Million Dollar Baby - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Million Dollar Baby Reviews

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May 13, 2019
Although it might look like nothing more than a darker, female-lead version of "Rocky," this boxing drama is a heavy-hitting redemption tale and portrait of human fragility.
April 24, 2019
The mid-2000s were a particularly weird time for the Best Picture award with the trifecta of Million Dollar Baby in 2005, Crash in 2006 and The Departed in 2007, all three are decent if not incredible and it's emblematic of the poor cinematic offerings of the mid-to-late 2000s as a whole. The Departed (2006) and Million Dollar Baby are both very good films but neither of them are particularly interesting and in a better year they would have both been relegated to an outside chance nomination, although The Departed had the Scorsese advantage. I really like this film and I would definitely recommend that people watch it I just wish that 2004 had been a stronger year for cinema as a whole.

Maggie, Hilary Swank, is a small town girl from the Ozarks in Missouri with dreams of making it big as a professional boxer. Before she can do that she needs to convince Frankie, Clint Eastwood, an elderly gym owner to train her. Frankie is ultimately convinced by , Morgan Freeman, and with his help Maggie quickly climbs the ranks becoming a bright new star on the female boxing scene. She has to contend with her rotten family headed by matriarch Margo Martindale while Frankie struggles to connect with his daughter via letter for reasons left to the imagination. Will they be able to overcome these problems in time for Maggie to triumph at her biggest fight yet? Spoiler alert: She becomes paralyzed after receiving a dirty hit from an opposing fighter and Frankie kills her upon request before making an ambiguous exit.

The film is definitely a tearjerker as crowd favorite Clint Eastwood suffers under the weight of having a close family member refuse to connect with him and seeing his surrogate daughter figure face seemingly insurmountable obstacles. The characters are well written though and our tears are earned as we see the hardworking underdog Maggie be shut down each time she rises up the ranks and as her relationship with Frankie grows closer there is a palpable connection felt between them. The dialogue used is very deliberate as Maggie is a â~hick' but an intelligent, worthy of respect young woman who treats those around her kindly. Eastwood doesn't say much but that's in line with how his character should be, a stern but loving paternal figure who suffers silently as his hopes are crushed. Having Morgan Freeman provide voice-over at many points doesn't hurt and his final lines in the final combined with the devastating finishing scene are heartrending.

Swank who often cops a lot of flak for being a two-time Academy award winner is very good here as she plays the underdog very well with an edge of toughness too her character's warmth that pulls the film back from being saccharine sweet. Her openness and friendly demeanor are enough to let you believe the character is as lovely as the film wants you to believe she is and that makes her easy to root for in addition to strangling your heartstrings when she suffers. The pairing of herself and the understated, depressed Eastwood is wonderful as she makes him a happier person and he teaches her how to face the demons in her life before providing her with long lasting relief. She deserved recognition for this performance when considering how weak this year's Best Actress field was and a large amount of the film rests on her shoulders, fortunately she is able to handle that pressure.

This is a very good film with a star-studded cast, good direction and an emotionally affecting story. Out of all of the films they could have chosen I am glad they picked this because Eastwood and Swank are gold on screen together and the film engages it's audiences more than some previous Best Picture winners. No it's not an all-time great in terms of Best Picture winners like Gone With the Wind (1939) and It Happened One Night (1934) but it might be one of the strongest to come out of the 2000s decade and that's saying something about the workmanlike abilities of Clint Eastwood as an actor and a director. This is one to watch with lots of people around so as not to remain depressed after watching it but it makes you cheer and cry at once a unique feat for a film to achieve.
April 4, 2019
Featuring an amazing soundtrack and story, "Million Dollar Baby" is a must-see, knockout of a movie.
½ February 8, 2019
A Good Bold Deed.

Million Dollar Baby

Eastwood makes it look easy. It's as simple as that, over the years, watching him blend in, in all sorts of genre there never seems any doubt how much he adores the cinema. There is mutual love and respect, if there is sincerity in Eastwood's methods, the response is equally charming. Magnanimous is his vision and is exactly what he gets. But above all what fascinates me the most is how he reserves his persona on both on and off screen, I hardly remember yelling him ever on screen, Freeman had to jump in and point out, "You think she can hear you from here?" The answer is yes. She does; she may not follow it but she does.

The cathartic equation of this trio is the root of the film. With humor as slick as their body language- few lines from Baruchel doesn't fit in appropriately though- and flamboyancy on their rhythm that makes you scream for its awesomeness, it makes you want to warp back to your childhood days, never has someone loved something such unconditionally. It is for all the drama we crave for, we are not aware of where it can take us, but somehow we have been craving for it.

This has never been a sports genre for me, I couldn't care less about those knockout punches, I am waiting for Swank to go back to her corner and tangle more with Eastwood's vision. Haggis- the screenwriter- has written a complete script, swooping in all the drama or even humor- that you might think isn't essential to the storytelling- "forming a circle" gets a whole new definition. With an incredibly intense narration by Freeman, few poetic lines are the least bit of metaphor you are going to get, the real content is hidden beneath those questions that he keeps asking us; a smart move by the writer as it factors a lot on advancing the storytelling.

And mind you, Freeman is not just a narrator, everyone gets one last shot (Eastwood gets Swank's dream and Swank gets her family) in this film and you cannot exclude him from it. Swank, the one that dares to dream, is confidently appealing on her terms, her bizarre fascination of ending a fight within first round, her petty questions and neglecting the orders constantly, is the window which she never lets go of.

