Starring: Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton and Nick Nolte
Story: An ex-Marine haunted by a tragic past, Tommy Riordan returns to his hometown of Pittsburgh and enlists his father, a recovered alcoholic and his former coach, to train him for an MMA tournament awarding the biggest purse in the history of the sport. As Tommy blazes a violent path towards the title prize, his brother, Brendan, a former MMA fighter unable to make ends meet as a public school teacher, returns to the amateur ring to provide for his family. Even though years have passed, recriminations and past betrayals keep Brendan bitterly estranged from both Tommy and his father. But when Brendan's unlikely rise as an underdog sets him on a collision course with Tommy, the two brothers must finally confront the forces that tore them apart, all the while waging the most intense, winner-takes-all battle of their lives. (Lionsgate)
Bottom Line: There are still four months left in the year and I can safely say that WARRIOR will land somewhere, safely, in my top ten list. I’m reckless like that in making predictions… And even though it boils down to a formulaic sports drama – those formulaic pieces are all in place and the movie delivers. WARRIOR is a hard-hitting, dysfunctional family, art-house, cage-fighting sports drama with three lead actors delivering gritty, brutal, sympathetic, well-developed and Oscar nomination-worthy performances. Its last year’s THE FIGHTER meets 1979’s ROCKY – but this time out we get two Rocky Balboa’s to root for… Enter the ring with WARRIOR and you will get knocked out!