The Fighter

Director: David O. Russell
Year Released: 2010
Rating: 1.5

Dry, by-the-numbers boxing movie - there have just been so many of late - that charts the troubled career (and success!) of "Irish" Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) and his incredibly screwed up family, including foul-mouthed Ma (Melissa Leo), his seven poofy-haired sisters and his former boxer half-bro Dicky (Christian Bale, who loves losing weight), who turned in the gloves for a crack-pipe and an Asian girlfriend. Wahlberg's character is so altruistic and calm he gets lost in his own movie, leaving the scene-stealing Bale and Leo and Amy Adams to step in and assert themselves: he doesn't so much 'fix' them as let them sort out their personal B.S. while he keeps hitting the bags. With the dramatic aspects left wanting (screaming does not equal 'human tension') and the actual boxing footage more filler than skilled direction, this only works as a showcase for three gifted performers.