Eastwood as her father figure grows more than that you can aspire for. Yes, it was anticipated that their chemistry would be the heart of the film but to extend this friendship on such a scale still melts me down; Mo Cuishle he calls her. The first training that he gives her where he snatches the punching bag and then shuts her down only to regret it later and give her that punching back again; that bit itself says a lot about the film. Call it a trash talk or flirt talk, their conversations are brimmed with humor that makes you weep hard than it makes you tickle, those moments are Million Dollar Baby.
February 1, 2019
The best, GREATEST sports movie ever made!
January 25, 2019
One of the most involving sports dramas ever made. The themes, the emotion, the character growth - all of it hits and resonates.
½ December 25, 2018
I really like this Clint Eastwood film. Besides directing, producing, and performing in "Million Dollar Baby," Eastwood also did the music which was simply well-integrated and perfectly composed to match and quietly enhance the plot progression, the mood, and the reaction of the characters. This is a gutsy film, gritty in emotions. It can be a tear-jerker yet not at all sentimental. It tells it like it is - the down to earth hard living of boxing (the theme being a 'crutch'), while the crux of the story concentrates on three main characters (each with haunting past): Eastwood as Frank the weathered boxing trainer, Hilary Swank as Maggie the enthusiastic spark in this whirl of boxing energy, and Morgan Freeman as "Scrap" - besides being the voice-over narrator, provided the bridging catalyst as the cool and caring mainstay to both Frank and Maggie. There are sprinkles of wit and humor here and there - that's how life is: making up of laughter and smiles occasionally in the midst of challenges and struggles, joys and disappointments, hesitation and reinforcement of faith, plucking up courage to take that risk, and mishaps nevertheless happen. There is "whose life is it anyway" dilemma - the confrontation of death, to be or not to be.
½ November 13, 2018
Good performances and great storytelling.
½ October 17, 2018
With great characters and a story that lands its emotional punches as well as its physical ones, I found myself fully engaged from beginning to end. When Eastwood gets it right he really gets it right.
September 1, 2018
This is a wonderfully shot movie . The acting is great and character formation and development. It is above average in every production department, but I'm a bit uneasy about the message . I think it is a tad confused and won't age well . I know there have been boxing movies of male boxers dying and suffering terrible injuries, but this movie is really made at the dawn of women's boxing . The many people at the time who were aghast at the thought of women boxing , especially male boxing fans and press ,have now bought into it and women's boxing and boxers have shown they are as relatively capable as their male counterparts. It has a bit if a dated and sexist outlook . The fragile flower outlook . The movie is undeniably well made ,but I think iit is maybe too manipulative. I for one hate the violence of boxing , but I believe in equality and this film while at first acknowledging that she could box , at this point I thought it was forward thinking ! Then to be put into a coma was to pull that rug and the final message was that women don't belong in the ring .
½ August 21, 2018
Million Dollar Baby is a 2004 American sports drama film directed, co-produced, and scored by Clint Eastwood.
Apart from Morgan Freeman's wonderful voice and narration, there was little about this film which appealed or held my interest. There were too many slow, drawn-out scenes resulting in a depressing feel throughout.
½ August 21, 2018
Awful film. Fight sequences totally unrealistic and the plot is absurd. Worst best picture winner ever.
August 19, 2018
Ill tell you what this movie is so much better than initially expected. Also this is a fantastic date night movie, it's not to vulgar it's got action and scenes that'll make you ball your eyes out and scenes that'll make you yell with joy. I highly recommended this movie
August 5, 2018
its a great clint Eastwood movie
July 19, 2018
L'ennesima conferma dell'indiscusso talento dell'attore e regista americano, che dimostra ancora una volta la sua capacità incredibile nel dividere il lavoro tra un'ottima recitazione ed una regia magistrale. Il film è potente sotto ogni punto di vista: una storia intensa raccontata con i mezzi giusti, una sceneggiatura cruda, amara ed essenziale, personaggi emotivamente vicini ad un qualsiasi tipo di pubblico. Non mancano le prodigiose scelte stilistiche del regista, che ancora una volta ci offre un'opera completa anche sotto tutti gli aspetti tecnici. La parte finale della pellicola la rende anticonvenzionale, stupendo per il coraggio con cui viene raccontata una vicenda così delicata. Il risultato generale è un film coinvolgente e sostanzialmente perfetto sotto ogni punto di vista.
July 10, 2018
One of the greatest movie ive ever seen...Watched it 4 times,cried 4 times.
April 28, 2018
Liked it the first time I saw it, but now have misgivings after a second viewing. too many noticed flaws seeing it again, although Morgan Freeman deserved his long overdue Oscar for his performance. as a disabled person, the ending bothers me. the script should have made her fight more to live. it's insulting that it didn't...
½ April 9, 2018
I remember really liking this film back in like 2004 or whatever, so - being a big fan of boxing movies in adulthood - figured I would revisit it. Ad ya know what? It does *not* hold up. Clint Eastwood is good, Hilary Swank is good, and that's about it. Everyone else is a complete caricature of a type of person the hyper right wing director believes exists. Evil, welfare-queen type parents. A poor black man who is ok with being called the N-word and will spend all of his sock money at the tracks. Pretty despicable.
½ April 2, 2018
An extremely touching and heartfelt film.
March 9, 2018
In my top 3 boxing movies of all time with rocky and raging bull
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