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.

90%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 250

89%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 121,500

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Movie Info

For Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg), boxing is a family affair. His tough-as-nails mother is his manager. His half-brother, Dicky (Christian Bale), once a promising boxer himself, is his very unreliable trainer. Despite Micky's hard work, he is losing and, when the latest fight nearly kills him, he follows his girlfriend's advice and splits from the family. Then Micky becomes a contender for the world title and he -- and his family -- earns a shot at redemption.

Cast & Crew

Christian Bale
Dicky Eklund
Amy Adams
Charlene Fleming
Melissa Leo
Alice Ward
Jack McGee
George Ward
Melissa McMeekin
"Little Alice" Eklund
Bianca Hunter
Cathy "Pork" Eklund
Erica McDermott
Cindy "Tar" Eklund
Jill Quigg
Donna Eklund Jaynes
Scott Silver
Screenwriter
Paul Tamasy
Screenwriter
Eric Johnson
Screenwriter
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News & Interviews for The Fighter

Critic Reviews for The Fighter

All Critics (250) | Top Critics (50) | Fresh (226) | Rotten (24)

  • Both Wahlberg and Bale are excellent in their different registers, as are Melissa Leo and Amy Adams as the differently calibrated women.

    February 7, 2011 | Full Review…

    Philip French

    Guardian
    Top Critic
  • Wahlberg, always so physically solid, is deep inside himself in this role.

    February 4, 2011 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The Fighter looks at first as if it is going to be a far more interesting movie than the straightforward and even rather undemanding drama we finally get.

    February 3, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Russell throws so much at the screen that there is little time to make your mind up.

    February 3, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • [A] rickety, unfocused contraption of a film that sputters and chugs along without offering any hint of why its director thought it was worth making.

    February 3, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • The film bounces us from one pugilistic or domestic affray to the next, only coming to a near-standstill whenever Wahlberg gets acting space. It goes to show.

    February 2, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

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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