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The Fighter (2010)



Average Rating: 7.8/10
Reviews Counted: 233
Fresh: 211 | Rotten: 22

Led by a trio of captivating performances from Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, and Amy Adams, The Fighter is a solidly entertaining, albeit predictable, entry in the boxing drama genre.


Average Rating: 7.9/10
Critic Reviews: 40
Fresh: 34 | Rotten: 6

Led by a trio of captivating performances from Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, and Amy Adams, The Fighter is a solidly entertaining, albeit predictable, entry in the boxing drama genre.



liked it
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 116,596

My Rating

Movie Info

Mark Wahlberg stars in Paramount Pictures' inspirational docudrama exploring the remarkable rise of Massachusetts-born, junior welterweight title winner "Irish" Micky Ward. A determined pugilist whose career in the ring was shepherded by his loyal half-brother, Dicky (Christian Bale) -- a hard-living boxer-turned-trainer whose own career in the ring was nearly sent down for the count due to drugs and crime -- perennial underdog Irish Micky rebounded from a disheartening series of defeats to win


Sports & Fitness, Drama

Mar 15, 2011


Paramount Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (233) | Top Critics (40) | Fresh (211) | Rotten (22) | DVD (2)

A flawed, frequently ludicrous but overwhelmingly likeable film, old-school to the core and none the worse for it.

February 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Makes too many concessions to the Hollywood judges, pulls too many punches.

December 17, 2010 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Fighter is so muscularly and tenderly good because it trains its eye on the matches that take place between kin.

December 17, 2010 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A great boxing movie, a great film about family. Gritty, thrilling, inspirational. Deserves multiple Oscar nominations.

December 17, 2010 Full Review Source: Richard | Comments (2)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's audacious, it's fun, it's rowdy, and it's just twisted enough to always be interesting. Beyond that, it's one of the year's best acting showcases and likely to grab multiple Oscar nominations.

December 17, 2010 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Only Amy Adams, playing Micky's tough-tender girlfriend Charlene, manages to be convincingly working-class without seeming either dopey or rabid or strung-out.

December 17, 2010 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Comment (1)
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Superb performances and a well told story make The Fighter one of the year's best films.

August 11, 2013 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

Driven by great performances and great characters, this drama is a must-see.

June 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Big Hollywood
Big Hollywood

Acting for the silver screen doesn't get more raw, moving or accomplished than what you see in "The Fighter," that rare film in which every performer in it leaves the viewer in awe.

January 16, 2013 Full Review Source: McClatchy-Tribune News Service
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

While Bale turns in a 5-star performance, his character's story bobs and weaves around Wahlberg's simpler, steady efforts.

September 27, 2012 Full Review Source:

This film was supposed to be a crowd-pleaser, but in the end, there's just not a whole lot to be pleased about

September 22, 2012 Full Review Source:

Wahlberg gives a restrained and generous performance, which allows his co-stars Leo and Bale to shine (and win awards).

July 12, 2012 Full Review Source: Cinemania

May not be a boxing classic, but it's got loads of spit-in-your-eye spirit

April 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Habit
Movie Habit

'The Fighter' isn't revolutionary, but Russell's tweaking of the formula and stellar work by the actors, especially Bale, elevate it above many of its peers.

November 5, 2011 Full Review Source: Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)

a tale told with the deft precision of a talented filmmaker and the enthusiasm of a lead who cares about his subject.

September 1, 2011 Full Review Source: The National
The National

An excellent cast highlights this stirring boxing drama.

August 15, 2011 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

While the crowd cheered, I didn't want Micky to win the fight. I wanted somebody ... to come along and rescue him from his family's ignorance.

June 15, 2011 Full Review Source: Looking Closer
Looking Closer

Russell delivers what we least expect from him: a pro-family film.

June 13, 2011 Full Review Source: IdentityTheory

The Fighter deftly manages to be equal parts character drama and sports film without giving short shrift to either. Containing a couple of the best performances of the year it is in turn harrowing and heartwarming.

March 22, 2011 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)

...a boxing movie for people who couldn't care less about boxing.

March 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis | Comments (2)
Movie Metropolis

Más que una película sobre boxeo, un drama familiar sobre dos hermanos diferentes, una madre dominante y una posibilidad de redención y éxito. El show se lo roban Christian Bale y Melissa Leo con dos de las mejores interpretaciones del año.

February 25, 2011 Full Review Source: Uruguay Total
Uruguay Total

The Fighter proves that the boxing movie still has life. It also underlines just what a distinctive actor Bale has become.

February 9, 2011 Full Review Source: Uncut Magazine [UK]
Uncut Magazine [UK]

Christian Bale - reduced lately to whispering solemnity in the likes of Dark Knight and Terminator Salvation - gets to really cut loose with Dicky in a performance that is sure to give Geoffrey Rush a run for his money on Oscar night.

February 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

The ring action in The Fighter is bruising enough, but it's the drama outside the ropes that will leave you reeling.

February 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Movie Talk | Comment (1)
Movie Talk

With a clutch of Oscar nominations, including nods for Bale, Adams and Leo, The Fighter is a serious contender that connects powerfully.

February 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

Both Wahlberg and Bale are excellent in their different registers, as are Melissa Leo and Amy Adams as the differently calibrated women.

