Film Review: “Warrior”

by Jason LeRoy on September 8, 2011

Tom Hardy and Nick Nolte in WARRIOR

starring: Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton, Nick Nolte, Jennifer Morrison, Kevin Dunn

written by: Gavin O’Connor, Anthony Tambakis & Cliff Dorfman

directed by: Gavin O’Connor

MPAA: Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense mixed martial arts fighting, some language and thematic material

“It’s the [father and son] relationship that causes grown men to cry. You go back to all of those movies, and whenever you’ve got a father and son and a sport, the aisles are awash with men’s tears.” — Mike Nichols to New York Magazine. I don’t relate to this quote, but I gather it explains many of the comments below this review.

When I sat down to watch Warrior, I assumed it was a true story. Because movies like this, inspirational sports movies, usually are. There appears to be no shortage of remarkable true-life athlete stories out there, so why bother creating a fictitious one unless you’re going to do something clever with the genre? That is a question I would like to ask Gavin O’Connor, the writer/director of this film. Having previously directed the crowd-pleasing “sportspirational” true story Miracle, he’s decided to go the fictional route this time. Unfortunately, the plot of Warrior is so utterly ludicrous, it could only have worked within the context of a stranger-than-fiction true story.

Tommy Conlon (Tom Hardy) is an angry, intimidatingly quiet ex-soldier who’s recently moved back to Pittsburgh (hay!) with duffel bags full of back story. He was once a promising young wrestler, managed and mentored by his raging alcoholic father, Paddy (Nick Nolte). His life has changed considerably since those days. But he’s now become interested in the world of MMA (mixed martial arts) tournament fighting, and wants his father – who is several years clean and sober – to train him. Not that he wants to reconcile with Paddy. Oh hell naw. This will be a strictly professional relationship, and any attempts by Paddy to act “fatherly” will be shut down immediately.

Meanwhile, across the state in Philadelphia, Paddy’s other estranged son, Brendan (Joel Edgerton), is an underpaid public school teacher struggling desperately to make ends meet for his wife Tess (Jennifer Morrison) and their young children. To pick up a little extra cash on the side, Brendan – who used to be (surprise!) an MMA fighter – participates in illegal street fights. But when the word gets out at his school, he finds himself suspended without pay. So what’s an ass-kicking public school teacher to do? Why, enter the same MMA tournament as his brother, of course!

This all inevitably and absurdly leads to a showdown (which has been revealed in all the teasers and trailers) pitting brother against brother. O’Connor has cynically pushed two American hero archetypes into the ring together to find out which one audiences will root for more: a family-man public school teacher victimized by the financial crisis, or a strong-and-silent war hero. As the three points on this triangle of estrangement, the actors give strong performances. Hardy and Edgerton are remarkable in their physical commitment, while Nolte, in some of his finest work in years, gives a startling, wrenching turn that will likely earn him some Best Supporting Actor buzz.

This two-Rockys-for-the-price-of-one tale is consistently engaging, moving at a sturdy, confident pace for its nearly 150-minute running time. The fight scenes are riveting and well-crafted, which is good news for the audience, because the entire last act is basically one fight after another. O’Connor is at his best during these sequences. Outside of the fight scenes, he tells his story with a naturalistic, understated filming style that stands in stark contrast to his wildly overblown script, occasionally tricking you into thinking you’re watching a better film than you actually are.

Leaning far too heavily on far-fetched coincidences and shameless plot devices while fumbling gracelessly with its metaphors (MMA fighting as a symbol for life struggles; Paddy is frequently seen reading Moby Dick), this isn’t exactly The Fighter. When I thought Warrior was a true story, I disregarded its many plot contrivances. But when I realized it was just a crassly manipulative appeal to working class American ideals, the thought bubble above my head quickly changed from, “Well how about that!” to “What a crock of shit!”

Update: For those of you interested in real-life figures that may have influenced the fictional script of Warrior, a helpful commenter named Squearl has pointed out several parallels: Rich Franklin is a former math teacher turned MMA fighter. Brian Stann is a former Marine who was awarded the Silver Star for his efforts in Iraq; he now fights in the UFC. Nick and Nate Diaz are brothers that have both found success in the MMA world. Thanks for the info, Squearl. While I stand by my mixed opinion of the film, it is helpful to know the stories that may have inspired its characters.

