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A look at the early years of boxer "Irish" Micky Ward and his brother who helped train him before going pro in the mid 1980s.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 4 more credits »
1,632 ( 385)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 69 wins & 113 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mickey O'Keefe ...
Bianca Hunter ...
Jill Quigg ...
Phyllis 'Beaver' Eklund (as Kate O'Brien)
Paul Campbell ...


The Fighter is a drama about boxer "Irish" Micky Ward's unlikely road to the world light welterweight title. His Rocky-like rise was shepherded by half-brother Dicky, a boxer-turned-trainer on the verge of being KO'd by drugs and crime. Written by anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Every dream deserves a fighting chance.


Biography | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language throughout, drug content, some violence and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

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Release Date:

17 December 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fighter  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$300,010 (USA) (10 December 2010)


$93,571,803 (USA) (25 March 2011)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Mark Wahlberg began training for the role in 2005. Throughout the various production delays, Wahlberg continued to train every day so that he could be ready for filming. Filming finally began in July 2009. See more »


In the opening scene where Dicky Eklund and Micky Ward are walking through the streets while getting filmed, one of the onlookers has a tattoo with the 'new' NE Patriots logo. While probably an error, this logo was first used in 1993 the year this scene takes place in. See more »


Alice Ward: We're not talking about his trainer, sweetheart! We're talking about his manager. That's me!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The real Micky Ward and Dicky Eklund are shown during the end credits. See more »


Referenced in Conan: Something Smelly That Way Went (2011) See more »


Dance Hall Days
Written by Darren Costin, Nick Feldman and Jack Hues
Performed by Wang Chung
Courtesy of Spirit Music Group
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A winner!
27 December 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"O the joy of the strong-brawn'd fighter, towering in the arena in perfect condition, conscious of power, thirsting to meet his opponent." Walt Whitman

Mark Wahlberg has achieved a career high with The Fighter, not so much for his acting, which is eclipsed by a supportive cast that would be hard to beat in the Oscar race, but because he fought for years to bring the story of Lowell, Mass. to the screen. He caught perfectly the blue-collar town's karma and their devotion to the fighting brothers, "Irish" Mickey Ward (Wahlberg) and Dicky Eklund (Christian Bale).

Director David O. Russell has assembled this cast around the idea that a town in the shadow of Boston can become world famous as its sons become winners in the ring. But then, Stallone did more for Philadelphia as Rocky, so what's the big deal? Like Ben Affleck's excellent thriller this year about Boston in The Town, Fighter captures place and struggle in equal dramatic measure as filmmakers take a close look at the working class's struggles over the last 30 years. While Million Dollar Baby (2004) focused on trainer and fighter and Cinderella Man (2005) gave a microscopic view of a troubled fighter and his small family, The Fighter does all of that with a vigor as exhausting as a bout itself.

The Fighter is not just about boxing because as in Martin Scorsese's Raging Bull (1980), it's all about people who find in the sport a way to transcend their social prison. In The Fighter, it is more even about family, which weighs heavily on Micky's success or failure. And outside family as well, for girlfriend, bartender Charlene Fleming (Amy Adams), is a formidable force in liberating Micky from the suffocating family (his five harpy sisters and domineering manager mother, Melissa Leo, fearsome in her cigarette smoke and driving vision for her sons). Unlike other boxing films, Fighter is patient with Micky's long climb to success, almost painfully long but rewarding in the reality of its prolonged struggle.

But it's also the acting that distinguishes it: Christian Bale as Dicky transforms himself again by losing weight and morphing into a manic brother who loves Micky despite Dicky's negative life of drugs and mania; Amy Adams is believable as the gritty but beautiful girl friend; and Melissa Leo plays mom like a lady Macbeth in tight Dockers.

Although there will be heavier films competing for 2010's Oscar, I can't think of another whose cast so eloquently has caught the poverty and riches of a town caught in boxing fever.

42 of 57 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Is Micky really talented or just can take tremendous amount of punishmea jdc-88
Undeserved Oscars KenYeezy
Christian Bale was 10 out of 10 MoragMacGregor
Rank Christian Bale's performances. pretentiousillitoret
imagine if brad pitt accepted the role of dickie theHRguySAYS
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