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The Fighter

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Academy Award® Nominees Mark Wahlberg (The Departed), Christian Bale (The Dark Knight) and Amy Adams (Doubt) star in this “remarkable†” film. Based on a true story, two brothers, against all the odds, come together to train for a historic title bout that has the power to reunite their fractured family and give their hard-luck town what it's been waiting for: pride. Micky Ward (Wahlberg) is a struggling boxer long overshadowed by his older brother and trainer, Dicky (Bale), a local legend battling his own demons. Their explosive relationship threatens to take them both down - but the bond of blood may be their only chance for redemption. Joe Morgenstern, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

It would be a mistake to confuse The Fighter with the story of Mark Wahlberg, though the similarities are striking. Completely convincing as a boxer, Wahlberg plays welterweight Micky Ward, who grew up in working-class Massachusetts. Like the actor-producer, he had eight siblings, one more famous than the rest. Ward's half-brother, Dicky Eklund (a gaunt, crazy-eyed Christian Bale), turned to boxing first, just as Mark's brother, Donnie, preceded him as a performer (first by singing, then by acting). The similarities end there: Dicky, once known as "The Pride of Lowell," traded his promising pugilistic career for a crack pipe (Sugar Ray Leonard cameos as his best-known opponent). As David O. Russell's film begins, the smothering Alice (Frozen River's Melissa Leo) manages Micky's career, while the unpredictable Dicky attempts to train him. Despite his talent in the ring, though, Micky can't catch a break until he meets Charlene (Amy Adams), a spitfire of a bartender who encourages him to stand up for himself. When Dicky ends up in prison, and Micky takes on a more experienced manager, his fortunes start to improve, but it isn't in his nature to abandon the people who raised him, so he attempts to unite the various factions in his life before his shot at the world championship slips away. Though Russell paints Micky's mother, brother, and sisters with a broad brush, Wahlberg anchors the scenario with his patient, level-headed performance. Rescue Me's Jack McGee also deserves notice as his diplomatic dad, George. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Special Features

Feature Film (with Commentary by Director David O. Russell)
The Warriors Code: Filming The Fighter

Product Details

  • Actors: Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg
  • Directors: David O. Russell
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Paramount Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: March 15, 2011
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (440 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,436 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Fighter" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

All in all, the movie is good as a boxing movie and great as a drama with all-around good acting.
Being a true story (also like "Raging Bull") makes this movie much more enjoyable and tense, knowing that all of what is happening really went on.
Tony Heck
I also thought the acting was wonderful - melissa leo, amy adams, christian bale, and mark wahlberg were ALL excellent.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 79 people found the following review helpful By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on December 21, 2010
Format: DVD
"The Fighter" is easily director David O. Russell's most conventional film to date. Russell has been out of the film world for a few years after the mixed reception he received with the release of 2004's "I Heart Huckabees," an underrated film that may have tried a bit too hard. But when Russell burst onto the scene with the subversive "Spanking the Monkey," the exquisitely madcap "Flirting with Disaster," and the audacious "Three Kings"--I knew that I would follow this guy wherever he led! Well, he's back. "The Fighter" comes straight from the underdog sports genre of filmmaking, and in its plotting stays true to the course you would expect. But thankfully, there's a bit more to this appealing tale that's as much about brotherhood as it is about prizefighting. Sold by an A-list cast (the acting awards and nominations have already started rolling in), "The Fighter" manages, for the most part, to transcend the usual cliches with its focus on family.

Telling the true life tale of Micky Ward's unorthodox, and extremely bumpy, road to capturing the world light welterweight title--"The Fighter" appeals to the same everyman underdog sensibilities that countless films have already tapped. Mark Wahlberg, in a refreshingly understated way, lends a calmness to the center of the picture. The rest of the cast, for good and bad, go for broke in large showy performances. Christian Bale, gaunt and tweaking, plays Ward's brother. A former boxer and Micky's trainer, Bale is hapless and helpless as a habitual crack addict and a lowlife criminal. The drama between Bale and Wahlberg is easily the strongest element in "The Fighter" with Bale being both invaluable AND utterly destructive to Wahlberg's career prospects.
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51 of 61 people found the following review helpful By C. Sawin VINE VOICE on December 16, 2010
Format: DVD
The Fighter has been a must-see film of mine ever since at least the end of October. Not only did the cast look to function as one strong, cohesive unit, Christian Bale looked to transform himself yet again and had gotten completely absorbed in his role as Dicky Eklund. From just viewing the trailer, Bale seemed to give a performance that reminded his fans just how talented he can actually be. The Fighter also seemed to have a lot of emotion and heart; two key ingredients that go on to making movies like this legendary. The real test would be if The Fighter could hold up to other great boxing films like Rocky or Raging Bull and in this critic's humble opinion, it does just that.

