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Rated R · 116 minutes · 2010

Biography, Drama
The Fighter offers more evidence that Christian Bale will do just about anything for a role. He lost about 40 percent of his body weight for The Machinist, then immediately added 90 pounds of bulk to play Batman. But simply achieving the body of a character is not the same as embodying a character, and Bale is so brassy and volatile as a crack-addled former fighter that he nearly drowns out everything around him. Mark Wahlberg—nominally the lead—doesn’t benefit from Bale’s portrayal, although Melissa Leo and Amy Adams fare better, presumably in Adams’ case because she shares so few scenes with Bale. It isn’t that Bale is bad; he’s simply done way too much. The rest of the film is kind of flimsy, including cheap-looking boxing and a bantamweight script, so there’s not much else to focus on other than Bale’s over-the-top performance.


See our full review: Hammy Haymakers

Hammy Haymakers

A showy Christian Bale performance can't cover up major flaws in 'The Fighter' »

Official Site: www.thefightermovie.com
Director: David Russell
Producer: David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman, Ryan Kavanaugh, Mark Wahlberg, Dorothy Aufiero, Paul Tamasy, Tucker Tooley, Darren Aronofsky, Leslie Varrelman, Keith Dorrington and Eric Johnson
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Melissa Leo, Jack McGee, Mickey O'Keefe, Melissa McMeekin, Bianca Hunter, Erica McDermott, Jill Quigg, Dendrie Taylor, Kate O'Brien, Jenna Lamia, Frank Renzulli, Paul Campbell, Caitlin Dwyer and Chanty Sok

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The Fighter

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What others are saying (14)

NUVO Ed predicts: 2011 Academy Award winners Hollywood hands out it's annual Oscar Awards this Sunday. This year, Ed is in agreement with the majority of the probable winners. by Ed Johnson-Ott 02/25/2011
NUVO Ed reviews: 'The Fighter' Packaged as a boxing story, it's actually a film about family dynamics, grandeur, denial and perseverance. One of 2010's best. by Ed Johnson-Ott 12/14/2010
Creative Loafing Atlanta The Fighter's a smash hit Googley-eyed Christian Bale gives a knockout performance by Curt Holman 12/17/2010
11 more reviews...
East Bay Express The Fighter and Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale One goes ten rounds before being TKO'd, the other puts the claws back on Santa. by Kelly Vance 12/15/2010
Colorado Springs Independent Rocky road: The Fighter The comparisons to Stallone's masterpiece are justified, for all the best possible reasons.

by Scott Renshaw 12/16/2010
Colorado Springs Independent Opening this week TRON, How Do You Know, even some True Grit showings 12/16/2010
Charleston City Paper David O. Russell affectionately portrays a blue-collar clan in The Fighter The Eklund clan, stars of The Fighter, are not necessarily an introspective bunch. Matriarch Alice Eklund (Melissa Leo) hasn't absorbed the fact that her beloved son Dicky (Christian Bale) is a crack addict. And Dicky hasn't thought about how he will look when an HBO documentary about crack addiction he stars in finally airs. With hair-trigger tempers, this Lowell, Mass., family acts instead of thinks. But their id-driven lives are our entertainment gain: Based on a true story, The Fighter runneth over with raw energy, crazy action, and the highly seductive, brainless gallop of people dashing toward the brick wall of their own vanities and fears. It couldn't be more fun. by Felicia Feaster 12/15/2010
Portland Mercury Split Decision Mark Wahlberg gets knocked out... by his supporting cast. by Wm. Steven Humphrey 12/16/2010
Boise Weekly First Quarter Film Stinkers A closer look at the numbers indicates that neither history nor logic can justify a box office model that packs 25 percent of its calendar with high-priced trash by George Prentice 03/23/2011
The Coast Halifax Melissa Leo goes the distance The actor explains why her role of Alice in The Fighter didn’t feel right at first. by Matt Semansky 12/16/2010
Boise Weekly The Prize-Winning Punch of The Fighter Oscar gives prizes to the pugilist. by Jordan Wilson 03/16/2011
The Coast Halifax A TKO for The Fighter A cast that packs major punch makes for a standout sports movies. by Matt Semansky 12/09/2010
Boise Weekly The Projector: Movies opening Friday, Dec. 17 Frosty goes Hollywood (catch him on film and you could win big, a black swan, a girl and some guys, a talking bear, a Benedictine nun and some special screenings. It's all at the movies. 12/17/2010
Indy Week The Fighter is pat and derivative The only explanation for the existence of The Fighter is the Ben Affleck-ian belief that the world can always use another blue-collar tale set among the Boston-area Irish. by Neil Morris 12/15/2010

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