The Fighter Reviews

  • 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.

    Owen Gleiberman — Entertainment Weekly

  • 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.

    A.O. Scott — New York Times

  • Bale is astounding as a strangely charismatic weasel, giving probably the best performance of his career.

    Claudia Puig — USA Today

  • 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.

    Ann Hornaday — Washington Post

  • At its punchy, profane best, "The Fighter'' struts along the line between melodrama and comedy.

    Ty Burr — Boston Globe

  • After a volatile first half, Micky eclipses Dicky, and The Fighter settles into a predictably rutted narrative arc.

    J. Hoberman — Village Voice

  • By far the most rousing, expertly cast movie this year...

    Joe Neumaier — New York Daily News

  • 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.

    Joe Morgenstern — Wall Street Journal

  • This is polished entertainment with a little edge, a juicy urban fable for grown-ups.

    Chris Vognar — Dallas Morning News

  • The Fighter is so muscularly and tenderly good because it trains its eye on the matches that take place between kin.

    Lisa Kennedy — Denver Post

  • The Fighter is at its most interesting as a comeback story about people who've seen too many comeback stories...

    James Rocchi — MSN Movies

  • Takes a heavy swing at us, and misses.

    Anthony Lane — New Yorker

  • 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.

    Roger Ebert — Chicago Sun-Times

  • It feels like it comes from real life as well as the movies.

    Michael Phillips — Chicago Tribune

  • 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.

    J. R. Jones — Chicago Reader

  • The Fighter is funny, ferocious, sad, sweet, pulpy, and violent. Sometimes, all in the same minute.

    Steven Rea — Philadelphia Inquirer

  • "The Fighter" is a great, gutsy boxing story, a knowingly detailed, compelling, often very funny look inside the lives of underdogs battling for respect.

    Colin Covert — Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • 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.

    Tom Long — Detroit News

  • "The Fighter" easily could have slipped into boxing-film cliches, 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.

    Bill Goodykoontz — Arizona Republic

  • 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.

    Rex Reed — New York Observer

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