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{ 57 comments… read them below or add one }

Ian November 25, 2011 at 3:19 am

What a crock of shit this review is. The movie was great. So what if it’s fiction? It had audiences on the edge of their sets and tears rolling down cheeks, isn’t that what making movies is all about? You sir, are just an overpaid writer who criticizes every movie he watches just so you have something to write about. What have you ever achieved in your life other than these pathetic write-ups? If you were a follower of MMA then you would of realized that parts of the story were true. A Physics teacher fighting in MMA? Ring any bells? How about Rich “Ace” Franklin? Perhaps you should be a bit more educated on what you’re writing about before you actually write it. Seek help.

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The Librarian November 28, 2011 at 6:12 pm

“I have lived almost a half a century and this movie stirred more emotions in me than any movie I have ever seen.” Who gives a flying crap if it was fiction? What an inspirational cinematic piece of art. !!!AWESOME!!!

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Darren " The Destroyer " Shank -MMC Chapter 11 Milw. Wi. November 29, 2011 at 1:38 am

I’m Still Wiping My Eyes, I was Touched, Moved and I Think I’m Gonna Get Back in ” Cage ” Again. GREAT MOVIE- Attn:Critic; IT”S JUST A MOVIE !!!

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Shaun December 1, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Looks like I am joining the people who have so far completely disagreed with the reviewer here. Solid performances from the entire cast. i would not be surprised if there were oscar nods in there somewhere. The MMA just stood as a backdrop to the real drama going on behind the scenes and the story was great. Like the last reviewer said “IT’S JUST A MOVIE!!!”
Maybe you should start writing about something other than movies seeing as you don’t really seem to get the point with some of them and if you are to be a good reviewer surely you need to know what you are on about. MUPPET!

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Nate phenom addley December 4, 2011 at 6:18 pm

comming from a guy who just lost his brother to actions less then what’s depicted in this action packed and full of soul tear-jerker you shouldnt jump to the pump to ridicule fiction isnt the whole idea of movie’s to make us think?? i for one thought the movie was a true story at first till i did my research and that is saying alot… this movie didnt just shake emotions i was feeling but they made me believe in second chances, the one person in life you can love like no other because you have the same blood pumping through your veins is yours brothers and sisters no matter how different you are from eachother you eventually start seeing how much you are the same. i bet im not the only one touched by this movie enough to want to find out if it was a real story only proving my point yet again that people want to believe that some bonds are stronger then even the human heart mind and body want make us believe. so why dont you do something with what seams to be a big mouth get on your knees and do exactly what the writters of this movie are saying to you and finish with a happy ending probibly bringing back memories of a spoiled silver spoon fed life and leave what is way beyond your years of a pampered i get what i want no stuggle suit an tie boss ass eatin dick up your ass opinions to yourself and let what really matters to all the people in or surrounding this production the peoples verdict. loved it… remember this name people N.P.A

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Lindsay December 4, 2011 at 8:18 pm

I would just like to congratulate every person above who has commented on this review: You have a both a penis and fists, and I am so glad you appreciate a movie that celebrates both. This movie is so absurd that you have to at least acknowledge that it is nowhere near reality. It takes what would actually happen and suspends it, for many points throughout the feature, much like a romantic comedy. You see, boys, the difference between you and I and the reviewer is that all of you are too dumb to understand that this is a RomCom (or, perhaps, a Fight/Blight) for men. Yes, it made you cry. That doesn’t make it good. Sometimes I cry during especially effective commercials for greeting cards; that does not make them great. Just because you cry, as a man, does not make this a good film. Let’s all take a step back and realize that just because certain sequences are nice does not make for a good narrative.

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Eric December 4, 2011 at 10:01 pm

MUPPET!!! MUPPET!!! MUPPET!!!
How could you say the Muppets aren’t real? I’m still crying and I saw the Muppets last weekend!! When Animal finally picked up those drum sticks and rejoined the band I simultaneously cried and shot a load in my pants!!!! If you don’t agree with me you should take your computer, monitor and mouse and all and shove it up your gaping ass!! This website should be shut down!! I’m going to report you to somebody. I don’t know who, but somehow you will pay for your “review” of the muppets.

Oh shit. This was about boxers??? Boxers are pussys. Fuck this.

MUPPETS RULE!!

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Allan December 5, 2011 at 8:09 pm

A plot point a like a teacher being an MMA fighter relating to a real life case does not make a story and its message real. That’s a negligible factoid with no bearing over making a film/story true or believable, except apparently to someone like Ian. Characters’ relationship dynamics and their actions and consequences being real are what make a story true. And if you’re led to believe a story is real only to find out its’ not, it might be wise to take caution in allowing the story to affect you emotionally or taking the message seriously.
And to everyone saying “it’s just a movie,” I ask why are you bothering to read reviews if you only watch movies to be emotionally jerked off? Were you hoping for seconds from a reviewer? Don’t get too worked up; it’s just a review.

