Warrior [2011] ★★★½

A movie that gives you rooting interest, as soon as it opens, and keeps coming at you, could best be described as a triumph. “Warrior”, from director Gavin O’ Connor takes place in the world of mixed martial arts. It is violent, blunt, powerful. You name it. But “Warrior” also possesses heart and finesse on its side. It means to knock you out, psychologically speaking of course, and it does. The script, co-written by O’ Connor, never misses a note, and we owe it all to three excellent performances. Tom Hardy is terrific as Tommy Conlon, an Iraq War veteran who returns home to Philadelphia after 14 years. Years before, he and his mother fled the boys’ abusive, alcoholic father, Paddy, a wrestling coach played by an exceptionally good Nick Nolte. Tommy is not looking for some Daddy time here. He simply wants his father to train him for an MMA competition that could earn him $ 5 million. But that’s not all. Meanwhile, we learn that Tommy’s older brother, Brendan (Joel Edgerton) also wants the prize, to save his home from foreclosure.

For me, the only thing duller than watching UFC is listening to commentators drone on about stats. So I yawned at the idea at first. My bad. “Warrior’ is one of the best and most visually exciting movies of the year. Like a train wreck, it is surprisingly compelling, and Nolte gives by far one of the best performances of his career. His best scene is a great, quiet one on Edgerton’s front lawn, pleading hopelessly to be let in and see his grandkids. Oscar, I hope you’re watching.

At the end, “Warrior” left me ready to cheer. It might be too brutal and blistering to cozy up to. But the performances are dynamite. And O’ Connor is a born provocateur. His movie gets in your head and refuses to leave.

Rating: 3.5/4

6 replies »

  1. Its been very hard for me to find movies that I enjoy as much as I did this one. I guess since i’m a mma fan i’m bias but this was a great movie. The ppl who are saying its predictable are a bit cynical. First of all in these kinds of movies you all ready know who’s gonna end up in the last seen. The point is to show a entertaining way of getting there. Second I dont think the outcome was predictable at all until the closing minutes of the movie.

    • For me it wasn’t predictable at all. On the contrary, I loved how they ended it. I haven’t seen many great movies this year, but “Warrior” is certainly up there on the list. And im not even a fan of MMA!

  2. Warrior i loved u so much, from the first scene to the last! it made me go all Rocky 1 again! it’s an emotional ride with top acting performances by the whole cast, just like The fighter! this film deserves an oscar no matter what! one of my fav movies this year.

  3. yes Hardy as Bane is gonna be sick! Nick nolte teared me everytime i watched him! he truly deserves the oscar! the movie is still in my head till today! loved it!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s