Culture Club: The Fighter

Readers review this week's big film
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The Independent Culture

"Great domestic drama masquerading as a sports film."

Tomw Dunn

"Mark Wahlberg taking his shirt off? It's an Oscar-winning performance!"

Emma wallace

"Erring at times on the slow side, The Fighter may not be as exciting as the latest Hollywood blockbuster, but it will stay with you longer and, in the vein of all good underdog movies, you are likely to want to cheer out loud at least once... The film, however, truly belongs to Christian Bale as Micky's spotlight-loving, crack-addict brother, Dicky, and Melissa Leo as passive-aggressive, mother-from-hell Alice. Whether alone or together, the pair are simply riveting on screen and easily steal any scene they are in."

Shirley Kernan

"Went to see it because my partner loves boxing; I wasn't expecting much, but I was gripped. I thought it was brilliant, and I found that I had sympathy for all the characters in the end."

Emma Anne James

"I though Mark Wahlberg was pretty uninspiring; it's a character I feel I have seen him play before... Christian Bale was fantastic though, really amazing."

Nata sha Voyatzis

"The plot was quite slow to start with, but the fight scenes felt like I was ringside. Bale played a blinder as supporting actor, too."


"The problem with The Fighter is that you feel like you've seen it all before – and the plot is similar to dozens of other films that centre around sport, especially fighting. That said, it is well made and some of the terrific performances save it from being a boring TV movie of the week."

Gareth Simpson

"I like to read up about a film after seeing it – and the lengths that had been gone to to get the details of the film accurate and Mark Wahlberg's dedication to getting the film made were very interesting. The film has it all: a good script, good acting and excellent direction. It's a fantastic film to watch, regardless of whether you have any knowledge or interest in the subject matter."

Fran Lane

"The pairing of Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale is surprisingly natural and they work extremely well together... Visually, the pair couldn't look further apart, with Wahlberg's Micky in great physical condition and Bale's Dicky ravaged by years of drug abuse... Though The Fighter is Wahlberg's passion project – he has been training and working on the idea for years and even lived very close to Micky Ward in Boston – this film is ultimately Bale's. It is arguably his best performance to date, completely believable and almost heartbreaking at points... "

Emma Thrower

"Good film! Great family dynamics. Great acting."

Belinda Webb

"I wasn't sure about the mother or the seven sisters until I watched the original documentary. It's very accurate, although Bale gives Eklund a goofy charm he doesn't possess... It's one of the best films of the year. And it's time to reassess David O. Russell's previous work."

John O Sullivan

"The Fighter is fantastic. Bale, Wahlberg, Adams and Leo all great. Not 'the best boxing movie since Rocky', however."


Next week in Culture Club: True Grit

Email your views on the Coen brothers' remake of the classic Western, with Hailee Steinfeld and Jeff Bridges (above), to The best will be published next Thursday