The Fighter

Critics 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.



Total Count: 243


Audience Score

User Ratings: 121,318
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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 both the WBU Intercontinental Lightweight title and the WBU Light Welterweight title thanks to a fierce combination of determination and hard work. David O. Russell directs from a script by 8 Mile's Scott Silver and Paul Attanasio (The Bourne Ultimatum). ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi


Christian Bale
as Dicky Eklund
Mark Wahlberg
as Micky Ward
Amy Adams
as Charlene Fleming
Melissa Leo
as Alice Ward
Jack McGee
as George Ward
Melissa McMeekin
as "Little Alice" Eklund
Bianca Hunter
as Cathy "Pork" Eklund
Erica McDermott
as Cindy "Tar" Eklund
Jill Quigg
as Donna Eklund Jaynes
Dendrie Taylor
as Gail "Red Dog" Eklund
Kate O'Brien
as Phyllis "Beaver" Eklund
Jenna Lamia
as Sherri Ward
Frank Renzulli
as Sal Lanano
Paul Campbell (IV)
as Gary "Boo Boo" Giuffrida
Caitlin Dwyer
as Kasie Ward
Ted Arcidi
as Lou Gold
Ross Bickell
as Mike Toma
Jose Antonio Rivera
as Gilberto Brown, aka Jose
Richard W. Farrell
as HBO Cameraman #1
Matthew Muzio
as HBO Cameraman #2
Steven Barkheimer
as HBO Producer
Art Ramalho
as Art Ramalho
Mickey O'Keefe
as Mickey O'Keefe
Sugar Ray Leonard
as Sugar Ray Leonard
Jackson Nicoll
as Little Dicky
Alison Folland
as Laurie Carroll
Sean Doherty
as Jimmy (Laurie's Husband)
Thomas Hart Benton
as Businessman
Ray Greenhalge
as Ray Ramalho
Epifanio Melendez
as Carlos Garcia
Jeremiah Kissel
as Bald Businessman
Sean Eklund
as Man in Diner
Rikki Kleiman
as Court Clerk
Michael Dell'orto
as WBU Commissioner
Paul Locke
as Reporter #1
Kim Carrell
as Reporter #2
Colin Hammell
as John Hyland
Dale Place
as Referee Mickey Vann
Eddie Lee Anderson
as Referee Joe Cortez
Joseph Lupino
as Referee Mitch Halpern
Bonnie Aarons
as Crackhead Bonnie
Walter Driscoll
as Court Officer
Matt Russell
as Photo Guy on Street
A. Joseph Denucci
as Man on Street #1
Richard A. Eklund
as Man on Street #2
George Michael Ward
as Man on Street #3
Richard Eklund, Jr.
as Man on Street #4
Jack Greenhalge
as Man on Street #5
Kevin Paige
as Man on Street #6
Ziad Akl
as Inmate
Simon Hamlin
as Movie Patron
Gerald Greenhalge
as Uncle Jerry
Matthew Russell
as Running Kid #1
Tommy Eklund
as Running Kid #2
Rita Mercier
as Woman on Street #1
Deborah Bolanger
as Woman on Street #2
Kerry Moore
as Woman on Street #3
Philip D. Herbert
as Micky's Cutman
Raul Vera
as Sanchez Trainer
Jack Lally
as Neary Trainer
Carlos L. Smith
as Sugar Ray Leonard Bodyguard
Jerrell Lee Wesley
as Fight Spectator #1
Hugh K. Long
as Fight Spectator #2
Eric Weinstein
as Micky's Friend
Peter "Sugarfoot" Cunningham
as Mike "Machine Gun" Mungin
Miguel Espino
as Alfonso Sanchez
Jen Weissenberg
as Drunk Girl
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Critic Reviews for The Fighter

All Critics (243) | Top Critics (46) | Fresh (220) | Rotten (23)

Audience Reviews for The Fighter

  • Dec 21, 2014
    Amy Adams can do no wrong in my eyes. I'm not usually into sports biographies but "The Fighter" is an all-around solid film adaptation.
    Chihoe H Super Reviewer
  • Jul 26, 2013
    The metaphor comparing life with a boxing ring has always called my attention. The more I keep growing up, the more I realize that's true in many ways, even if the clashes are more often psychological and emotional rather than physical, despite that life has some serious punches prepared for you. The reality is, however, that both in life and in the ring, you decide to take the punches. In both situations you have to fight back, but there are some drawbacks that you can avoid. This "docudrama" emphasizes just that. <i>The Fighter</i> is not a boxing film. It is a feature that explores the fears of an overprotective family that does not trust people that they haven't known. The irony of that resides in the fact that one is born without knowing anybody. So, in this process of overprotecting what is already known, even if the cruel world out there may offer you better opportunities of growth and perseverance development, you become in the kind of people that you despise and have a lack of trust to. That is the main issue of the family, and that is why every single character in the film made at least one mistake. You name it: racism, prejudice, immaturity, conservatism, drug addiction, hypocrisy, sexism, family abandonment, abandonment of friendships... And still, all the characters, in their flaws, had admirable positive traits as well. This is the first film by O. Russell that I truly like. Its greatest achievement is to portray every single life-hardship aspect I mentioned before as complementary elements to the main story rather than melodramatic, manipulative or biased excuses to steal awards and force the feelings of shame and remorse in the audiences. Such is the usefulness of great performances by an entire cast, especially Christian Bale, which is his second best performance imho. 74/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Nov 20, 2012
    The Fighter feels like a movie coming from someone who is still honing their trade--you catch glimpses of brilliance like the raw feel of the fights coupled with their effective camerawork as well as the movie's deep emotional appeal. By and large, however, The Fighter comes off amateurishly, as if Russell knows better than do some of the hackneyed things he does in composing the film. There are some really stupid parts, and I personally prefer more subtle acting than what Bale delivers here (just because you jump headlong into being a crazy druggie DOESN'T mean it's good acting). Overall, the Fighter is decently entertaining, but is like someone who's had a bit too much to drink: every now and then you'll catch a moment of gold, but not before they throw 5 times more garbage at you.
    Jeff L Super Reviewer
  • Oct 27, 2012
    Bale gives an excellent performance. A strong film.
    Christian C Super Reviewer

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