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Antonio De LaCroce December 9, 2011 at 10:36 pm

what the hell is wrong with you people, can’t cha see the real fact that this movie had more audience than ‘the fighter’. yes … it’s not a true story, but the feelings you get from this dramatic film are more intense than the other movies, same branch. the art is to make you feel like your in the middle of the action, for me it was la real MMA show. hell ya, and the actors fit to the story, not like the guy from The Fighter former soldier in the army against Terminators. in fact i think this story will sell better than the other ones, because the case was built on two different stories, both struggling for a better place to leave, this is not a story about a junkie, who’s trying to get attention or some compassion. and what the hell is wrong with you people, talking about muppets, pussys and things like that. as for you crack pipe addict writer, first i though you’re going to give us a good comment, but you’re just another paid writer to mess up things, and go on with your shitty life

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Antonio De LaCroce December 9, 2011 at 10:40 pm

if there is somebody out there who thinks same as me, just live a comment, i would like debate on this story

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rola na sua mae December 14, 2011 at 12:25 am

fuck this review!
the movie was great!

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John Holman December 20, 2011 at 11:20 pm

If you dislike a movie and want to criticize it, pick something other than your ignorance in believing it was a true story. That seemed to be your only complaint. This movie was good from beginning to end and powerful about 2/3 the time. Dont let you stupidity for movie cloud your judgement on a good movie that others will enjoy. I actually wonder how you became to criticize movies. Just about every sentence you use is false and misleading. And it all stems from your original announcement that you assumed the movie was a true story. Because of your disappointment due to your true ignorance, it seems you decided to push all who read. I have never heard of spinningplatters.com and the reason is clearly the poor writing staff that it employees. I get it though. These days people think they can write their opinion on a blog and get rich. Well, you did it and sound stupid. Sorry. And on a last note, this is where fiction becomes as strange as true. Wish you well. Please no more critics.

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John Holman December 20, 2011 at 11:25 pm

Some spelling errors but you get the point. This effing website is terrible at its sensitivity to touch. I have pushed the letter h seven times and it sent me to some other equally useless page. Way to go web programmers. That high school degree is paying off dividends.

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Check One December 21, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Lindsay you’re an idiot!!

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Lindsay December 21, 2011 at 8:14 pm

I don’t want to freak everyone out here, but I just did an Internet search on “Check One,” and he came up as a sexual offender in two states — it appears he feels a lot of rage towards women, especially those who point out he has a penis. Granted, it is super, duper small, but whenever women actually find it he flies into a rage. The last woman he hurt was just an elderly fitting room specialist at Walmart (that is what they are called now, kind of like when secretaries are called receptionists, but I digress) reached out to grab the clothes he was trying to return to her (he is the kind of man who tries things on in a Walmart, if you know what I mean) when the back of her left hand grazed his croth-ish area. Then…he killed her. With his dong. JUST JOKING IT IS TOO SMALL TO KILL ANYONE LOL. He killed her with a machete he calls, ‘dong.’

Oh, wait, I just thought we were all saying things that made no sense without explaining any context behind them. Sorry, Check One.

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Dee December 22, 2011 at 2:03 am

One of the best movies I have ever seen, and I have seen a lot…So some parts may be far fetched but that is besides the point there is a lot of relative points facing real life issues in this film. It’s heart wrenching at times and surprises the hell out of you. This is the best kind of film…Loved the actors Nick Nolte should absolutely get a nod for his performance very sincere and believable…Broke my heart so many times throughout..I will watch it again and recommend it to all my friends and family! Powerful and amazing story line..very twisted I love that! Eye Candy all the way through..Some of the scenes with Tommy and his eyes wow!…I fell off and on for him throughout the entire film.

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john December 22, 2011 at 10:34 pm

Lindsay those commercials that you watch that may draw a tear are good commercials. They strike there demographic and win with tears. Your chick flicks do it for you. Great… There are some good ones out there that are legit good movies. Yes this movie is far fetched. I mean the brothers thing is buyable based off of genetics. So far fetched yes. There is always that 1 in the 1 in a mill. Now the going ua thing and not getting scooped up before you get out of country (i was mil) I don’t buy. But hey go with it. It’s fun… People have gone with the storries in the bible for 2000 years now and they are far fetched (guy living in the stomach of a whale… Ph will shred ur skin off. But hey there may just be a message behind the parable. Whatever it is, this movie kept you wanting more, kept you on the edge and struck up some tears. So lidnsay calm down. You seem to liken having a penis and a fist to stupidity. Maybe you watched to much jersey shores and that’s what you think of when you watch mma. Or maybe you just have daddy issues (man issues overall). Either way, keep the bra out of the fire and just enjoy the movie. Sorry for the spelling errors. Phone has no spell check.

