(I) (2010)

Critic Reviews



Based on 41 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
This one, as thoughtful as it is rousing, scores a TKO.
Bale's live-wire performance typifies the many major and minor elements that elevate The Fighter from the deeply conventional sports movie it might have been into the endearingly offbeat sports movie it turns out to be.
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.
Boxoffice Magazine
In its small moments, say when Walhberg sighs that his robe misspells "Micky," The Fighter feels clued-in to the very small, very tough world of a man trying to make his way out of his block-and after getting to know his family, you want to help him pack his bags.
If The Fighter feels like kind of a mess, lurching from one scene to the next as if the film itself has taken a few hits to the head, that's not entirely a bad thing.
The Fighter, for all the dedication of its players, takes a heavy swing at us, and misses.
You can't necessarily blame Wahlberg, as his modest performance is the one element that feels truly authentic and heartfelt.
The tragedy of The Fighter is that Wahlberg's performance suggests a character who wants more. And yet Russell barely seems to notice how much subtlety Wahlberg brings to his role, or to the movie at large.
So like much of this film, the viewer is turned into an observer. You never feel close enough to the action, either in the ring or in the kitchens, living rooms and tough streets where the story takes place. The characters engage you up to a point but never really pull you in.
Village Voice
It plays as a "Rocky"-fied fairy tale for our time: Consigned to Palookaville, a sweet, unassuming boxer with more heart than brains steps up-all the way to the top of the world.

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