"The Fighter"

I will preface this by saying I am not a boxing fan; all that punching and fighting is not really what I want to see when I sit down to watch TV. However, I like movies based on true stories, and sports movies that make me forget that I am actually watching a movie, and "The Fighter" does just that - by the end of it I almost felt like I was watching a boxing match, but this was an exciting match that I wanted to see.

Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg, "The Other Guys") has been a boxer for a while now, and he trains with his brother Dicky (Christian Bale, "Public Enemies"), a former boxer who once defeated Sugar Ray Leonard, in their Lowell, MA gym. When Dicky gets sent to jail, however, Micky realizes the bad effect his family and Dicky are having on his boxing, and he wonders if he should go elsewhere. At the same time, he is dating Charlene (Amy Adams, "Leap Year"), and still training for fights under the tutelage of a local police officer and his father. When Dicky gets out of jail, Micky must decide if he wants to let him back into his training, or shut him out altogether.

There were many, many things that I liked about this movie but one of the big things is that it had so many different plot lines going on, and didn't neglect any of them. There was Micky and his boxing; Micky's relationship with his brother and family (in addition to Dickey, he has seven sisters); Micky's relationship with Charlene; and Dicky's current addiction to drugs and his passion for boxing, just to name a few. The supporting actors - Amy Adams, Melissa Leo ("Conviction") as the mother, Jack McGee (TV's "Players") as their father, and many others - were all really good in their parts as well, and they helped contribute to Wahlberg and Bale's performances, both of which were excellent.

Yes, see this film. I liked this movie (and I'm not someone who normally likes boxing), so it is my opinion that anyone could like it. The performances of all of its actors, and its magnetic story line, make this movie great. The film is also based on a true story, which makes it even better. I had never seen Christian Bale, known to be a "method actor," looking so gaunt before, but he plays his role as the crackhead brother and former boxer perfectly, and I wouldn't be surprised if he and/or Wahlberg gets nominated for an Oscar for this film. This movie will appeal to anyone, although younger kids should note its "R" rating, and it will do very well at the box office because of its star power.

"The Fighter" opens in theaters on December 17th.

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