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The Other Mr. C December 25, 2011 at 10:27 pm

It usually takes alot to get me tearin up, but watching this movie really did it for me. This movie was realistic in a sense. No matter how groomed people are, they carry their past with them. Sometimes it holds them back or sometimes it drives them to keep pushin for better. Do you need inspiration? Go rent it.

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nichle byers December 26, 2011 at 1:34 am

I am a female..who has never actually posted on one of these…. But I had to post because I think the critic is missing the point entirely!! This movie had me cry one minute and had my hands sweating the next…My husband was laughing at me the entire time, he was perplexed because he has never seen me get into any of his “guy” movies. This was a fantastic movie because it had two men that WE as viewers could relate to…and the ending was such that I was unsure of who I was rooting for..The Fallen Hero or The Fallen Family man. I understand that Rockie was a great movie, but clearly everyone who saw that movie was a Rockie fan…rooting for him till the credits rolled.Because in Rockie “he” was the Hero. Warrior made both men Hero’s for me, which is why I cried when MY hero of the movie both won and lost. I am sorry but your review of this movie is why I hate critics, because you always miss the point and fail to remeber who the viewers are. You critics who sit in your big leather chairs in your air conditioned high rises forget that there are more of us “regular” people in the world than you guys…and thats why the story works because the writer took two “regular” people and made them shine, and WE regular people were able to watch a wonderful movie and enjoy every second of it.

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Vinessa December 26, 2011 at 5:36 pm

Mommy didn’t hug Lindsay enough… The only thing I got from your comments. Congrats, you made yourself look like trash on dumb website. And as for the sex offender comments, those are not accusations to be thrown around, internet, or not. You are probably just as annoying in real life as you are on the internet, if not more. You sound ridiculous. Like a child.. You could have politely just stated what you thought of the movie, not every man that commented on it. I am sorry you feel so intimidated by them, but your reckless comments just made you look like a fool. Your constant talk of penis’ (size and such), I’m sure just sealed the deal on how old you are. Lol. Happy holidays.

P.S. Your internet balls will never be effective on a movie review website…

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NYC east coast elite December 27, 2011 at 11:25 am

Dearest 99%ers

I was just sitting here in my high rise relaxing in my leather arm chair (all paid for with the millions I’ve made on the bogs) and I thought I’d entertain myself by muddling through what you grammar deficient trogladites so quaintly refer to as writing. I was particularly struck by the lucidity of Lindsay’s comments. I too was offended by her suggestion that MMA fighters and their fans might be little more than HGH addicts with some serious sexual identity issues. Thanks to all of you for putting your limited mental capacity to work on putting her in her place in defense of a movie….a fictional movie…..starring none of your close personal friends, relatives, or otherwise. I’m sure she learned her leson from all of you whom she will never ever ever meet. And as for that bastard reviewer…..well I bet his paymasters at this website are starting to rethink how much they are paying someone who only attracts the most comments of all of their reviews!

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ThAt gUY December 29, 2011 at 9:47 pm

lindsay, M.D. a rug doctor that is

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did you even read it? December 31, 2011 at 10:33 am

Did you dumb-shits even read the review? He doesn’t even trash the movie! He actually says nice things about it! It just also points out that it was far-fetched and manipulative, which it totally was, or else all you assholes wouldn’t be all worked up and Googling whether this movie was a true story. Stop taking your frustration out on some review just because the movie duped you into thinking it was real and you’re disappointed that it isn’t. That’s not the review’s fault, tardbots.

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Squearl January 1, 2012 at 8:47 pm

While the movie is fiction, it pulls from true life in many of its characters and coincidences. For instance, Rich Franklin being a former math teacher turned mma fighter. Then Brian Stann, a former Marine who was awarded the Silver Star for his efforts in Iraq that now fights in the UFC. Then a set of brothers that are successful in MMA look no further than Nick and Nate Diaz. Those who think this is far fetched are correct but it’s not so unthinkable, which is why it hooks us emotionally. Not a great flick, but definitely worth a viewing. Acting was surprisingly solid.

