The Fighter | Chicago Reader

The Fighter

In this old-school fight picture from David O. Russell, Mark Wahlberg realizes his long-held dream of playing "Irish" Micky Ward, a working-class lug from Lowell, Massachusetts, whose promising career as a welterweight boxer in the early 90s was hampered by his domineering mother (Melissa Leo) and crack-addicted half-brother (Christian Bale). It's an unusual project for Russell, director of such satirical dramas as Three Kings and I Heart Huckabees, but he easily locates the story's abrading edge: in Ward's close-knit little neighborhood, the family and friends cheering him on are the same people selfishly holding him back. Bale dominates the movie as Dicky Eklund, a pathetic loudmouth who's let his own fight career slip away from him, yet what really holds this together is Wahlberg's low-key, firmly internalized performance as a man torn between his loyalty to the clan and his responsibility to himself. With Amy Adams.



  • David Russell


  • Mark Wahlberg
  • Christian Bale
  • Amy Adams
  • Melissa Leo


  • David Hoberman
  • Todd Lieberman
  • Ryan Kavanaugh
  • Mark Wahlberg
  • Dorothy Aufiero
  • Paul Tamasy
  • Tucker Tooley
  • Darren Aronofsky
  • Leslie Varrelman
  • Keith Dorrington
  • Eric Johnson

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