Box art for The Fighter

The Fighter


Mark Wahlberg stars in Paramount Pictures' inspirational docudrama exploring the remarkable rise of Massachusetts-born lightweight title winner "Irish" Micky Ward.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 16
1 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
3 out of 5
Positive role models
3 out of 5

Boxing biopic mixes inspiring story, mature content.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this biopic about boxer Mickey Ward (Mark Wahlberg) grapples with some very tough themes -- including weighing the importance of family versus the importance of a career and exerting your own true self. While the characters and messages are ultimately positive, the movie is filled with boxing violence, some of it bloody, and strong language, including "f--k" and "s--t." There's no nudity, but characters are shown flirting, kissing, and sleeping together. And in addition to plenty of drinking and smoking, one major character is portrayed as a crack addict. Taken altogether, the movie is too rough for younger teens but inspirational for older, more mature viewers.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the film's violence. How did the boxing scenes affect you? How does this kind of violence compare to what you see in big-budget action movies? Which has greater impact?
  • Did Mickey make the right choice by leaving his family behind to further his career? Should he have had to make that choice at all?
  • Was Dicky Eklund an inspirational character? Do you believe he actually knocked Sugar Ray down? Why would he live a life of drugs after such glory?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

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  • Audience


Audience Reviews

5 stars

The Fighter was the one movie that I knew I had to see in 2010. My two favorite actors are Amy Adams and Christian Bale, so I knew I had to see this film to see them together. As the release date came closer, and as more and more Oscar buzz flowed, I knew this was going to be a great one. It is. This film is easily among the 5 best films of the year, if not the best. The best part of this film is the acting. Unbelievable! The three main supporting cast members give some of the best performances I have ever seen. They have to go down as one strongest supporting casts ever. I believe Christian Bale will finally receive his long overdue Oscar. His performance is simply incredible. He completely takes ownership of the role and simply disappears entirely into the character. His character changes so much throughout the film and no better actor could have delivered as affectively. I also loved Melissa Leo's performance. Absolutely stunning! She is so real and believable as the tough mother. Her performance is truly remarkable. I believe Melissa Leo will win the Oscar for best supporting actress, but it was Amy Adams that completely made this film for me. Her performance is phenomenal! She completely steals every scene. She flawlessly portrays the quiet but tough Charlene. This film shows Amy Adams at her best. She, too, will receive an Oscar nomination, hopefully the win. Also, her performance really allows Mark Wahlberg to shine as well. He gives a good performance, but the entire film is dominated by stellar supporting actors. A thing that surprised me was the screenplay. The script is simply fantastic. It is so real, strong, and genuinely portrays what the people of the area and time would have been like. The script also has many humorous moments that were surprising, but absolutely perfect. The Fighter is so much more than a typical sports or boxing film. It focuses more on relationships, family, and conflicts as opposed to the boxing. I have to mention the final fight scene.....brilliant. The perfect ending to a great movie. After being blessed with the first 90 minutes of the film, we are treated by an awesome final boxing scene. Loved it! Nominated for 7 Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay, this is a brilliant film. Far better than Rocky and Raging Bull will ever be. This deserved every amount of praise it received. Props to Mark Wahlberg for pushing to create this film! Absolutely loved it. One of my favorites!

- jamers2011, Wednesday, November 9, 2011

5 stars

This film deserves every possible award out there. I went to see this at the cinemas after being forced to see it. As one who always judges a book by it's cover, I already considered it to be awful and was expecting to be dissapointed. I was wrong. This is one of my all time favourite films and the cast were absolutely incredible. Considering this to be a true story, it makes the film even more heart wrenching and by the time the film had ended I was quite sad that it had. I'd definitely expect that Micky Ward and his family will be unbelievably proud of the film that was based on their life and so they should be.

- murphmann93, Monday, October 24, 2011