DVD: The Fighter (15)

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The Independent Culture

Some heavyweight Acting, with a capital A, from Christian Bale and Melissa Leo bagged them both Oscars in this formulaic but authentic, enjoyable boxing drama.

However, Mark Wahlberg is equally good in the less showy role, as the earnest pugilist, Mickey "Irish" Ward, who needs to free himself of his ferocious mother and manager, Alice (Leo), and his drug-abusing brother and coach, Dickie Eklund (Bale). He recruits his strong-willed new girlfriend, Charlene (Amy Adams, excellent), to help him break the shackles of his toxic family and become a champ. Not as heart-breaking as Fat City or as immense as Raging Bull, but it's still a solid, stirring boxing flick.

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