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In the middle of the Great Depression, when an America in the grips of a devastating economic downturn was nearly brought to its knees, there came along a most unlikely hero who had crowds cheering on their feet—as he proved just how hard a man would fight to win a second chance for his family and himself.
Drama - This is foremost a boxing movie, but it's also a period drama about
the Great Depression and the story of a husband-wife relationship--
so its appeal is wide-ranging. The boxing scenes, while not overly
bloody, are still brutal and could be an issue for parents and the
PROFANITY: 8 S-words, 12 GD's, a number of others. SEX/NUDITY: None. VIOLENCE: Brutal boxing matches with some bloodshed. DRUGS/ALCOHOL: Frequent alcohol and tobacco. ACTION: Many boxing matches. COMEDY: Some cute kid humor.
The above rating is an average of the critic reviews below.
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Berardinelli, Internet CriticFull Review Above Average Although the movie is entertaining and succeeds in its goal as a feel-good experience, it does not rank in the top echelon of (director) Ron Howard's films. Overlong and unevenly paced, "Cinderella Man" hits stretches (especially between bouts) when it threatens to lose its audience. As counter-programming, it may be successful, but as entertainment, it's on the bubble. To use a boxing metaphor, it lands a few solid punches, but never achieves anything close to a knock-out.
Roger EbertFull Review Very Good "Cinderella Man" is a terrific boxing picture, but there's no great need for another one. The need it fills is for a full-length portrait of a good man. Most serious movies live in a world of cynicism and irony, and most good-hearted movie characters live in bad movies. Here is a movie where a good man prevails in a world where every day is an invitation to despair, where resentment would seem fully justified, where doing the right thing seems almost gratuitous, because nobody is looking and nobody cares.
USA TodayFull Review Excellent "Cinderella Man's" climactic matchup, which is far from the only long shot we see Braddock face during a miracle run for title contention, works splendidly for two reasons. There's so much on the line — Braddock's mortality, for one thing — and the staging is breathtaking. I've never seen a boxing movie that has so convinced me I was seeing a pro bout both real and sustained. Unlike many ex-champs, Cinderella Braddock's stagecoach never changed into a pumpkin. And his movie is a Rolls.
Note: The rating
above is our interpretation of what the critic would give this movie based on
their review. We are not affiliated with these critic's in any way.
OPINION OVERVIEW The following is the original "What's Worth
Watching" write-up for this movie.
We collected 284 moviegoer opinions. OUTSTANDING OPINIONS! A MUST SEE MOVIE! DO NOT MISS IT! Again the critics (at least most of them) are way off. These are incredible opinions. Everyone Loved "Cinderella Man."
The story begins when Braddock (Russell Crowe)—once full of promise—is
forced into retirement from boxing after a run of bad luck, just as America
itself is sliding into the most frightening hard economic times the nation has
ever known. Facing imminent poverty, Jim wants only to do right by the woman who
has always been his source of strength—his feisty wife Mae (Renée Zellweger).
At first, he takes a string of dead-end dock jobs that only seem to leave him
poorer. But soon, the tightly-wedded couple are drowning in debt and emotionally
devastated to see their children shivering in an unheated apartment amid the
dead of a Jersey winter.
Then, as a result of the efforts of Jim's indefatigable manager, Joe Gould
(Paul Giamatti), Jim gets an out-of-the-blue, last-ditch shot to fight in
Madison Square Garden—and more importantly, a chance to put some food on the
table for those he loves. Despite being too old, too hungry and too injured to
be considered a real contender—and in direct opposition to Mae's strident
fears for her husband's life—Braddock nevertheless steps back into the ring
without any training. Stunning the crowd and the media, he knocks out his
rising-star opponent…thanks in part to a powerful hook developed during
countless hours of dock work. But it doesn't stop there. His career
re-ignited, he starts to dig his family, victory by victory, out of their hole.
And the more he wins, the more Jim Braddock unwittingly becomes a folk hero,
until it is as if every time he stands up to an opponent, he is standing up for
the millions just like him battling to take care of their families and keep
alive their sidelined dreams.
Then, finally, comes the match of Braddock's life, as he boldly agrees to
face off against world heavyweight champ Max Baer, a cocky powerhouse of a
fighter with a punch so lethal he has already killed two men in the ring. Some
say that Braddock will never even survive the match. Indeed, the odds are ten to
one in Baer's favor as Braddock steps into his corner. But Jim Braddock has a
different view: that this time he knows in his heart the incredible stakes for
which he is fighting.