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Against the Ropes (2004)



Average Rating: 4.2/10
Reviews Counted: 132
Fresh: 16 | Rotten: 116

A bland, dumbed-down package of sports cliches.


Average Rating: 4.2/10
Critic Reviews: 36
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 30

A bland, dumbed-down package of sports cliches.



liked it
Average Rating: 2.8/5
User Ratings: 9,945

My Rating

Movie Info

Charles S. Dutton's feature-length directorial debut Against the Ropes is based on the real-life story of Jackie Kallen, a Jewish woman from Detroit who became a successful boxing manager. Played by Meg Ryan, Kallen works her way up in the world of boxing by believing in the fighting skills of Luther Shaw (Omar Epps). Director Dutton appears as veteran trainer Felix Reynolds, whom Kallen encourages to come out of retirement. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, Rovi



Cheryl Edwards

Jul 13, 2004


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All Critics (140) | Top Critics (40) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (116) | DVD (16)

A miscast Ryan struggles with a Detroit accent and a script that goes nowhere.

February 26, 2004
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What could have been a Working Girl hoot gets mired in redundant assertions of Kallen's feistiness.

February 24, 2004 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
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Somewhere along the way, I found myself enjoying Against the Ropes, not in spite of my better judgment, but because something in the movie defies the whole notion of better judgment altogether.

February 21, 2004 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

So anemic you should probably order iron supplements with your popcorn, its plot so predictable it makes falling dominoes seem like a white-knuckle thrill ride.

February 20, 2004
Washington Post
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A boilerplate melodrama whose good guys and bad guys are so baldly drawn they could have been conceived by Friz Freleng.

February 20, 2004
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Bathos wrapped in a formulaic screenplay bolstered with cliches, not only about the boxing world but about tough women and the men who hate them.

February 20, 2004 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Uninspired tale feels like a made-for-TV movie.

September 9, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

An inoffensively average, formulaic entertainment with a marketing-problematic point of view.

December 28, 2008 Full Review Source:

It's hard to expect anyone to infuse much passion into a "by-the-numbers" boxing movie which telegraphs every punch.

April 25, 2007 Full Review Source: Princeton Town Topics
Princeton Town Topics

Against the Ropes may not deliver a knock-out, but it does land some pretty good blows.

September 1, 2006
Christianity Today

It's one thing to make a predictable Hollywood movie. It's another thing to make a predictable Hollywood movie based on a fascinating life.

June 4, 2004

What could have been a gripping tale becomes hammy and overdone.

May 14, 2004 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Meg Ryan is busily torpedoing any respect she might have accrued

May 13, 2004 Full Review Source: Times [UK]
Times [UK]

This movie lacks any complexity. Dutton opts instead to embellish the story with boxing clichés.

May 11, 2004 Full Review Source: BBC

Ryan's Kallen is painfully two-dimensional.

April 9, 2004
San Francisco Examiner

Mediocre, cliché-ridden but passable entertainment that completely falls apart in the third act.

April 7, 2004 Full Review Source: IGN Movies
IGN Movies

Complicated by the ways that race, masculinity, and media shape expectations and possibilities in the boxing world.

March 23, 2004 Full Review Source: PopMatters

The film isn't good enough for the full price.

March 4, 2004
Greenwich Village Gazette

What the audience ends up with is a watered down whitewash of Kallen's life story.

February 29, 2004 Full Review
Talking Pictures (U.S.)

Ryan seems to be having fun, at least: she speaks with a breathy working-class accent that's part Lauren Bacall, part Teamster.

February 25, 2004
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

Against the Ropes ... is "inspired" by Kallen's life but ultimately has as much to do with her story as Schindler's List did with the War of 1812.

February 24, 2004
Creative Loafing

An awfully contrived and awkward "true-life" drama, film tries desperately to be a crowd-pleaser without delivering the necessary narrative punch or action.

February 24, 2004 Full Review Source:

This is just another boxing movie with few surprises and an awkward message to viewers.

February 24, 2004 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

If you like boxing or know a little something about the sport, prepare to have your intelligence insulted.

February 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Nitrate Online
Nitrate Online

Audience Reviews for Against the Ropes

quite a hated movie!
although it isnt original its not a terrible movie and is quite a good movie, it kept me entertained and interested in the movie and i thought it was pretty interesting.
I enjoyed the story and its based on real events as well and i enjoyed the acting and writting of the script i think the movie showed how men are predujice and sexist when a women does a supposed male job that no women should do, and i think it projected that across brilliantly i really enjoyed the movie.
Meg Ryan is brilliant and so is omar epps i love tony shalhoub in this hes brilliant as the horrible trainer businessman.
Meg Ryan pays a women whose bossed about and finally gets the chances to take on a fighter for boxing but she takes a risk with an unsuspeciting surprise that turns to be a huge bonus, but will the fame get to her and will she continue to have the fighters best interests at heart?
Funny in places and keeps you entertained and a real good emotional journey through the life of a women who gets everything good movie!
October 20, 2009
Film Crazy

Super Reviewer

Good bit comedy, but filled drama in fight film with my one of favourite beautiful actresses, Meg Ryan. Interesting inspired tale by the life of Jackie Kallen, the most successful female manager in the world of boxing.
May 15, 2007
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

Interesting. Not original but it was okay.
August 23, 2008

Super Reviewer

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