The Fighter - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Fighter Reviews

Top Critic
Tom Huddleston
Time Out
February 2, 2011
A flawed, frequently ludicrous but overwhelmingly likeable film, old-school to the core and none the worse for it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
December 17, 2010
Makes too many concessions to the Hollywood judges, pulls too many punches.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
December 17, 2010
The Fighter is so muscularly and tenderly good because it trains its eye on the matches that take place between kin.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
December 17, 2010
A great boxing movie, a great film about family. Gritty, thrilling, inspirational. Deserves multiple Oscar nominations.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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Tom Long
Detroit News
December 17, 2010
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.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
December 17, 2010
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.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
December 17, 2010
A tough, bare-knuckled, compassionate meditation on every family's rope-a-dope between tribal bonds and self-definition. Both, it turns out, are worth going to the mat for.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
December 16, 2010
"The Fighter" is entertaining from beginning to end and contains two brilliant and extreme supporting performances that are among the year's best.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
December 16, 2010
It feels like it comes from real life as well as the movies.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
December 16, 2010
This is polished entertainment with a little edge, a juicy urban fable for grown-ups.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
December 16, 2010
You may not physically experience the punches that rain upon Mark Wahlberg's dogged pro boxer "Irish" Micky Ward, but it feels as if you do.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
December 16, 2010
"The Fighter" is a great, gutsy boxing story, a knowingly detailed, compelling, often very funny look inside the lives of underdogs battling for respect.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
December 16, 2010
The Fighter is funny, ferocious, sad, sweet, pulpy, and violent. Sometimes, all in the same minute.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
December 16, 2010
What really holds this together is Wahlberg's low-key, firmly internalized performance as a man torn between his loyalty to the clan and his responsibility to himself.
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
December 16, 2010
Because we aren't deeply invested in Micky, we don't care as much as we should, and the film ends on a note that should be triumph but feels more like simple conclusion.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
December 15, 2010
"The Fighter" easily could have slipped into boxing-film clichés, but Russell doesn't let that happen. Instead, it lands its hardest blows while chronicling the struggle of a family, which is a far more interesting fight.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
December 13, 2010
The movie has so much texture that once it gets you, you're good and got.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
December 10, 2010
The Fighter, its heart full to bursting, is an emotional powerhouse that comes close to spilling over.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
December 10, 2010
As a film, "The Fighter" is a sturdy, solid slugger - but not quite a champ.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
December 10, 2010
By far the most rousing, expertly cast movie this year...
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
December 10, 2010
Russell has taken a tale of mythic American redemption and one of those Hollywood screenplays with four credited writers and somehow made a movie so rousing, so real and so full of complicated emotions that it all feels brand-new.
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
December 10, 2010
Pity the boxing movie that thinks it can be both "Raging Bull" and "Rocky."
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Dana Stevens
Slate
December 9, 2010
Russell has always excelled at finding new ways to use familiar actors, and every performance in The Fighter is noteworthy if not outstanding.
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
December 9, 2010
The movie initially feels like more of a near thing than the filmmakers anticipated, but as in boxing it's only the final decision that counts.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
James Rocchi
MSN Movies
December 9, 2010
The Fighter is at its most interesting as a comeback story about people who've seen too many comeback stories...
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
December 9, 2010
With solid bodywork, clever feints and tremendous heart, it scores at least a TKO, by which I mean both that it falls just short of overpowering greatness...and that the most impressive thing about it is technique.
| Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
December 9, 2010
While the film handles itself well in the ring, it's brilliant in the arena of a blue-collar family that brutalizes its younger son and best hope for worldly success in the name of sustaining him.
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
December 9, 2010
Bale is astounding as a strangely charismatic weasel, giving probably the best performance of his career.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
December 9, 2010
At its punchy, profane best, "The Fighter'' struts along the line between melodrama and comedy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Scott Tobias
AV Club
December 9, 2010
The Fighter doesn't try to upend the genre, but it's a reminder of how satisfying these movies can be when they're done right.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Mary F. Pols
TIME Magazine
December 9, 2010
Wahlberg has the requisite tough physicality, but his emotional take on Micky is pleasingly delicate.
Top Critic
David Ansen
Newsweek
December 9, 2010
The suspense isn't just about who's going to win the big fight, but who's going to emerge from Ward's big, fierce jungle of a family with their lives intact.
Top Critic
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
December 8, 2010
Takes a heavy swing at us, and misses.
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
December 8, 2010
There's a certain predictability to The Fighter, yet that's part of the appeal of the fight genre. This one, as thoughtful as it is rousing, scores a TKO.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
December 8, 2010
Wahlberg gives a deceptively low-key performance as the movie's still point, perfectly setting off the crackling fuse that is Bale's Dicky, a grinning strutter who knows he's screwed up but can't quite say goodbye to the limelight.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
David Germain
Associated Press
December 8, 2010
Less a boxing drama than a drama with some boxing in it, The Fighter turns Bale loose in a supporting role that dominates director David O. Russell's film.
Top Critic
Eric Kohn
indieWIRE
December 8, 2010
Wildly uneven and about as entertaining, "The Fighter" is committed to the rambunctious masculine energy of the boxing ring.
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
December 8, 2010
These are characters so repulsive that it's hard to care what happens to them, but it's to the credit of a superb cast that you do end up caring.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
David Fear
Time Out
December 8, 2010
[Wahlberg's] modest performance is the one element that feels truly authentic and heartfelt. The role plays to his strengths: a rough-and-tumble earthiness, the ability to suggest a dreamer lurking beneath the exterior of a bruiser.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
December 7, 2010
After a volatile first half, Micky eclipses Dicky, and The Fighter settles into a predictably rutted narrative arc.
Top Critic
Amy Nicholson
Boxoffice Magazine
November 12, 2010
A slim film that carries itself like a champion. In this Oscar season, it's a boxer elevating his stats by taking down weaker competition.
| Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Peter Debruge
Variety
November 10, 2010
If The Fighter feels like kind of a mess, lurching from one scene to the next as if the film itself has taken a few hits to the head, that's not entirely a bad thing.
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
November 10, 2010
True story of boxer "Irish" Micky Ward is played for domestic drama about a dysfunctional family that never quite earns your sympathy.