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Million Dollar Baby (2004)

tomatometer

91

Average Rating: 8.4/10
Reviews Counted: 234
Fresh: 212 | Rotten: 22

Clint Eastwood's assured direction - combined with knockout performances from Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman - help Million Dollar Baby to transcend its clichés, and the result is deeply heartfelt and moving.

92

Average Rating: 8.8/10
Critic Reviews: 51
Fresh: 47 | Rotten: 4

Clint Eastwood's assured direction - combined with knockout performances from Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman - help Million Dollar Baby to transcend its clichés, and the result is deeply heartfelt and moving.

audience

90

liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 401,455

My Rating

Movie Info

Frankie Dunn (Clint Eastwood) is a veteran boxing trainer who has devoted his life to the ring and has precious little to show for it; his daughter never answers his letters, and a fighter he's groomed into contender status has paid him back by signing with another manager, leaving Frankie high and dry. His best friend and faithful employee Eddie Dupris is a former fighter who Frankie trained. In his last fight, Eddie suffered a severe injury, a fact that brings Frankie great guilt. One day,

PG-13,

Drama, Romance

Paul Haggis

Jul 12, 2005

$100.4M

Warner Bros. Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (234) | Top Critics (51) | Fresh (212) | Rotten (22) | DVD (38)

The only differences between this new film and its many forebears are that the young hopeful is a woman and the finish is unforeseen.

January 10, 2014 Full Review Source: The New Republic
The New Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As an actor, Eastwood has rarely taken on a character as complex as Frankie Dunn.

January 10, 2014 Full Review Source: Newsweek
Newsweek
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's impressive, in the sense that a sucker-punch impresses itself on your skull.

February 24, 2013 Full Review Source: Slate
Slate
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It is thoughtful, unfashionable, measured, mostly honest, sometimes clumsy or remote, often exciting, occasionally moving and eventually surprising. It's correct.

February 24, 2013 Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Barely a year after the release of Mystic River, Clint Eastwood delivers a second consecutive drama that fearlessly probes the shadows of human morality without falling back on easy answers.

February 24, 2013 Full Review Source: Associated Press
Associated Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Perhaps the director's most touching, most elegiac work yet, Million Dollar Baby is a film that does both the expected and the unexpected, that has the nerve and the will to be as pitiless as it is sentimental.

February 24, 2013 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

With Mystic River, Clint stared down loss and revenge. Here, he's made an elegiac and beautifully measured film about the power of love.

January 10, 2014 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Onscreen, Eastwood is solid as granite, getting maximum effect by doing the minimum required in a scene but doing it with precisely the right inflection or look. Swank is sensational, proving her breakout turn in Boys Don't Cry was no fluke.

January 10, 2014 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

Morgan Freeman is impressive as Dunn's crumpled sidekick, and Oscar winner Swank is terrific, too, but this is Clint's film, both as its tortured hero and as a great American director.

January 10, 2014 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Yes, Million Dollar Baby is about the grit and glory of boxing. It's about the count, the bell and the gloves in the air, but also about the human heart and all the tenderness and strength it can muster. And in both corners, it's a knockout.

January 10, 2014 Full Review Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

Age has clenched Clint Eastwood's face tight as a fist, but he has never been more tender, vulnerable, and heartbroken than in Million Dollar Baby.

November 19, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

Violent Oscar winner is inspiring but too intense for kids.

December 26, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Comments (3)
Common Sense Media

"Million Dollar Baby" is a tragic film about an innately paternal man's desperate need to overcome his own emotional traps and the loyal girl who facilitates his growth by her steely will and stubborn drive.

April 18, 2009 Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com
ColeSmithey.com

This is an actor's piece, and Eastwood, Freeman, and Swank all deliver performances equal to or perhaps greater than any they've done in recent memory.

February 27, 2009 Full Review Source: CHUD

Million Dollar Baby adds to Clint Eastwood's legacy in ways we might not have expected. It explores emotional terrain as he hasn't done before, and it gives him a kind of role that he has never had before.

February 2, 2009 Full Review Source: Bright Lights Film Journal
Bright Lights Film Journal

Just when you think he should be retiring, Clint Eastwood throws another one-two punch.

November 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Hollywood.com
Hollywood.com

This is Eastwood's weakest work in years, perhaps because it yokes itself to a hot-button theme instead of a story that resonates.

July 18, 2008 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com | Comments (13)
eFilmCritic.com

A devastating act of mercy for one character may very well cost the soul of another.

February 28, 2008 Full Review Source: BrandonFibbs.com
BrandonFibbs.com

After the somewhat hysterical Mystic River - a flawed work dominated by a powerhouse performance from Sean Penn - this is a far more balanced piece, anchored by three terrific turns and some lean direction from Eastwood.

