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Girlfight (2000)



Average Rating: 7.3/10
Reviews Counted: 93
Fresh: 81 | Rotten: 12

Michelle Rodriguez gives a compelling performance, despite lack of a boxing background; Karyn Kusama packs a punch with this directorial debut.


Average Rating: 7.2/10
Critic Reviews: 32
Fresh: 28 | Rotten: 4

Michelle Rodriguez gives a compelling performance, despite lack of a boxing background; Karyn Kusama packs a punch with this directorial debut.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 11,520

My Rating

Movie Info

Karyn Kusama makes her debut with this sensitive, subtly told coming-of-age story about boxing and love. Diana (Michelle Rodriguez) is a tough though painfully honest girl living in Brooklyn. Surly, frustrated, and directionless, Diana seems to have a ticket on the express train to expulsion; she repeatedly finds herself in detention and schoolyard fights. At home, her weak though abusive single father Sandro (Paul Calderon) clearly favorites her bookish brother Tiny (Ray Santiago) over her.


Sports & Fitness, Drama

Karyn Kusama

Mar 27, 2001


Screen Gems - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (97) | Top Critics (32) | Fresh (81) | Rotten (12) | DVD (10)

It gives its fine actors room to breathe and behave -- and in Michelle Rodriguez's case, glow.

August 1, 2008 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For once, the advance buzz has been amply justified, thanks to an extraordinarily charismatic film debut by a non-professional named Michelle Rodriguez.

April 27, 2007 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For all the violence on view, Kusama's script insists on a real, wholly unsentimental tenderness.

March 26, 2007 Full Review Source: Associated Press
Associated Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Kusama's direction is imaginative, her attention to detail makes for credibility and clarity with regard to the dilemmas faced by her determined young heroine, and Rodriguez is quite astonishing in the lead role.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's obvious Kusama knew what she wanted and was in control, because all the key roles and scenes are played with a uniform tone and conviction.

July 21, 2005 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

While it wonderfully confounds our narrative expectations as a coming-of-age story and a romantic drama, it works on another level as a great sporting experience.

June 18, 2002 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A bit of a lightweight.

August 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

While parts were new and interesting, I can't make it a recommended view.

June 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Scouts
Film Scouts

It's a refreshingly straightforward and honest attempt, flying in the face of the rest of the product out there, which is either manipulating and dumb or tricky and arty.

May 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

It's sensitive, it avoids sentimentalism, and it wins our cheers by giving us believable characters that we care about.

December 6, 2004
Looking Closer

A moving performance by newcomer Michelle Rodriguez showcases this moody Sundance showstopper about a Brooklyn teen who battles an age-old gender barrier.

May 14, 2003
Palo Alto Weekly

The strength of this Romeo and gym-rat story is Rodriguez's performance. She is a vivid powder keg of repressed and resurrected dreams and desires.

October 10, 2002 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

Like a smart boxer, Girlfight knows when to be light on its feet and when to hit hard.

August 15, 2002 Full Review
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)

A low-key, naturalistic coming-of-age drama.

December 10, 2001 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

First-time writer-director Karyn Kusama makes it seem believable (the big question is, how come someone with this much talent isn't getting more opportunities in Hollywood?).

October 19, 2001 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

One of the best films of the year.

July 16, 2001

An impressive debut, an enthralling story about an urban teen finding her place in life. And that place happens to be a boxing ring.

June 14, 2001 Full Review Source:

Rodriguez, taking punches as well as she dishes them out, is a champion whom women and men alike can cheer.

June 11, 2001

Audience Reviews for Girlfight

The acting in this was decent, and the characters were somewhat believable. I don't think the idea of her being a boxer was taken far enough, however. The fights seemed unrealistic. Not bad..not great..
May 15, 2012

Super Reviewer

Developed in the midst of the rise in female boxing, Michelle Rodriguez puts together a nice personal project.
January 20, 2010
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

Michelle Rodriguez first film. Good to see a girl throw a punch every now and again.
August 31, 2009
Lesley N

Super Reviewer

The "Billy Elliot" of womens boxing movies. And heavily cliched.
July 29, 2012

Super Reviewer

    1. Adrian: Why do you train with Hector?
    2. Diana: You mean at all?
    3. Adrian: Yeah.
    4. Diana: Because I want to.
    5. Adrian: Aren't you afraid of gettin' hurt?
    6. Diana: What, and you're not?
    7. Adrian: No, it's just - It's a dangerous sport.
    8. Diana: I didn't make the cheerleading team.
    – Submitted by Jerome M (10 months ago)
    1. Veronica: I didn't do nothing!
    2. Diana: Except be your stinky stanky self!
    – Submitted by Jerome M (10 months ago)
    1. Hector: Inside you know yourself?
    2. Diana: I do.
    3. Hector: Then that's all you need.
    – Submitted by Ariana T (2 years ago)
    1. Adrian: No, you're sweet.
    – Submitted by Amanda M (2 years ago)
    1. Diana: Sweet? That's funny. I've always thought of myself as salty.
    – Submitted by Amanda M (2 years ago)
    1. Adrian: I'm gonna turn pro and I'm gonna move far away from here. Someplace where I'm not gonna get killed doing my laundry.
    – Submitted by Lea L (2 years ago)
View all quotes (8)

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June 7, 2005:
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Oft-acclaimed actress Anne Bancroft, known best for her role as the original MILF, succumbed to...
December 6, 2004:
The Sets of Aeon Flux

Foreign Titles

  • Girlfight - Auf eigene Faust (DE)
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