Predictable crowd-pleaser based on the life of heavy weight boxer James J. Braddock (Russell Crowe) who went from success to bankruptcy to success again. Howard uses basically every ploy in the director's book to ensure complete audience identification, making Braddock an infallible family man incapable of the most honorable of intentions and his ultimate opponent, Max Baer, to be a complete sleaze. Starving children and a nervous wife (Renee Zellweger) are also great sentimental hooks, so both are used in equal measure (one of the kids even steals for poor Papa!). It's not Braddock's fault that his life's been filmed before as Rocky.
Director: Ron Howard
Year Released: 2005