Million Dollar Baby

This film sort of defines "unnecessary." It’s a remake of every other boxing movie ever made, coupled with every movie where a woman wants to break into a man’s game, combined with the story of an old man taking one last shot at the top, partnered with dialogue that sounds like it was written by Oprah Winfrey if she were a drug-addled ex-boxer with advanced dementia. The plot revolves around Maggie Fitzgerald (Hilary Swank) trying to get boxing trainer Frankie Dunn (Clint Eastwood) to take her on. He tells her he won’t, since he doesn’t train "girls." This is odd, since Maggie is not a girl but a full-grown woman. Ultimately, the logic of this prevails, and Eastwood becomes her trainer and confidante. and then lots of happy-feeling stuff happens, and then some sad-feeling stuff. If you enjoy emotional manipulation, platitudinous voiceovers, and acting that seems like a parody of the stock characters from a depression-era Frank Capra film, you’ll be sure to love Million Dollar Baby. If you like actual inventiveness and films that respect their audiences, I’d suggest you steer clear.

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