A male soap opera with some good ol' MMA to spice things up: two long-lost brothers, a physics teacher (Joel Edgerton) and a Marine gone AWOL (Tom Hardy, downright ferocious), both trained by their alcoholic father (Nick Nolte) to be fighters, participate in a huge tournament in Atlantic City because, quite frankly, they both could use the cash. The first two acts are a smidge drawn out and it's predictable (bordering, at times, on the cliché), but the final act of the actual fighting (and human drama) is so skillfully directed it actually ends up having an unexpectedly poignant (if improbable) conclusion. This is the movie Russell's The Fighter could have been.
Director: Gavin O'Connor
Year Released: 2011