The Fighter | Chicago Reader

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Rated R · 115 minutes · 2010

Biography, Drama
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.
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Director: David Russell
Producer: David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman, Ryan Kavanaugh, Mark Wahlberg, Dorothy Aufiero, Paul Tamasy, Tucker Tooley, Darren Aronofsky, Leslie Varrelman, Keith Dorrington and Eric Johnson
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Melissa Leo

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