Cinderella Man - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Cinderella Man Reviews

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½ December 29, 2016
"Cinderella Man" tells the redemptive story of depression-era boxer James J. Braddock. This story works on two levels. First, Braddock as a man who struggles to provide from his family when The Great Depression limits the number of jobs for working class men. Second, Braddock as a symbol of hope for all Americans who are struggling to get by. Director Ron Howard brings both of these levels together in this period drama. There has been criticism that Max Baer is inaccurately depicted as vicious bully. While he was known to be a gentleman outside of the ring, this depiction personifies the brute that he became inside of the ring; moreover, Baer is an important part of the film's symbolism as the American people must "get into the ring" with their hardships if they want to reverse their desperate situations. The period costumes and atmosphere are an important part of this film but the key to its success is Russell Crowe. He provides the emotions, expression, and believable boxing abilities necessary to connect with the audience as both a father and as a boxer. The other X-factor of this film is Paul Giamatti whose portrayal of manager Joe Gould was rightfully rewarded with an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Giamatti is one of my favorite character actors and he brings an incredible amount of heart to this performance. I was rather unimpressed with Renée Zellweger as Braddock's wife. She was an Oscar nominee three years in a row (including a win for "Cold Mountain") so I always have high expectations, but I found that most of the emotion in her scenes were a result of Crowe's acting and not her own. Everything is tied together by a beautiful score by Thomas Newman that keeps us focused on the heart of the story. This heart of the story is the hopes and dreams of America which seemingly all lay on the success of Braddock, though it also works as a great boxing film. The scenes are cut in a fast-paced yet easy to follow manner, which probably accounts of the Best Editing Oscar nomination. "Cinderella Man" is a solid picture that will please a diverse grouping of audience members. This is a great choice whether you are feeling down and looking for inspiration or simply in the mood to experience some American history.
½ December 27, 2016
Even if you are not a big fan of boxing movies, you can't forget the final fight between James Braddock and Max Baer.
½ November 25, 2016
I personally like this one more than most of the Rocky series (please don't kill me). The final fight is absolutely epic.
½ November 15, 2016
Russel Crowe lived the part and owned it. Renee Z was , as usual, natural connected to the male dominant in her out/soft spoken respectful reverence....a good wife, beautiful person. Scenes melded into and through one another seamlessly. A captivating drama/action film that is all heart. A+
½ November 13, 2016
A well-acted solid effort by all parties involved. Cinderella Man is a little over dramatic, and over the top but the performances keep you with it even though you know the result of this well in advance. While there is a lot that is made up to enhance the story, the crux is underdog vs. behemoth.
November 10, 2016
i thought it was a pretty good boxing movie
October 14, 2016
Directed by Ron Howard and based on a true story, "Cinderella Man" is an enjoyable and thrilling underdog story about boxing legend James Braddock who literally fights to put food on the table for his family, However, what he doesn't realize is that the whole country is rooting for him as he is the only entertainment that can cheer up a nation that is struggling through the Great Depression.

The boxing sequences are decent, not "Rocky" level though, and the heart-wrenching underdog story is the perfect combination of touching and powerful. Russell Crowe plays Braddock with such grittiness, but also with a full heart, that his performance is highly memorable in addition to Renée Zellweger who plays his wife. However, Paul Giamatti steals the show with performance as Braddock's trainer and manager.
½ August 22, 2016
Misleading title, great movie. Howard delivers an excellent film that is sure to inspire us all. Crowe's portrayal of boxer Jimmy Braddock is great, and luckily the movie forgoes the usual boxing cliches, albeit a bit long.
Super Reviewer
August 20, 2016
Great inspiring film, and definitely worth seeing, even if you're not a boxing fan.
August 8, 2016
In the center of a dark, smoky room, one strapping man pounds away at another to entertain the crowd of howling, angry businessman dressed in grey and black suits. In the cellar of a crumbling an apartment, three children huddle underneath a tattered blanket to keep warm. At the gate to the docks, a mob of fathers bash against the iron fence all fighting for a shift to put food on the table. Cinderella Man has an incredible sense of the time and place and circumstances of its story. It looks dark, ragged and vintage with its period clothing and architecture. It feels desperate and gritty with its discouraged cast of characters and dreary settings. If for nothing else, the film should be appreciated for how effectively it captures the desperate mood and decrepit aesthetic of the Depression.

It has an undeniable spirit and grit. The matches are burly, bloody and thrilling to behold in the beautiful, smoky atmosphere of the boxing ring and they give both the characters and audience a distraction from the otherwise sad circumstances of the story. The heart of the film is James' fall and dramatic rise, but the film is not really a character study. There are no inner conflicts or introspective monologues here. Russell Crowe is an ordinary good guy with a strict moral code. He's likable, but not complex. Normally it wouldn't work, but it works here because the conflict is between this very regular man and extraordinarily circumstances that strip away everything he has. The film is powerful because it celebrates a victory during a time of so much loss. In portraying that idea, the filmmakers succeeded. It is an immensely cathartic and satisfying film.
½ August 7, 2016
Backed by an incredible performance by Russell Crowe, Cinderella Man shines as a heartfelt redemption story.
July 26, 2016
Such a great and inspiring movie! Excellent casting! Great sets! Excellent directing, almost as if you can feel the blows yourself!
½ July 24, 2016
Maybe if Braddock was played by a different actor this movie get's half a star more .....but so who so a cool picture ! SOMDVD
July 22, 2016
Emotive and charming, it doesn't add anything new to the boxing genre, but the powerful Russell Crowe interpretation is something to praise.
½ July 22, 2016
Another well told yet predictable boxing flick.
July 6, 2016
Emotionally powerful, the pressures of the Great Depression are as much of an opposition as the rival boxers.
½ July 2, 2016
Wow! Edge of my seat.
Super Reviewer
½ June 1, 2016
Cinderella Man stars Russell Crowe as Jim Braddock, a boxer on-the-rise until a broken hand and the Great Depression turn his world upside-down. Forced to work the docks to provide for his family, Braddock gets a second chance when his former trainer/promoter (played by Paul Giamatti in an Academy Award nominated performance) offers him a spot as a replacement fighter. This movie is based off of a true story, and, for the most part, the facts hold up. Whenever I watch a movie based on reality, I like to look into the real story to see what was exaggerated for the sake of film. Apparently, the biggest exaggeration in this movie was the portrayal of the "villain" boxer Max Baer, who in real-life was considered a gentleman instead of the crazy cliche we got on screen. My absolute favorite part of this movie was the film score. Thomas Newman, the mastermind behind the music for the Shawshank Redemption, understands emotions and creates music that matches the tone of this film perfectly. The performances from Crowe and Giamatti were also great. However, this felt like a big soap-opera. When things went south, not a scene went by when we didn't get a lingering shot of one or more characters having a case of the sads with somber music in the background. It was really overkill in my opinion. Ron Howard has directed his fair-share of emotional movies, but he really went overboard on the emotional turmoil, which is hard considering what a tough time it really was. I understand that this is a great story of a true Cinderella Man representing overcoming tough obstacles during a low point in American history, but with movies like Rocky, Million Dollar Baby, and even Ali, Cinderella Man falls short as a sports film great. The 2-hour-plus runtime drags along, forcing you to endure the melodrama longer than you'd like. Is it a bad movie? No. Forgettable? Absolutely.
May 22, 2016
Great movie based on a true story. Russle Crow is brilliant as always, he's such a believable actor it's unreal. The screenplays well written and interesting. There are a few bits that aren't true to real life, but that's Hollywood.
½ May 22, 2016
Inspirational true story movie...
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