February 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

Audience Reviews for Million Dollar Baby

This impressive feat from actor/director Clint Eastwood makes for a tearful cry, which is rare in a sports dramas, and it also says a lot about a character that remains an example of complex storytelling in films. Without stressing the twists and turns of the plot, and the obvious inclination at spoiler alert, this film is easy to clarify. What I can tell you is that this film is not an average sports drama and it is a film that centers more on atonement, guilt, and the pursuit of self-preservation and dignity. The film centers on the dynamic relationship between trainer Frankie (Eastwood) and fighter in training Maggie (Swank). Frankie is still pained about his friend Eddie (Freeman) having gone in blind in one eye because he didn't call a fight in time. Frankie now trains men in the local gym that he and Eddie own, Frankie dealing with cut work in-between fights and Eddie helping out some of the weaklings, including Danger (Baruchel) who toys around with the idea of becoming a fighter. Frankie meets Maggie while she pursues him to be her trainer, and they grow a friendship that leads to mutual trust and understanding. The way Frankie deals with the injuries of boxing, getting away from his past and yet relives it at the same time, is devastating to watch. One minute everything is starting to feel positive, and the story remains uplifting for both Frankie and Maggie, and then Frankie is faced with his past yet again. Maggie, as a character, is one of the most interesting women to be put onscreen in some time. Not only does she take interest in her future, but she does something about it, and becomes friends with Frankie, eventually taking on the role of daughter, since his own won't talk to him. She has a horrible family, a stalled past, and complete ambition, besides being feisty. There's also a priest character in the film who is very interesting and works well against Frankie's hardened demeanor and moral quandaries. By the end Frankie seems to have found closure, but he has also sacrificed a part of him that will never grow anew. It's heartbreaking, and if the ending is not ruined for you already, this is definitely going to surprise you.
October 25, 2013
FrizzDrop

Super Reviewer

A masterpiece, plain and simple. A total knockout of a movie right to the heart. Absolutely perfect. Unforgettable and Powerful. Brilliant, remarkable and groundbreaking. It's compelling, astonishing, deeply moving, outstanding and breathtaking. Eastwood and Freeman have never been better. They have a unique and well-developed chemistry, it's always great to see these two icons work together. Morgan Freeman is extraordinary, he gives a soft spoken and riveting performance. Clint Eastwood is passionately raw and excellent, it's definitely one of the best and most emotionally naked performances of his career. Hilary Swank is magnificent. It's probably the best performance of her career. A heart wrenching and heart breaking film. A real punch of power, humor, personal triumph and devastating emotion. It's superb drama at it's very best. A towering achievement by a top artist in top form. Every scene is shot perfectly with great style. It makes you think dreams are worth fighting for. One of the finest movies ever made. A real classic that will stand with Director, Eastwood's best films like Unforgiven and Mystic River.
November 18, 2012
allan913

Super Reviewer

Eastwood's masterpiece, pure and simple, with guts and glory, respect, honor and love, and boxing (that venerable movie warhorse, trotted out again, this time with a woman as the fated underdog from nowhere), delivered humbly by Freeman, Swank and Eastwood himself.
June 3, 2012
ApeneckFletcher

Super Reviewer

This is one of my favourite movies, i simply adore this movie!
I've since this movie countless times and i think this is the first movie i watched that persuaded me to follow Clint Eastwoods career and try his other movies, which is one of the best decisions ive made!
Its a classic, its powerful, emotional and just simply a tearjerker!
With the talents of Eastwood mixed in with the talents of Freeman and Swank there isnt anything about this movie you Won't enjoy! Truly a phenomenal movie!
April 19, 2012
FiLmCrAzY
Film Crazy

Super Reviewer

    1. Eddie Scrap-Iron Dupris: (last lines) (Narrating) No matter where he is, I thought you should know what knda man that your father really was.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (4 months ago)
    1. Eddie Scrap-Iron Dupris: (first lines) (Narrating) Only ever met one man that I wouldn't wanna fight. When I met him and he was already the best cut man in the business. Started trainin' and managin' in the sixties, but never lost his gift.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (4 months ago)
    1. Maggie Fitzgerald: I've seen you lookin' at me.
    2. Frankie Dunn: Yeah, out of pity.
    3. Maggie Fitzgerald: Don't you say that! Don't you say that if it ain't true! I want a trainer. I don't want charity and I don't want any favours.
    4. Maggie Fitzgerald: If you're not interested that I got more celebratin' to do.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (4 months ago)
    1. Maggie Fitzgerald: I seen you looking at me.
    2. Frankie Dunn: Yeah, out of pity.
    3. Maggie Fitzgerald: Don't you say that! Don't you say that if ain't true! I want a trainer. I don't want charity and i don't want favours.
    4. Maggie Fitzgerald: If you're not interested i got more celebrating to do.
    – Submitted by Charan B (6 months ago)
    1. Eddie Scrap-Iron Dupris: Boxin' is about respect. Gettin' it for yourself, and takin' it from the other guy.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (6 months ago)
    1. Eddie Scrap-Iron Dupris: She grew up knowin' one thing; she was trash.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (6 months ago)
View all quotes (41)

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