The Fighter (2010) – Film Review

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Director: David O. Russell
Cast: Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg, Amy Adams
Certificate: 15

by Joss Spry

A powerful family drama, The Fighter is a true story that relates the tribulations of two Irish brothers, Mickey (Mark Wahlberg) and Dicky (Christian Bale) Ward.

The brothers’ troubled lives are complicated by their potential to become boxing contenders. Their respective answers to this challenge take us on a journey through crack-cocaine addiction, tested loyalties and, of course, bruising encounters both in and out of the ring on the path to redemption and glory.

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“Bale is remarkable as the strung-out also-ran”

It’s to his great credit that Director David O. Russell resists resorting to genre clichés. He delivers instead a fresh, nuanced tale whilst still remembering to reward us with some rousing fisticuffs along the way.

What carry this movie are the great performances we’re treated to. Bale in particular is remarkable as the strung-out also-ran, but it’s the understated Wahlberg who quietly steals the movie.

Don’t worry if you’re not a Rocky fan. Forget your preconceptions and grab yourself a ringside seat.


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