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Against the Ropes (Full Screen Edition) (2004)

Meg Ryan , Omar Epps , Charles S. Dutton  |  PG-13 |  DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Meg Ryan, Omar Epps, Charles S. Dutton, Tony Shalhoub, Tim Daly
  • Directors: Charles S. Dutton
  • Writers: Jackie Kallen, Cheryl Edwards
  • Producers: David Madden, Jackie Kallen, Jonathan Pillot, Mike Drake, Robert W. Cort
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Paramount Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: July 13, 2004
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000228EHW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #314,175 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Against the Ropes (Full Screen Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

The "Rocky" formula nearly wears out its welcome in "Against the Ropes", a highly fictionalized feel-good drama based on the life of pioneering female boxing promoter Jackie Kallen. In an egregious effort to distill the essence of Kallen's achievement, director Charles S. Dutton (who fared better with HBO's "The Corner") has strictly played it safe, delivering a foregone conclusion almost from the very first scene. Burdened with a by-the-numbers screenplay by Cheryl Edwards ("Save the Last Dance"), the film gets a much-needed boost from Meg Ryan, playing Kallen as a brassy, smoky-voiced dynamo, rising to the challenge when a rival promoter (played with fierce bravado by Tony Shalhoub) dares her to play hardball in a male-dominated sport. Jackie's trump cards are Luther (Omar Epps), a promising contender with untried talent, and a once-legendary trainer (played by director Dutton) coaxed out of retirement to guide Luther to the middleweight championship. No surprises here, just a handful of energetic performances, an abundance of raw ambition, obligatory setbacks, and the nagging feeling that you've seen it all before. "--Jeff Shannon"

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great story, abrupt ending July 24, 2004
This movie is a great story of how to fight for what you believe in and that success does not come easy. Based loosely on the true story of Jackie Callen, Meg Ryan is wonderful as a woman trying to break into the boys-club of boxing management. She grew up loving boxing and knows the sport inside out. After being mistreated and underappreciated by the men she works for in sports, she goes out on her own with a young thug named Luther (the fine Omar Epps) whom she thinks has potential. With help from some old friends of her late uncle (himself a pro boxer), she turns Luther into a winner. Along the way, the attention goes to Jackie's head and she starts to alienate those around her, including her fighter who then wants out of his contract with her.

Charles S. Dutton directed and plays trainer Felix, Tony Shahloub is Jackie's main adversary and Tim Daly is a local TV reporter and her romantic interest. It is a great movie, but I think the ending is kind of abrupt, Luther wins the title fight everyone thought he wasn't ready for, then he and Jackie hug and make up...did he get out of his contract? Did she hook up with the reporter? Meanwhile, the real Jackie Callen was married with two sons when she started in the business and was from Detroit, not Cleveland. The screenwriter took quite a bit of poetic license. It is still a good movie though, a great mix of comedy and drama.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Loved this movie! October 6, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase

I really loved this movie. I read the other reviews (most of which were negative) and strongly disagree with them. I think Meg Ryan was wonderful, likewise Charles Dutton and the other actors. I am not a boxing fan. That doesn't matter. This movie is good entertainment. It is based on a true story of a female boxing manager who lets fame go to her head, makes some bad choices, and eventually...discovers what really matters. Men will love it (for the fight scenes, Meg Ryan, and the competition) and women will love it because it shows what women are capable of---anything---even in a man's world). Rent it or buy it---you won't be sorry. Great date movie.

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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars RIveting and inspirational July 15, 2004
Grab this DVD as quickly as you can. Here's why:
1. It tells the true story of a woman, Jackie Kallen, who broke into the male-dominated boxing world. Very inspirational and Meg Ryan's performance is strong and solid.
2. There's an interview with the real Jackie Kallen and a behind the scenes look at how and why the movie was made.
3. The movie is gripping to watch and Kallen isn't portrayed as a stereotype or saint but as a very real (and flawed) person. In short, this isn't a "fluffy" movie but one that tries to be relatively honest (by Hollywood standards).
Very riveting, great fight scenes, strong perfromances - what more is there to say?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lot better than expected! July 19, 2004
Okay, I heard that this movie wasn't so great, and like other Meg Ryan fans, I love to watch her in movies like "Sleepless In Seattle" and "You've Got Mail", but I think I was just really pleasantly surprised by this movie.
Meg Ryan plays Jackie Kallen, a woman who's been around the sport of boxing all of her life. And only until years later after being pushed around and stepped all over, Jackie Kallen began her journey to gain the respect of the other men in the business. See, the top-dogs of boxing, the managers and all, say it's a "man's world", but Jackie Kallen proves otherwise, as she hires Luther: a strong fighter, but weak minded man from the projects. Jackie Kallen takes Luther in to be trained by a very good friend of hers, and slowly but surely, Luther begins to become a better boxer and Jackie will soon find herself absorbing all of the attention they're about to get and will be blind to see the fact that it's her fighter who's now being walked all over. You'll just have to see how things turn out. And guess what? It may not be a romantic comedy, but there were moments throughout this movie that had me crying!
I was very surprised at everyones' performances. I think the acting was really good, and that this movie had very few flaws. I love Meg Ryan as an actress, and since I've liked every other movie she's in, I figured I'd give this one a shot. I'm glad I did, 'cause I plan on adding this onto my DVD collection!
This movie proves that Meg Ryan is capable of pulling off any role. She doesn't have to be "America's Sweetheart", but really, I don't care. I'll watch any movie with her in it, because she is so good of an actress.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful

I just borrowed this movie from my city library. It seems sometimes that some people have an urge to be negative, maybe because THEY can't act! THEY can't Write! THEY can't Direct!

Meg Ryan as usual, was cute, though more mature, AND SEXY, as usual.

Omar Epps was excellent, & it was enjoyable how he eventually showed he had a heart, even though he was a former Drug Dealer whom Jackie Kallen turned around & really cared to help him show his future Championship attitude in many ways.

Charles S. Dutton, I believe is an excellent actor & did a fine job in Directing this film... Those who complained are the people who can NOT doing anything, except complain.

I was unhappy about Jackie's success going to her own head, as if SHE were the ONLY reason for "Their" Success, but quite happy when she finally saw her jerky-self-centeredness that had become her & she changed & was not afraid to apologize for her stupid selfishness.

I cheered, along with the boxing crowd for Luther, for Jackie, for Felix AND for Jackie's office friend & her TV Friend whom she had also screwed-over, but apologized to.

It does leave you with a Good feeling, whether you are a man, or a woman... You know, women should be loved for their beauty AND their Brains, as well as those who have the
"Stick-to-itiveness" qualities that Jackie, Luther AND Felix had.

I cheer them, and ALL people like them, clapping as if I were with them at the fight. AND... a HUGE BOOING of those Negative Reviewers who can do nothing else, but be negative!!!

I MUST also congratulate Tony Shalub whom has really grown into an Excellent,Quite Versatile Actor... Good job Tony!!!

I immediately contacted Amazon to look for this movie I WILL Happily add this to my 500-600 Video library collection!!!

J. Rodrigues
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Against the Ropes for Wayne
This was a gift for my son & he liked it a lot. As much as I did ....Again Meg Ryan was wonderful in this movie & I would suggest it to any guy to watch as it isn't a "Chick... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Diane Siudym
3.0 out of 5 stars great action in this movie
good movie, I don't really like that they made a fictional character out of the fighter but it's a very entertaining movie.
Published 7 months ago by Dave Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Watch this movie.
Great real feel movie. Meg Ryan is always good in movies but, this was super.
I'm going to give it to a friend as a Christmas gift.
Published 9 months ago by dee newkirk
5.0 out of 5 stars inspiring movie.
this is a great movie for everyone. whether you like boxing or not,this is a must see movie.Meg Ryan makes this movie worth seeing
Published 17 months ago by Debbie
3.0 out of 5 stars Parental Review
My great grandfather was a boxer. For a number of years, a photograph of him in the ring hung in the hall of my grandmother's home. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Charity Bishop
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
Jackie isn't fighting for glory. She's fighting for respect. Inspired by a true story, Jackie is a sassy, brassy boxing manager-in-the-making determined to change 'lethal' Luther... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Shatara Lewis
5.0 out of 5 stars Old School Awesome
Loved it. Character development of the protagonist played by Meg Ryan was great. Movie is based on real-life so there was a deep level of integrity to the movie.
Published 19 months ago by memphisrain
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Acceptable
There is a section in the dvd where for about 4-5 minutes the picture broke up and the audio was not discernable
Published 20 months ago by afmassari
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good.
I bought this movie because Meg Ryan is one of my favorite actors. I think this a good movie to watch when you have nothing to do. I would recommend this to everyone.
Published 22 months ago by Lindsay
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst Boxing Movie Ever
This was the worst boxing movie I ever saw. It had the potential to be a great movie right up there with Raging Bull and Rocky but it ended up a horrifying mess. Read more
Published on March 15, 2012 by Mr. J. Murdock
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