February 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

Audience Reviews for The Fighter

A dysfunctional family both supports and cripples their son's aspiring boxing career. While Wahlberg as the fighter is more or less the obvious choice it's Bale as his drug-using coach and brother who steals every scene and delivers an outstanding (and Oscar-awarded) performance. Same goes for Melissa Leo as their mother. The film works best in the moments that feel very real and often have a great, realistic sense of humor. Only the last act follows the traditional sports drama path a bit too predictably. Overall the result is still highly entertaining and engaging, mostly thanks to the good writing and the stellar performances.
September 23, 2013

Super Reviewer

the thing about boxing movies is that they're boxing movies, it's hard to get out of the rut, yah? rich performances by all concerned in this take, wherein "the fighter"'s biggest fight is with his derelict family: ma (leo, superb as the mom you love to hate to love) dotes on the oldest boy (bale, unrecognisable as a smooth talkin' crackhead hasbeen), rags on the not strong enough current dad (mcgee, honorably in honorless shoes) while supporting a den of useless greek chorus sisters. how to get ahead then? how about listening to nearly faded small town jewel (adams, shimmering)? cliches, yes, american cliches, played out from sea to shining sea every day, transcended here by powerhouse performances, making this a worthy addition into the wealth of american as apple pie boxing movies.
April 8, 2013

Super Reviewer

It's so hard to make a boxing film that really stands out anymore, so thankfully, this one didn't really try and did something I respect even more: it's just a damn solid, well-made, and very entertaining film, the occasional predictable moments or cliches aside.

If I had to pick something about it (besides the above) that does set it apart, it is the acting, but you probably may have that one figured out (unless you ignore reviews, the Oscars, or internet message boards). The odd thing here though, is that, even though this is about (part of) the story of Micky Ward, the supporting characters (especially Dicky), are such scene stealers and far more memorable, that you'd think the movie is really about them.

In a way, this is true. It's mostly about Micky, but more about the role of those aroudn Micky, and how they shape and affect his life, especially his crackhead brother Dicky, trashy, overbearing, selfish mother Alice, and his seven equally trashy sisters. Besides being an underdog story, this film shows the bond of family (no matter how messed up), as well as the effects of being washed up and addicted to drugs.

This is a story that could have been told all kinds of ways, and in David O. Russell's hands, it plays essentially like a docudrama. In fact, some of this is so well done and convincing that it seems closer to truth than fiction. It probably helps that locals are used to play themselves or people they know, and that this was all shot on location. Lowell, as shown here, is not really a place I wanna see anytime soon.

As I said already, the acting is great, Wahlberg is actually the most low-key and toned down. Maybe that's a good thing. It makes the character less interesting, but everyone else is so over the top and showy that we need a more subtle performance to anchor things. Leo and Bale are tremendous, and their Oscars were well deserved, but they may have laid it on just a tad too thick. Adams is also great, especially since she lays against type, and succeeds.

There's not a whole lot new here, but this is a really hard film to dislike, It's pretty solid, but not air tight. They could have made Ward a bit more interesting, and maybe included his trilogy of fights with Gatti, but apparently they are planning a sequel that will focus solely on just that, so there you go. This is very real, but maybe too real, too painful to watch at times. That's not to say that it's unwatchable though, because I certainly was never bored, and always found at least one thing to enjoy frame by frame.

Go check this out. I give it a B+
December 19, 2012
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

A dramatic story drenched in pure humanity and a fighting struggle for balance. The Fighter is that rare boxing-drama film that executes especially with its one-two knockout punch in the main stars (Mark Wahlberg & Christian Bale). 4/5
August 28, 2012
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

    1. "Irish" Mickey Ward: Cut me Mick!
    – Submitted by Jesse K (11 months ago)
    1. Dicky Eklund: I gotta go pick up a rock man!
    – Submitted by Jesse K (11 months ago)
    1. Micky Ward: I'm the one fighting, I know what I need.
    2. Charlene Fleming: And you need Dicky?
    3. Micky Ward: I want Dicky back. And I want you, Charlene, and I want O'Keefe, and my family.
    4. Charlene Fleming: You can't do that to us.
    – Submitted by Jean R (13 months ago)
    1. "Irish" Mickey Ward: [to george ward] What you doing running in hear like a silverback fucking gorilla?
    – Submitted by James B (14 months ago)
    1. Dicky Eklund: This is f***in' yours!
    – Submitted by D.j. N (16 months ago)
    1. Lou Gold: Right. Yeah, but this guy just came off the couch. He's been sittin' on his ass. Could be an easy win for Mick. Joey Farrell, remember him? He knocked his ass out.
    – Submitted by Dave H (21 months ago)
View all quotes (17)

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October 5, 2012:
David O. Russell Lines Up an Impressive Cast
Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, and Jeremy Renner line up to star in Russell's next...
January 9, 2012:
Mark Wahlberg Seeks New Director for The Fighter 2
David O. Russell's off the project, but Wahlberg says "we got to do that film before I get too old."
November 16, 2011:
David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook Set to Open in November 2012
It's a Weinstein release of a Russell project. What are the odds of the date sticking?

Foreign Titles

  • The Fighter (DE)
  • The Fighter (UK)
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