The Fighter

Rated 4.0

Mark Wahlberg stars as “Irish” Mickey Ward, who rose to prominence in the boxing ranks thanks to training and advice from his drug-addicted brother Dicky (played amazingly by Christian Bale). Wahlberg trained for many years to do the film’s boxing scenes, and it shows, while Bale did another body transformation, losing a lot of weight and having his hair thinned out. And as good as the two men are, the women in the film almost steal it from them. Amy Adams delivers her best work yet as Mickey’s new girlfriend, Charlene, while Melissa Leo is touching and funny as Mickey’s mom. The movie is equally good at its depiction of Ward’s crazy family life and his battles inside the ring. Directed by David O. Russell (Three Kings, I Heart Huckabees), who doesn’t make a lot of movies, but certainly makes good ones when he gets around to it.