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3.8 out of 5 stars 98 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Small-town boy Shawn MacArthur (Channing Tatum, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Public Enemies) knows firsthand that every day in New York City is a struggle to survive. So when scam artist Harvey Boarden (Terrence Howard, Iron Man, Hustle and Flow) gives him a chance to be something more in the brutal underground world of bare-knuckle street-fighting, Shawn decides that he has something worth fighting for and puts everything on the line to win. Every knockout brings him closer to the life he’s always wanted, but also traps him in a dangerous web he can’t escape.

The last thing you might expect from a movie called Fighting is excellent acting, but that’s what you’ll get. A scam artist named Harvey (Terrence Howard) sees a young would-be hustler named Shawn (Channing Tatum, Step Up, Stop-Loss) in a street scuffle and lures him into a no-rules fighting circuit. Shawn’s relentless drive to win leads him to unexpected success, but when he gets put into a big fight with a professional boxer, Harvey asks Shawn to take a dive. The plot sounds like a thousand boxing movies, but the difference is all in the texture. Fighting takes place in a very real New York City, with cramped, make-shift apartments, cluttered streets, and seedy nightclubs. Scenes get knocked sideways by odd bits of life and character quirks that feel organic, not shoehorned in by some clever screenwriter. There’s a marvelous scene where Shawn is trying to woo the Puerto Rican waitress he’s smitten with (Zulay Henao, Feel the Noise), but they keep getting interrupted by her suspicious mother--which sounds like a rom-com cliche, but is completely transformed by the wonderfully human interplay among the actors. Howard has always had a magnetic talent, but Tatum reveals an engaging vulnerability that contrasts nicely with his big-slab-of-beefcake look. The movie hearkens back to 1970s classics like Midnight Cowboy and Dog Day Afternoon, and though it doesn’t achieve the same emotional heights, it’s reaching in the right direction. Writer/director Dito Montiel (whose previous film, A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, also featured Tatum) promises to make some truly memorable movies. --Bret Fetzer

Stills from Fighting (Click for larger image)

Special Features

  • Deleted Scenes

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Channing Tatum, Terrence Howard, Luis Guzman, Brian White, Zulay Henao
    • Directors: Dito Montiel
    • Writers: Dito Montiel, Robert Munic
    • Producers: Kevin Misher
    • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
    • Subtitles: French, Spanish
    • Dubbed: French, Spanish
    • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated: Unrated
    • Studio: Universal Studios
    • DVD Release Date: August 25, 2009
    • Run Time: 213 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B002E01LL6
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,441 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Fighting" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    By J. Yee on February 13, 2010
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    This is generally not my kind of movie, but I did like it as it had kind of a Rocky element going. I also thought the actors gave sincere performances and the story was gritty enough to keep your attention - I get bored easily. As I watched it, I really felt this movie had a lot of potential to be great but because it was kind of rushed, it couldn't quite get there. If it could have taken a little more time to develop the characters and their relationships, it might have gotten there. I know that Channing Tatum is always criticized for his non acting ability, but if you really watch this movie, you can sense his potential, there were several times that you got a sincere sense from him that his character really wanted to do the right thing and Tatum does this more with expression than words. The only other thing that I feel could have been better was the connection between Shawn and Zulay, I just didn't get a sense of actual attraction, it really seemed kind of forced, like there was no choice. Obviously not one of the best movies of 2009 but certainly one of the better ones. I hope you enjoy it.
    Comment 10 of 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD
    The main problem with a film like 'Fighting' is the expectations that come with the obvious - fighting, or fight sequences. Although the movie centers on fighting, it seems like attention was spent elsewhere. In other words, the filmmakers did not conceptualize intricate fight sequences that would leave Bruce Lee breathless. On the contrary, the fights here are very low brow, meat and potatoes, bare knuckle, anything goes kind of brawl, which I'm not opposed to whatsoever. Personally, every now and again, the over-orchestrating of fight sequences can be a bit too much for me, but the minimal aspects here lend quite nicely to the main character's plight to survive.

    As you've probably read the other reviews, the story surrounds the nicest small-time drifter once could ever hope to meet (quite a stretch I may add). He holds doors for strangers, pays fair prices for goods and aside from the funky smell & shabby clothes, you'd be proud to bring him home to mother for Thanksgiving dinner. Although money is the object of his desire, he struggles to keep the only thing he's got going for himself - his pride. Something from his past that has made him run but must soon face head on. Howard stars as a small time conman with connections but in his older age, he represents the road Tatum could be headed. He takes him under his wing, primarily for the potential of making plenty of dough but soon realizes that a life without dignity isn't worth much. For example, to Howard, throwing a fight seems like smart business-making but for Tatum it means letting go of your most fundamental values as a person.

    I enjoyed the movie for what it was worth although I could clearly see the potential for a deeper, more soulful searching between the characters.
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    By PJR on March 16, 2012
    Format: DVD
    Fight films are not my thing. They have been done and done and done. I mostly watched this film because I just saw Channing Tatum in the Eagle (first time ever for this actor) and thought he did well but was curious to see how he might do in a film with some dramatic potential. He did just fine in Fighting in my opinion and showed much more range (because more range was called for) than in the Eagle. I think he has charisma and a lot of potential for good roles in the future.

    What surprised me was how good the script was in Fighting and how fresh the acting was of some of the supporting actors. This was more like an indy film than a regular Hollywood or Hong Kong fight film. I especially liked the supporting actor who was a very engaging character.

    The dialogue was not lofty, but it was realistic and "authentic" and thus atmospheric. All in all Fighting was a refreshing break from the usual fight films and for me at least, a "real film about people" and not just genre. Of course in this respect it may be very disappointing for viewers who want genre films that compete to top each other.

    I will say on the negative side that Tatum was hyped in the film as a fighting white college student, yet he did not fit any stereotype of a college student. This bothered some reviewers and I must say I had to work to remember that a lot of college students in real life actually do not come across as any more sophisticated in manners or speech than he does. He comes across almost as sort of a bumkin, though with some good sense. This is not truly unrealistic, but it is not close to a stereotype of college students in a serious film. So I won't fault it for this. I watched the Blu Ray and it had minimal extras. Only one deleted scene added much.

    Well photographed film, and I really liked the portrayal of New York.
    Comment 5 of 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    This movie's story is a little confusing at first, but as you watch it through you will be like thats why hes fighting. I have to note out of nowhere Harvey says "Do you like to fight?" Ok just a little bit like other people say this movie's title seems like it replaced another one. In the story with the character Zulay, Shawn apparently kept his head that direction until he finds out a little secret. I really thought he would see her again. The unrated version now only adds an extra 3 minutes to the movie. I didn't see much new things to it. Instead I thought it should be called the extended version not unrated. There were 5 fights including the little intro. Like I said there could be more fighting to earn that title. Now let me say the acting is great. I really like Terrence Howard being in the film. He plays a great role as a scam artist. Channing and Zulay also have good roles. The comedy mostly came from some of Harvey's friends and Zulay's mom, or grandma I think it is. The soundtrack also kept me interested into it and even though I have a weird feeling like something is missing I really do think its an awesome movie. It kinda reminds of movies like 8 mile, you got serve, and stomp the yard (I really don't know why). There should be a sequel and with more fighting.
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