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Blake January 1, 2012 at 9:53 pm

Turd of a writer/reviewer… great movie! Don’t write again please.

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Chris January 1, 2012 at 11:12 pm

I thought it was a great movie. “True stories” are usually fictionalized quite a bit anyways. I thought the acting was good and the story line was riveting. I grew up in a home full of substance abuse, and I felt like the dynamic was there. The scene where Paddy relapsed and then Tommy took care of him was especially touching. About 30% of the fight choreography was unrealistic, but the rest was very well done. As for the plot absurdity, it’s not impossible for the scenario to happen; it’s just very unlikely, but isn’t that what we choose for good fiction, something unrealistic but still within the realm of reality? Don’t believe me? Look at No Country for Old Men. Is the plot likely to happen in real life? Probably not. Could it or something close to it? Yes. Give it a rest about the fiction and the absurdity.

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Rosalyn January 2, 2012 at 1:02 am

I enjoyed the movie. Why is it so hard to simply watch a movie and enjoy it? Some of us watch movies for pure enjoyment. I am generally looking for the meaning of life or anything like that when I watch movies. This movie is a fictional story about an underdog proving he has what it takes to win, end of story. I guess I am foolish for liking a untrue story which had great action and good acting.

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Mile January 4, 2012 at 9:39 pm

Wasnt rocky fiction??? Idiot critic

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Joshua Dhonte Barnes January 5, 2012 at 12:48 am

Thank you for this review i ultimately am grateful you wrote this now i know never to come to this site again to look a another review cause this is one of the best movies i have ever seen the purpose of movies isn’t just to”just” entertain, or to “just”inform, or to “just” educate, or to “just” inspire but the best movies (like this one) Does all of that not based off of what really happens but based off of a dream that someone saw put it to the screen and captured hundred of thousands i change that millions of people heart so with that being said You suck at reviewing You look at the picture too hard you cant really see what happening. stop looking at a movie trying to be a cricket But look at the movie as an indiviual trying to catch a good move

-(negative) 5 stars for this reveiw

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Johnny Fratado January 7, 2012 at 11:37 pm

I agree with above comment. Website blackisted for piss poor, cynical critic who doesn’t respect the creativity and passion that had to go into an emotional picture that seems true to life. Rocky was fiction too idiot.

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So... January 8, 2012 at 12:49 am

Um, where does the review say that Rocky ISN’T fiction, you fucking knuckle-draggers?

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J Crack "The Rang - A- TAng" January 20, 2012 at 7:36 am

Listen up…. This movie is as real as any Rocky movie that was produced! Therefore, who gives a SH*T.. Lindsey, it figures, you (a woman) would have to point out the sexuality of the movie… Let it go, and appreciate great film making and enjoy the DRAMA!

SEE YOU IN THE RING!!!

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Toni January 22, 2012 at 12:06 pm

I’m a woman and I loved it. I watched it twice over the weekend. Some people just like to argue via internet because they have no lives. But that’s ok. Just wanted to point out that there are some women that aren’t as ignorant as Ms. Lindsey.

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Joe January 23, 2012 at 4:51 pm

My buddy thought it was true but it did not say it was on the cover… So i waddled around the internet looking for an answer and stumbled upon all this and ya gotta love america. Oh yes, good movie.

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john January 28, 2012 at 10:42 pm

The only crock of shit, is this review. How you became a published writer is beyond me. For starters Tom Hardy’s character was a Marine, not a soldier. Do some research dumb ass, soldiers are in the army. Second, since when do movies have to be based on true events to considered good. The emotions the acting and writing convey are real enough. As an mma fan, marine, and ameture fighter myself i found this movie both genuine and insperational. I guess i shouldnt expect much from someone who probably has never expierinced anything remotely close to the hardships of life that these characters expressed. Continue living in your bubble duchebag. Seriously what type of man becomes a critic anyway, the type who cant produce anything of worth on his own. Those who cant do, teach, those who cant teach.become critics.

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Daz nice January 31, 2012 at 2:05 am

I was really entertained by this movie. However i was adequately entertained by all these comments. You can see how much americans in general have all different opinions. Some opinions however must be kept to themselves including myself but since a few number of people here have the gull to say anything i will add on to this perplexed topic.

1. Lindsay you are an idiot. Truth. For you to objectify the movie as male stereotypical movie is uncalled for. You are as absorbed like many of the men that you speak about. You target and offend many people and thats not what this review is about You changed a critique of a movie to a battle of sexes. Theres no room for that anywhere isnt that what we call sexism. Women too are as guilty as men are for gender profiling.

