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Fight for Family 

Year: 2011 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 12A Cert – Under 12s admitted only with an adult 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Gavin O Connor 
Starring: Tom Hardy, Nick Nolte, Joel Edgerton  
An image from Warrior

Both Brendan (Edgerton) and Tommy (Hardy) are hardened citizens of Pittsburgh, one opting for the normalcy of American life and the other fighting for his country out in Iraq. Upon returning from war, Tommy enlists the expertise of his alcoholic former boxer father (Nolte) to train him for a Mixed Martial Arts tournament; still keeping a huge distance between himself and the man who destroyed his chance at a happy life. Brendan has long since dissociated himself from his father and brother yet in order to relieve debt, takes part in the same MMA competition in hope of winning and eliminating the financial troubles. All three find themselves battling the bonds and fractures of an estranged family.

The underdog story and the age-old tale of fighting for your life are expertly told once more in Gavin O’Connor’s film. Not long after the Oscar-success of The Fighter, Warrior is similarly tackling the issues of competitive sport, exhaustive training and the perils of balancing those and family. The rivalry of an exceedingly vicious competition is tactfully presented with three very strong performances.

Tom Hardy is a force to be reckoned with not only in the film but also with his position in contemporary cinema. This is his second time proving himself as a meticulous performer – bulking up even more than his incarnation of Bronson. The same can be said for Edgerton who finely tones his body and performance to elevate the realism and drama of the film. In the middle of the story is Nick Nolte’s character who longs to redeem himself after years of negligence and abuse.

Thrilling and gripping – Warrior packs a punch!

Piers McCarthy

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Screenings of this film:

2011/2012 Spring Term (35mm)