The Fighter (2010)


Movie Review

Directed by: David O. Russell

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Melissa Leo, and Amy Adams

Irish-American welterweight Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) from Lowell, Massachusetts has had a rough career thus far.  Coached by his brother Dicky Eklund (Christian Bale) and managed by his mother Alice Ward (Melissa Leo), he’s become a stepping stone for other boxers on their way to championship glory.  Dicky’s only interest is crack, and Alice mismanages Micky because she puts her priorities ahead of his.  This is no surprise given that they even throw Micky into a mismatch in Atlantic City with a guy 18 pounds heavier than him.  When Micky draws back from the boxing world, he gets into a relationship with Charlene Fleming (Amy Adams).  She encourages him to take another shot at his boxing career with a new coach and manager.  Charlene takes him from being a stepping stone to being a viable contender in the boxing world.

The Fighter is a rousing sports drama for which you’ll need a drink or two.  David O. Russell delivers the perfect mix of punches, laughter, and drama.  Christian Bale delivers a career-defining performance as Dicky Ecklund.  The Dark Knight transformed himself into a boxing crackhead.  Unlike other comic book movie stars, he will not be typecast as man with a cool car and fun toys.  Melissa Leo gives a fiery performance as Alice Ward.  We see why she dropped the f-bomb in her acceptance speech at the Oscars.  She needed to be feisty for this role.  With Bale, Leo, and a stellar cast, Russell creates a great boxing movie in The Fighter.



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