1 hour, 54 minutes
R Restricted. Under 17 Requires Accompanying Adult.
for language throughout, drug content, some violence and sexuality. See all certifications »
Mark Wahlberg ...
Christian Bale ...
Amy Adams ...
Melissa Leo ...
Jack McGee ...
|This is the real life story about the light welterweight boxer "Irish" Micky Ward ( Mark Wahlberg)
and his talented but less-driven brother, Dickie (Christian Bale) as they train for Micky’s next fight in Lowell, Mass. Dickie, whose wild
eyes all but shoot sparks, constantly repeats the story of the time he fought Sugar
Ray Leonard and knocked him down. It was plainly the high point of his
life, that has since gone into a precipitous decline.
Dickie's half-brother Micky
is 10 years younger, in peak
fighting condition, but with a career that seems to be going nowhere.
The reason: Micky has left his management in the hands of his mother Alice (Melissa Leo) and
Dickie, who are more interested in immediate paydays than developing Micky's career. When Micky is approached by a manager who offers to pay for
his training, both Dickie and Alice badmouth the interloper, playing on
Micky’s sense of family loyalty and guilt.
when Micky gets pummeled by a much-larger opponent, substituted at the
last minute in a fight that was supposed to put Micky on track for a
title shot, he finally realizes that he has to make some management changes, but not before his brother gets in a police brawl and pulls Micky into it as well, getting his hand smashed by a police club as a result.
Dickie is taken away to prison and Micky reassesses his life and begins to get his career back on track. When Dickie finally gets out of prison he finds that Micky’s in line for a title shot because of strategy that Dickie
gave him. But when Dickie wants to rejoin Micky's
team there's a problem.
Director David O, Russell ("Three Kings") puts the viewer right in the ring with the fighters in each of the fights and Mark Wahlberg, who trained for four years before shooting the film, has all the the physique and all the moves to
be totally credible as a boxer who has learned that
strategy is as important as punching power. But it's Christian Bale who is the most memorable as the responsibility-shirking Dickie,
whose commitment to Micky forces him to painfully finally get himself straightened out. And as the boys' mother Melissa Leo is a revalation. The three of them are
completely believable as a family that has a lot of history that
requires them to forgive, forget and move on. The Fighter might seem almost an unbelievable story if it
weren’t for the fact that the whole thing is true.