Cinderella Man - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Cinderella Man Reviews

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Time Out
November 16, 2011
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David Ansen
Newsweek
November 1, 2007
Howard's movie skillfully delivers that primal, heart-pounding satisfaction that is the promise of all boxing tales.
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Jay Ruttenberg
Time Out
August 17, 2007
As for the fights themselves, Howard brings nothing new to the canvas. Like the movie as a whole, they work fine enough, even while encased in leaden certitude.
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Mark Salisbury
Time Out
June 24, 2006
The fight scenes have a stinging authenticity and, although at 144 minutes it outstays its welcome, this is Howard's best film since Apollo 13
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
September 26, 2005
A superficially rousing portrait of Depression-era legend James J. Braddock.
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September 14, 2005
The joy is in the playing, and Ron Howard pulls out all the stops like the organist at the old Madison Square Garden.
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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
June 11, 2005
The storytelling is fluid and gripping.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
June 9, 2005
Just an O.K. vintage fight movie.
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
June 7, 2005
The thing that ultimately makes it a classic in the pantheon of American movies is the way it reveals something about the idealism, strength, grace and grit of the American Dream.
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
June 3, 2005
Cinderella Man is a movie about the indomitability of the American spirit, and those are always far less interesting than movies about actual people.
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
June 3, 2005
This is an utterly predictable, thoroughly manipulative and thunderously obvious movie. I wouldn't change a frame of it.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
June 3, 2005
Howard has got but a single message to deliver here -- boxer Braddock as the populist American hero of the Depression era - and he beats us over the head with his uplifting haymaker until we're crumbled on the canvas and crying for mercy.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
June 3, 2005
We're in an almost irony-free zone, where everything is exactly as it seems, and no subtexts are available for subtext-fanatics.
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
June 3, 2005
Ron Howard's Depression-era ode to second chances and noble contests, filmed here last summer, is not just another boxing movie or just another picture. It's a completely absorbing and artfully made fairy tale that just so happens to be true.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
June 3, 2005
Easily the best American film so far this year.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
June 3, 2005
Pardon its dust, and you'll be rewarded with a moving story of a time gone by, and of an unexpected hero.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
June 3, 2005
With Russell Crowe in literal fighting trim and a splendid supporting cast, this is a boxing pic built on classic lines, and one of the best movies of the summer.
| Original Score: 4/5
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
June 3, 2005
Like its hero, it stubbornly gets the job done.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
June 3, 2005
The fight scenes hurt, not because they're edited like quicksilver or nimbly staged -- they are -- but because we are made to care so deeply for the title character.
| Original Score: 4/4
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Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
June 3, 2005
If you used to love the movies, Cinderella Man will remind you of the movies you loved.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
June 3, 2005
Crowe's performance as this Seabiscuit of the sweet science will no doubt make the middleweight Cinderella Man a contender -- an Oscar contender.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
June 3, 2005
A grand piece of old-fashioned Hollywood filmmaking that is easily the best movie of the year so far.
| Original Score: A+
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Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
June 3, 2005
Braddock only wants another shot at boxing to buy milk for the kids. Cue the heavenly choir.
| Original Score: 2/4
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June 3, 2005
We needed heroes in the 1930s, and we need them today, and Cinderella Man is the unashamed story of a hero.
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
June 3, 2005
If you're the sort of occasional moviegoer who feels they don't make 'em like they used to -- well, you're right. Except that Howard and Russell Crowe have just proved you wrong.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
June 3, 2005
So square it makes the original Rocky look cutting edge and Million Dollar Baby positively avant-garde by comparison.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
June 3, 2005
In telling the story of heavyweight champion Jimmy Braddock, Howard creates a hero who's not operating out of a pumped-up sense of himself.
| Original Score: B+
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John Monaghan
Detroit Free Press
June 3, 2005
The first film in terms of Oscar hopefuls this year that can truly be considered a contender.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
June 2, 2005
Most serious movies live in a world of cynicism and irony, and most good-hearted movie characters live in bad movies. Here is a movie where a good man prevails in a world where every day is an invitation to despair.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
June 2, 2005
Howard hurts our ability to enjoy this good story by pushing its plot points too insistently.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Mike Clark
USA Today
June 2, 2005
I've never seen a boxing movie that has so convinced me I was seeing a pro bout both real and sustained.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
June 2, 2005
Crowe gives another solid performance, and Paul Giamatti (Sideways, American Splendor) adds to his shining reputation as a top character actor by playing Braddock's lippy manager, Joe Gould.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
June 2, 2005
Ron Howard's film about the heavyweight boxer James J. Braddock is a shamefully ingratiating old-fashioned weepie.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Robert K. Elder
Chicago Tribune
June 2, 2005
Howard's relentless and flat-footed attack on our sympathies slips into monotony. The first half drags on for longer than it should, as we're told over and over that people were poor, very poor. Depressed even. Because it was the Depression.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
June 2, 2005
Crowe's burly poignancy hits you foursquare in the ribs -- right above the ticker. This feels old-fashioned, pure and meat-and-potatoes simple. It's an Irish stew movie.
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June 2, 2005
It's schmaltzy -- but it's schmaltz veined with foie gras.
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
June 2, 2005
It's a thrilling story, all the more amazing for being true.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
June 2, 2005
The conventional wisdom is that Howard is a sentimentalist who needs Crowe to give his films edge. I prefer to think of the director as one in the handful of Hollywood filmmakers who still know how to make mass entertainment not based on a comic book.
| Original Score: 4/4
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Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
June 2, 2005
No opportunity for sentimental editorializing goes unseized.
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Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
June 2, 2005
Cinderella Man consistently delivers less than it wants to by trying for more than it should. The movie tells the story of Braddock's life as redemptive fairy tale, fitting the fighter for a glass slipper that ends up being the movie's glass jaw.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
June 2, 2005
Not only is Cinderella Man Howard's best movie, it is also his most personal and deeply felt.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Gene Seymour
Newsday
June 2, 2005
There probably isn't a filmmaker anywhere, other than the redoubtable Steven Spielberg himself, who's as adroit as Howard at grabbing the mass viscera and squeezing it at just the right intervals.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
June 2, 2005
It's hard to guess how much of the beautiful science Academy members can take, but let's worry about that next February.
| Original Score: A-
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
June 1, 2005
How exceptional a film actor is Russell Crowe? So exceptional that in Cinderella Man, he makes a good boxing movie feel at times like a great, big picture.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Ed Halter
Village Voice
May 31, 2005
Despite the tale's dusty pedigree, Ron Howard spins a ticket-worthy two-plus hours of movie-movie entertainment.
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Anthony Lane
New Yorker
May 31, 2005
A godsend to anybody who yearns for cinema to be a bringer of good tidings.
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
May 24, 2005
This is a rousing, thrilling and inspirational biopic from a director and a star who have now collaborated on two Academy Award level films.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
May 24, 2005
It lands a few solid punches, but never achieves anything close to a knock-out.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Robert Koehler
Variety
May 20, 2005
Cinderella Man takes the almost impossibly perfect elements of the saga of underdog boxer James J. Braddock and fills it with emotional gravitas, wrenching danger and a panoramic sense of American life during the Great Depression.
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Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
May 19, 2005
A superbly acted, beautifully shot, highly engaging drama that ranks as one of Howard's best efforts.