"Mr. Russell directed THE FIGHTER with furious energy -- the overlapping dialogue out-Altmans Robert Altman -- and an exuberant sense of place. The director has an unerring feel for his working class characters..."
Wall Street Journal (12/10/2010)
"Russell's jangly camera style meshes perfectly with Bale's tweaky energy. Bale is astounding as a strangely charismatic weasel, giving probably the best performance of his career."
USA Today - Claudia Puig (12/10/2010)
"A true-life rise-of-the-underdog boxing saga, directed with volatile handheld immediacy by David O. Russell....This one, as thoughtful as it is rousing, scores a TKO." -- Grade: A-
Entertainment Weekly - Owen Gleiberman (12/08/2010)
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "Wahlberg lucked out big-time with Christian Bale. To watch these two dynamite actors spar is one of the purest pleasures of the movie season."
Rolling Stone - Peter Travers (12/09/2010)
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "THE FIGHTER possesses the light-footed dexterity and spontaneity of the most sensitive pugilist, circling its characters with equal parts discretion and confrontational zeal."
Washington Post (12/17/2010)
"Bale's live-wire performance typifies the many major and minor elements that elevate the THE FIGHTER from the deeply conventional sports movie it might have been into the endearingly offbeat sports movie it turns out to be." - Grade: B+
A.V. Club - Scott Tobias (12/09/2010)
Ranked #8 in Rolling Stone's "10 Best Movies Of 2010" -- "Gifted director David O. Russell refs in high style."
Rolling Stone - Peter Travers (12/24/2010)
4 stars out of 5 -- "Inspired, funky, filled with passion, THE FIGHTER is a boxing movie that everyone can love."
Total Film - Matt Mueller (03/01/2011)
4 stars out of 5 -- "THE FIGHTER proves that the boxing movie still has life. It also underlines just what a distinctive actor Bale has become."
Uncut - Geoffrey Macnab (03/01/2011)
"Bale transforms himself....Melissa Leo is merciless in her depiction of Alice..."
Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert (12/15/2010)
"With yet another splendid performance from Wahlberg, who stabilizes the picture by bringing his trademark masculine presence to bear as well as his deep knowledge of Ward and his socio-economic background."
Los Angeles Times - Kenneth Turan (12/10/2010)
"THE FIGHTER is quick on its feet and packs a mighty punch....Mr. Bale's performance is astonishing, in part because he so completely conquers a daunting set of physical and psychological challenges."
New York Times - A. O. Scott (12/09/2010)