Mickey Ward (Wahlberg) is following in his brother Dicky's (Bale) footsteps and is trying to make a name for himself as a boxer. Dicky has been giving Mickey advice and helping Mickey train for as long as they can both remember while their mother Alice (Leo) has been acting as his manager the entire time. Mickey knows it's time for a change if he expects to make a serious impact in the boxing world, but a crack addicted brother and a mom who thinks she's helping his career when she's really hurting it have both been holding him back for far too long. So when Charlene (Adams) and Mickey become an item and Dicky winds up in prison, Mickey makes the hardest decision of his life and keeps fighting with new management in tow and seemingly pushes his family out. As Mickey's mother tries to wrap her head around her son replacing her as manager, all hell breaks loose once Dicky gets out of prison. As the date for the most important fight in Mickey's career fast approaches, will he have the support of his family or has everything already fallen apart past the point of being repaired?
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By BruinsFan on May 15, 2011
Format: DVD
I have to say Christian Bale was absolutely flawless in his portrayal of such a complex character, Dickie. While I found Mark Wahlberg's Mickey to be pretty one dimensional, Bale executed an emotional performance of a character who encompassed every adjective in the book: funny, quirky, crazy, selfish, pathetic, delusional,endearing,loyal etc. I also thought Amy Adams was wonderful in a role that showcased her range as an actress.

As a Massachusetts native, I enjoyed seeing the Lowell setting and I was oh so grateful that there were no God-awful, overexaggerated accents (I'm talking to you Diane Lane). Although the "underdog comes up big" story is one we've seen before, this is truly a well acted, entertaining movie.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Cwn_Annwn on August 14, 2011
Format: Amazon Instant Video
I have to say this is one of the best boxing films ever made. Its based on Micky Ward and although it takes a few liberties with his boxing career I think its probably pretty accurate as far as how things were in his day to day life. They did ignore his fights with Arturo Gatti and made his fight with Shea Neary out to be a world title fight when it wasn't. All the actors and actresses in this did a great job though. I was really impressed. Even if you dont like boxing I'd recomend it. It has a gritty realism and shows what white working class people have to deal with in life which is rare to see from Hollywood.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Turfseer on April 25, 2011
Format: DVD
*** This review may contain spoilers ***

With so many fight flicks out there, it helps to be a little bit different. The film's creator, Mark Wahlberg, wisely explores Prizefighter Micky Ward's family conflicts for three quarters of the film, rather than dwelling mainly on the conflicts in the ring. Wahlberg was attracted to Ward's story since they both grew up in large families, in a working class Massachusetts environment. For those who have no interest in astrology, I apologize, but I would like to point out that the natural inquisitive nature of a Gemini (Wahlberg), goes quite well with the laid back, easygoing Libran (Ward). What we end up with 'The Fighter' is an 'airy' concoction--a film that manages to exude a 'feel good' sensibility coupled with the strong dialectic between two brothers, whose mutual attraction and repulsion is constantly shifting.

Since 'The Fighter' is based on the true story of Ward's rise to the top as a champion welterweight, whenever reality weasels its way into the narrative, the film is quite absorbing. The entire scene where Ward, goaded by his mother, agrees to fight an opponent twenty pounds heavier than he is, and then gets his ass kicked, is something I've never seen before in a boxing film. Ward's brother, Dicky (played by a chameleon-like Christian Bale), also provides a great deal of 'color' to an otherwise traditional tale of pugilistic ambition. Who can forget when Micky ignores his trainer's game plan and adopts his brother's strategy to win the title fight? This despite Dicky's continual descent into the hellhole of crack addiction.

The bulk of 'The Fighter', however, is much more a tale of filial obligation (or should I say obsession?) than the history of Micky Ward's ascent to the welterweight crown.
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The Fighter
blu-ray is locked to region A
Mar 25, 2011 by Robert Reissner |  See all 7 posts
Scott says: Viewpoint means something because your commenting on the point your actually veiwing. And that point is when people get mad they MAY swear/curse but as a part of every day /every sentence is ugliness in our freedom -abused society. Wahlbergs reach above the muck BY not speaking out... Read More
Jul 21, 2011 by Scott A. Harris |  See all 2 posts
To everyone who cares: Though the run time on case of TGWKTHN says 2hr 9...
Just out of curiosity, what made you think this would be a useful topic for discussion on the Fighter forum? :-)
Feb 24, 2011 by Aliaksandr Burlyka |  See all 3 posts
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