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THE BOXER

 
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At Theaters: 1/9/1998 On Video: 7/7/1998
Rated: R Length: 1 hr. 50 min.
Internet: Web Site Movie ID: 019804
Studio: Universal Pictures Inc.
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Storyline Heading

When former IRA member Danny Flynn returns to the neighborhood after serving 14 years in prison, he is the catalyst for change in both the life of his former love and the life of his community. As a boxer determined to restore himself in the ring, he is capable of resurrecting his people's self-respect. As a man, he can renew his own self-respect and perhaps build a life with Maggie-one that is not only worth fighting for, but worth living for.

DETAILED STORYLINE
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Movie Type (Genre) Heading
Drama Romantic - THE BOXER is a serious, issue-oriented drama with strong performances and a great authenticity.  It will probably appeal most to those interested in the politics of the conflict in Northern Ireland, or fans of the previous collaborations between Jim Sheridan and Daniel Day-Lewis (MY LEFT FOOT, IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER).  The love story is not particularly effective, and the story tends to be slow in spots.
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Cast and Crew Heading
Daniel Day-Lewis (Last of the Mohicans)
Emily Watson (Breaking the Waves)
Dir/Prod/Wri: Jim Sheridan (In the Name of the Father)
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Production Notes Heading
About the Production
Locations and Film Research
About the Boxing
Conclusion
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Content Heading
PROFANITY: Strong and moderately frequent.
SEX/NUDITY: None
VIOLENCE: Infrequent but moderately strong.
DRUGS/ALCOHOL: A small amount of alcohol.
ACTION: Very little.
COMEDY: A small amount of character-based humor.
DETAILED CONTENT
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Critic's Review Heading
Good
Jim Sheridan and Terry George continue to make earnest, well-crafted films about the Irish "Troubles" which leave me thinking, "You know, it was good, but..."  THE BOXER is quite effective at establishing a sense of place, portraying a Belfast with physical as well as ideological divisions.  It's the characterizations which don't quite measure up, despite strong performances from the entire cast.  Most characters and most relationships feel like they're each a scene away from being fully developed, leaving you with the sense that Sheridan and George were a bit more interested in their politics than they were in their people.

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DETAILED CRITIC'S REVIEW
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Opinion Heading

Based on an Exit Polling of 50 Moviegoers

Ages Age Group
How
Many
Your Probability of
Enjoying This Movie
*
Would
Recommend
Movie To Friends
13-19Teens (M/F)
4
High
100%%
20-29Yg Adults (M)
5
High
100%%
20-29Yg Adults (F)
6
High
83%%
30+Adults (M)
13
Fairly High
85%%
30+Adults (F)
22
About 50/50
77%%
*Possible Ratings: Very High, High, Fairly High, About 50/50, Fairly Low, Low, Very Low.

About Our Opinions

Be sure to read the DETAILED OPINIONS
The positive and negative comments made by moviegoers are very
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OPINION GRAPH


D ETAILED S TORYLINE
A lullaby sung by a mother to her newborn drifts through an embattled village. Friends toast each other in clandestine meetings. Children play hide-and-seek among the rubble of deserted buildings. Neighbors in urban gang territory share backyard gossip. Lovers embrace on moonlit rooftops in brief respite from the violence below.

Wherever lives are played out under siege - Sarajevo, Beirut, Somalia, South Central L.A. - moments of joy seem all the more precious.

At such times, life is affirmed.

Danny Flynn and Maggie Hamill know how it feels. They have been drawn to each other since they were teenagers growing up in Belfast, but because of where they were born, their lives have been shaped by random danger. They have seen bullets shatter bedroom windows and bombs rip apart local pubs, and they are bound by ancient, unquestioning loyalty to the ties of blood, tribe and tradition. To violate such a code would be to willfully sacrifice what looks like their people's only hope.

Now, after 14 years in prison, former IRA member Danny is returning to the neighborhood where Maggie has managed to survive by marrying, and then raising a son by Danny's best friend. Ill at ease in the outside world, Danny is imploding with 14 years of silence. Cultural taboos and unwritten rules militate against Maggie and Danny. Friends, family and IRA members watch their every move, observing their forbidden glances.

But in the boxing ring, Danny is home. There, the rules provide a structure that the chaotic streets of Belfast cannot, and therefore offer him a way to communicate with dignity and, in the process, rebuild his life.

In the midst of turmoil, as Maggie realizes she has never stopped caring for Danny, they begin to steal brief moments together-exchanging a look, a word, a touch. In a world where violence is a way of life, the most dangerous thing they can do is fall in love.

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