2. Nyc east coast elite. Stfu your not any better at writing than anyone who commented here. Dont pretend your better than anyone your still behind a keyboard like i am dum ass i can easily look up words and form a sentence.

3. So……Mile was only stating that rocky was fictional because of the fact that it too was a succesful movie that fit in this genre. His implications are there and got his point across by saying so. So learn to read context.

Finally the movie was great fictional or nonfictional it holds no importance the writer has freedom of creativity to write what he wants. Got you looking and doin research right? So it entails a good story for there a good movie. I was curious anout the validity of this movie because i was truly sold in the way it was written. That is my opinion you can hate me for it. Matter fact would love you if you did it makes life intresting lol

Hate me please because it rages my words and words are what cause fire ?

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Trex February 3, 2012 at 11:22 pm

This was a very entertaining movie, the director did a good job with his actors. While watching we all probably knew an hour before the movie was over that the two brothers would fight each other. Oh, and yes, it was obvious this was not a true story. Nonetheless, you can watch it with a sort of fantasy outlook. For example, I didn’t ever think Batman was real (okay, I once believed in Santa)? What are the chances that a math teacher faces his brother in the championship round of a professional fight? (Not sure on the numbers. Granted, probably slightly better than Batman). This is entertainment, and I was fascinated by the possibilities. The trick (I think) is that the movie should make us think this could or has actually happened. Seems to me the moving did a pretty good job of that for most, however, while watching the movie many were distracted by the obvious (smack me over the head!) metaphors between fighting and family struggles as well as the amazing coincidences. That is a downfall of the movie. Also, has here been anyone that could literally knock out every opponent they;ve seen (except their brother of course) in a single punch? That is basically what Tommy did. Altogether,it was fun to watch!

This website does not need to be shit down. The reviewer has some good points.

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SgtUSMC February 4, 2012 at 6:35 am

First off, “Trogladite” is a hilarious word, so way to go with that one!
I am a former Marine so just to back up my Marine Corps brother John up above, the term “soldier” does refer to Army, not Marines! I’m not sure how it came to be public opinion that the word “soldier” applies to everyone in the military, but I can assure you that Marines can’t stand being called a soldier, it’s a pet peeve we all develope in boot camp I suppose. Anyways, I too was led to believe this was a true story too, I don’t even remember how it is that I came to believe that, I must have heard it mentioned somewhere and believed it. But I just couldn’t believe that I’d never heard about these guys before, because after all I guess I am a “knuckle dagger” lol (another good description, hilarious) and I’ve followed MMA for years. So like many here I’m guessing, I was brought to this website by a google search to see if it was in fact a true story, so I was slightly let down by the fact that it’s not. But it doesn’t make it any less of an inspiring story. After I saw “The Fighter” I told a friend of mine that I hated it, it was a terrible movie in my opinion, and my buddy says “yeah but it’s a true story”, but not all “true stories” deserve to be told! Just because a certain story may be true doesn’t make it a good movie, just as a fictitious plot doesn’t make a movie terrible or less believable. So I happen to disagree with this review, I loved this movie!!! The director as well as the actors did a superb job at making the plot believable. Yes there were far fetched moments, like another reviewer said going UA (unauthorized absence) and making it back to the states without getting caught is hard to believe, but not totally impossible. But even though I disagree with this critic I also don’t agree that anyone else should call him out as being an idiot and telling him to fuck off, differences in opinion are part of what I and many others have faught to protect! The only comments I was completely pissed of by we’re Lindseys, which were totally un-called for! She’s obviously a pubescent child.
This movie did hit home for me in the story of Tommy, I came home from Iraq just as angry and pissed off, and I too have struggled with substance abuse to escape from the memories of the shit I’ve lived through, seen, and done. The first 3 months home I took an extended period of leave and ended up locking myself in my apartment, going through a bottle of Scotch a day, and after 11 surgeries also became dependent on opiates. It’s been a long road to learn to cope with those issues.
So while there are many different points of view here I think we can learn to agree to disagree and respect eachother’s opinions!
Oh and the comments from the “muppet, muppet, muppets” idiot who doesn’t know the difference between boxing and MMA annoyed the shit out of me as well!

Semper Fi
Sgt Miller, USMC Retired

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jM Cruz February 6, 2012 at 7:53 am

Just watched the movie for the 5th time this year. Here’s the similarizations between story characters and real life MMA fighters:
Tommy Conlon – war hero;great ground and pound w/ excellent stand up
one might say his BG is near to former LHW champ, Brian Stann… Could be. But, his attitude while fighting much resembles BJ Penn with that never say die attitude and goes out of the ring after a KO (like in BJ’s earlier carrier) but w/ a Sean Sherk body.

