Technicalities aside, there are actually far worse cinematic crimes perpetrated in The Fighter—like getting bogged down in the wrong details and climaxing much too early and basically abandoning the audience after that. Despite the decidedly feel-good nature of the proceedings that borrow from pretty much every sports cliché in the book, you get the feeling the filmmakers aspired toward something more profound and gritty and just fell way short.

Ultimately, The Fighter is pretty much what you'd expect if you hadn't heard everyone raving about it—an above average sports flick. Those seeking a boxing movie with some real punch might consider renting Raging Bull, Cinderella Man or even Rocky and Rocky 2 instead.

CAUTIONS:

  • Drugs/Alcohol:  Social drinking and cigarette smoking, plus Dicky is addicted to crack, and he's shown using it in a couple of scenes.

  • Language/Profanity:  Considering the sheer grittiness of the neighborhood the bulk of the movie takes place in, rough language pretty much goes with the territory. There's an abundance of f-words and a smattering of other profanities, including a couple of instances where the Lord's name is taken in vain.

  • Sex/Nudity:  It's implied that Dicky's girlfriend is trading oral sex for crack money. Micky and his girlfriend Charlene sleep together, but nothing much aside from kissing is shown. In one scene, Charlene wears very sheer lingerie. She's also called a "tramp" and a "hussy" by Micky's overprotective sisters.

  • Violence:  Most of the violence is relegated to the ring, and the scenes are less gory than in other movies of this ilk. There's also a scene of police brutality where Micky's hand is clobbered repeatedly.
     

Christa Banister is a full-time freelancer writer, specializing in music, movies and books-related reviews and interviews and is the author of two novels, Around the World in 80 Dates and Blessed Are the Meddlers. Based in Dallas, Texas, she also weighs in on various aspects of pop culture on her personal blog

For more information, including her upcoming book signings and sample chapters of her novels, check out her Website.