Critic Reviews



Based on 40 critic reviews provided by
Ron Howard and Russell Crowe bring the Braddock story to vivid life in a superbly acted, beautifully shot, highly engaging drama that ranks as one of Howard's best efforts.
An exquisite ode to a working-class hero, Cinderella Man takes the almost impossibly perfect elements of the saga of underdog boxer James J. Braddock and fills it with emotional gravitas, wrenching danger and a panoramic sense of American life during the Great Depression.
It's the classic American tale of the family man triumphant, and Howard makes sure that it hits you right in the heart.
Entertainment Weekly
How exceptional a film actor is Russell Crowe? So exceptional that in Cinderella Man, he makes a good boxing movie feel at times like a great, big picture.
As a history lesson (Depression 101), Cinderella Man feels a bit secondhand. As a true-grit tale of redemption, however, it lands one solid body punch after another.
It runs roughly two and a half hours, and the intensity spikes with every fight; without Russell Crowe and Paul Giamatti, however, it would be flat on the canvas. They make it seem a better and more bristling film than it actually is.
The film is most significantly about puzzled people trying to comprehend the cosmic reversal of fortune that was the Depression. They don't have much more than raw courage and simple virtues to rely on. Unlike most period pieces, Cinderella Man encourages us to fondly recall not songs or clothes but values we have largely mislaid.
Village Voice
Despite the tale's dusty pedigree, Ron Howard spins a ticket-worthy two-plus hours of movie-movie entertainment.
The A.V. Club
Lacking a more specific sense of time and place, Cinderella Man leans heavily on the technically proficient Crowe to slip into Braddock's skin, but he can only do so much with a character who's ready to be mounted in bronze over Central Park.
Overlong and unevenly paced, Cinderella Man hits stretches (especially between bouts) when it threatens to lose its audience.

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