Brandon Conlon – family man w/ big problems and a Physics teacher;not too good standing up but great in takedowns and submissions
It’s way too obvious that his character is based from former MW champ, Rich Franklin. As far as his fighthing style is concerned, yes, he his near to Ace w/a Damian Maia-ish style altogether.

Paddy Conlon – frustrated father and Tommy’s coach/trainer
Nick Nolte really outdid his role in this film… Can’t say much about him but he was there for both his sons during their fights.

Koba – undefeated Russian fighter prior his fight against Brandon;superior in all aspects
To die-hard MMA and PrideFC fans, a middle sized undefeated russian figther should definitely ring a bell: Fedor Emelianenko. No doubt, Koba’s character as portraited by Kurt Angle, is indeed based on Fedor. Superior slams, submissions, killer stand up and GnP, and his heartless,cold demeanor. He’s indeed the best…. During the his fight w/ Brandon, I was already thinking that it would be the same ending as the Fedor vs Fabricio Verdum fight… And I was right.

Frank Campana – long time MMA trainer/Brandon’s close friend
Frank’s role was a brief but very important on the side of Brandon. It was heart breakening for a coach to lose his a top fighter during a run just weeks before Sparta. Good thing he agreed to train Brandon. Based on the observations on his training and between-fights-advise to his fighter, he quite resembles renowned MMA trainer, Greg Jackson.

With those said, let’s go back to the story. It revolves around 2 brothers w/ worlds different from each other… In the end, they both realize that family is the only thing left in this world. Never was a fighting movie this intense and really meant something. This movie ranks as one of the Top5 in 2011, alongside Justin Timberlake’s In Time.

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RAMER February 18, 2012 at 2:21 am

I agree with all those who think this was one of the Best Movies Ever Made, certainly an underdog of a Movie, and one I didn´t expect to make me loose a few tears, Its not about fighting, Or MMA, if you can read between the lines, It´s about family, feelings, hate, anger, loss, Violence, being Humbled, and in the end, Love and Foregiveness. All perfectly thrown at you thru a sport, I´ve seen too many movies in my near 50 years to mention, but this one is in my top 5 and a shocker considering I almost let it slip by…the Reviewer is clearly an amature and has no idea what this movie was about, or perhaps was playing with his PSP, and thus missed out on the details… I recommend he/she watch it again, and this time pay close attention, and if you don´t cry at the end.. I feel sorry for you.

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Jim Jones February 19, 2012 at 10:55 pm

I loved this movie and felt that it took many notes from the lives of such fighters as Jens Pulver who had been abused by an alcoholic father and had a brother who wrestled as well as Rich Franklin who went from math teacher to UFC champion. Despite it being fictious, I find this movie very believable.

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didz February 20, 2012 at 4:45 pm

“When I sat down to watch Warrior I ASSUMED it was a true story”. You know what they say about assuming dickhead! Great film…. shit review. I reckon the tit who wrote this review should get in the cage with hardy…

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city79 February 26, 2012 at 7:39 am

it was that good i fell asleep, woke up 10 minutes from the end an my bird was bawlin like a baby so it must of bin ok

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Martin Torres February 27, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Well, I thought this movie “Warrior” is a great movie!
The movie is so entertainly, I couldn’t believe it was 2hrs and 20min long.
I wanted more when it was over…
That being said, I have a great idea for a sequel. If the writer can put a script
together and have the sequel show the trauma this family went through as they
were youngster with their alcoholic father and I’ll mother, show in detail that story
I really believe the sequel has a great shot of becoming one of the few movies out there
with great sequels! This movie has the perfect opportunity to do just that because it left
It’s audience thinking and imagining WHAT HAPPEND to this family?
A great example is The Godfather, in the sequel it shows what happend, in detail in part one. And as history shows “They Both” won Oscars for best picture and best sequel of their time!
I’m just saying…

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Clint March 3, 2012 at 11:01 pm

I’m not an MMA fan and dismissed this movie when it came out as something likely to be corny/ridiculous. I watched it on a plane after a recommendation from a friend. This was the best movie I’ve seen in a very long time. Can’t stop thinking about it. This reviewer is a no-talent ass clown. His premise that a sports movie can’t be good if it’s fiction is idiotic. Rocky? How has this movie not gotten more attention?
The only place it got corny was with the Marine cheering section at the tournament. Not sure how they’d have managed to score tickets to take out a quarter of the arena on one day’s notice during the tournament.

