The Fighter (2010)



Critic Consensus: 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.

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 … More

Rating: R (for language throughout, drug content, some violence and sexuality)
Genre: Sports & Fitness, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Eric Johnson, Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, Paul Attanasio
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 15, 2011
Box Office: $93.6M
Paramount Pictures - Official Site


as Dicky Eklund

as Micky Ward

as Charlene Fleming

as Alice Ward

as George Ward

as "Little Alice" Eklun...

as Cathy "Pork" Eklund

as Cindy "Tar" Eklund

as Donna Eklund Jaynes

as Gail "Red Dog" Eklun...

as Phyllis "Beaver" Ekl...

as Sherri Ward

as Sal Lanano

as Gary "Boo Boo" Giuff...

as Kasie Ward

as Lou Gold

as Mike Toma

as Gilberto Brown, aka...

as HBO Cameraman #1

as HBO Cameraman #2

as HBO Producer

as Art Ramalho

as Mickey O'Keefe

as Sugar Ray Leonard

as Little Dicky

as Laurie Carroll

as Jimmy (Laurie's Husb...

as Businessman

as Ray Ramalho

as Carlos Garcia

as Bald Businessman

as Man in Diner

as Court Clerk

as WBU Commissioner

as Reporter #1

as Reporter #2

as John Hyland

as Referee Mickey Vann

as Referee Joe Cortez

as Referee Mitch Halper...

as Crackhead Bonnie

as Court Officer

as Photo Guy on Street

as Man on Street #1

as Man on Street #2

as Man on Street #3

as Man on Street #4

as Man on Street #5

as Man on Street #6

as Inmate

as Movie Patron

as Uncle Jerry

as Running Kid #1

as Running Kid #2

as Woman on Street #1

as Woman on Street #2

as Woman on Street #3

as Micky's Cutman

as Sanchez Trainer

as Neary Trainer

as Sugar Ray Leonard Bo...

as Fight Spectator #1

as Fight Spectator #2

as Micky's Friend

as Mike "Machine Gun" M...

as Alfonso Sanchez

as Drunk Girl

as Gary "Boo Boo" Giuff...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Fighter

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Critic Reviews for The Fighter

All Critics (235) | Top Critics (41)

Russell walks a narrow line between laughing with the family and laughing at them, but the film never crosses over into parody.

Full Review… | July 19, 2015
The Patriot Ledger

Blue-collar Bostonian has replaced Southern redneck as Hollywood's white-trash signifier of choice.

Full Review… | May 9, 2015
The Improper Bostonian

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

Full Review… | August 11, 2013
We Got This Covered

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

Full Review… | June 30, 2013
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.

Full Review… | January 16, 2013
Tribune News Service

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

Full Review… | September 27, 2012

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.

Jens S.

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.

Kevin M. Williams

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+

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

The Fighter Quotes

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