

75

liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 7,894

My Rating

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

R,

Sports & Fitness, Drama

Jim Sheridan, Terry George

Jul 7, 1998

Universal Pictures

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All Critics (71) | Top Critics (27) | Fresh (56) | Rotten (14) | DVD (5)

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

May 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Associated Press
Associated Press
Top Critic IconTop 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.

May 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop 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.

May 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

May 14, 2013 Full Review Source: CNN.com
CNN.com
Top Critic IconTop 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.

May 14, 2013 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop 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.

May 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What makes The Boxer as potent as it is are the performances, especially Daniel Day-Lewis' contained powerhouse. His Danny is a closed-off man, shadowboxing with his private demons, who comes painfully, but gloriously, back to life.

May 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

An intelligent, provocative piece of cinema, with something quite bold to say in the Irish context.

May 14, 2013 Full Review Source: sbs.com.au
sbs.com.au

A knock-out performance by Daniel Day-Lewis is the highlight of this admirable if rather conventional drama.

May 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

We never figure out, though, what drives Day-Lewis' Danny. We just take it on faith that he's stubborn and sick of violence. The filmmakers don't help much, offering just a twist on the star-crossed lovers story, mixed with standard boxing melodrama.

May 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Florida Times-Union
Florida Times-Union

The art-house dream-team pairing of Daniel Day-Lewis and Emily Watson amounts to more of a soft jab than a knockout punch.

May 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News

In this dull film, poignant characters caught up in histrionics flail with one glove, while much emotional shadowboxing is done with the other.

May 14, 2013 Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

It still packs a knockout punch thanks to Day-Lewis' typically gutsy performance.

May 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

One of Sheridan's best.

May 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

The screenplay of The Boxer spends too much time and energy setting up the basic situations of its plot, then does a spotty job of blending the material's personal and political aspects.

May 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

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.
June 18, 2011
ApeneckFletcher

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.
November 18, 2009
ythelastman89

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.
November 6, 2008
tsigur

Super Reviewer

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