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funkstick March 25, 2012 at 6:33 am

I think it is rather funny how the reviewer thought the movie was plausible enough to look up if it was a true story and then hammers it because of how unrealistic it was because he found out it wasn’t true. Is that irony?

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Valjay gaston April 12, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Thos review comes from a rich kid anti war homo mentality. The closest thing this guys been to a fight was probably street fighter. I’m a former soldier who fought in Ramadi Iraq an is a MMA addict so rethink your review my friend, and don’t come to pa talking like that. We’ll cross collar choke that white collar of yours here in blue collar Pa. I’m just sayin… Haha

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David April 14, 2012 at 10:05 pm

Watched the this film with both my kids at home . My kids don’t always get along so well , so I was very surprised to see them both with tears in their eyes at the end of the film. I think the message was pretty clear to them . O and by the way my kids are sister and brother , the film is not JUST FOR MEN.

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steve June 18, 2012 at 4:48 am

alright people give the critic a break. the movie was amazing, im not denying that. i was wondering the whole time if it was true, and once i discovered the brothers would be fighting 1v1 in the final round, all doubts were cast away… there’s no way it isn’t fiction.

fact 1: the people who comment on this movie do so immediately after they see it, like i did. yes, i cried like a baby too… which means it was definitely a good movie. yes its just a movie but

fact 2: it was fiction. if you watched this movie a second time and knew what was coming and knew it was all fiction, you wouldn’t get one third the emotional pleasure you did from your first viewing. that said, the critic has grounds to bash the movie for tying the family/life/brothers/mma plot all together. theres NO WAY this would ever happen, come on. GREAT MOVIES (not mma fights (which were great btw)) are judged heavily on how good they are the second, third, fourth, time you see them. for example… the departed… forrest gump… there will be blood.

Awesome. (but/and) Unbelievable.

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keke September 22, 2012 at 1:02 pm

OMGEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE, this movie is REDONKULOUSLY good. As I am awating tonight’s Bones Jones MMA fight I watched this on Netflix. This movie was SOOOO well written and ACTED! I just texted one of my brothers and asked why he had never told me about this movie since we’re both big UFC fans. There should not be a man alive who doesn’t like this movie and even for the girlie girl women out there, you will be enthralled!

PLEASE WATCH THIS MOVIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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C. September 28, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Watched it. Loved it. Don’t care what anyone else says. It’s all based on opinion and taste and I like MMA and UFC… And if a movie has either I’m going to watch it. If you don’t like fighting this movie may not be for you.

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paul October 1, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Not an ex soldier he was a former MARINE! Get it straight or don’t say anything about it

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Lol@wannabemoviecritics November 14, 2012 at 3:28 pm

You are by far one of the wrost judgements of cinema I’ve ever come across. Honestly what would you call a good movie? Finding nemo, o wait maybe You Got Served is one of you top watches. The movie is about a Marine, not former just awall, and a brother who is feeling te pressure of a failing economy an his daughter with a sever heart condition. Also if you pay attention they were both fighters back in the day. Separated by hate of their father and each other will do anything to keep their loved ones safe and ok.. I mean it goes from their watch the movie please sir and do us all a favor know what your talking about an actually watch the movie this time instead of writing the review from your smart phone while watching it. Thanks.

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dankbubba February 7, 2013 at 1:10 pm

most ridiculous part was the teacher getting suspended without pay! never happen, unless they come back later and end up paying the teacher 2x his lost wages for the inconvenience. Of course the whole notion of teachers not getting paid enough is implied here as well. Not to mention the medical $$$ angle. They balanced it out with the refusal to declare bankruptcy, tho. That said, I am enjoying the movie so far and can overlook some of the usual cliches of screenwriters.

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Julian May 23, 2013 at 9:41 pm

This movie brought me to tears and I never cry during movies. This movie gave me the drive to go outside and workout. The only other movie that made me cry was in i am legend when will smith kills his dog and the only other movies that gave the drive to go work out were all of the rocky movies. So to me it was a great movie and I would recommend it to anyone who watches MMA like UFC or anyone who like the rocky movies.

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monk July 14, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Jason! YOU DONT KNOW SHIT ABOUT GOOD MOVIES!!! and no one wants to hear or read about your negative opinions!

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Eric November 25, 2013 at 3:58 pm

Horrible film review. Fucking asshole

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