Writers: Scott Silver, Paul Tamasay, & Eric Johnson
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Melissa Leo
The third film from Russell tells the story of former boxing great Dick Ecklund (Bale) and how, after battling a crack addiction, trained his half-brother Micky Ward (Wahlberg) to become an even greater boxer.
The trailer for this film was a bit misleading, but the movie turned out even better than expected. The accents are spotless, and you really get a feel for the town itself over the course of the film, albeit its seedy underbelly. Wahlberg is an inspiring, Rocky-esque Ward, and never pulls punches both physically and with his performance. I WOULD BE OKAY WITH BALE TAKING ARMIE HAMMER'S OSCAR; THAT IS ALL I HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THAT. Leo is impressive as the boys' mother as well, and the small army of sisters is as legitimate as the entire cast of Winter's Bone (which I didn't care for because it might as well have been a documentary, it got so real). I don't even like most sports films, but the sports was my favorite part of this one. The boxing scenes were shot with 1990s equipment and with the aid of original fight filmmakers to replicate the original look, which is a great choice by Russell. My top 10 of 2010 is going to be really hard if the rest of the movies this year are this good. A+