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Joel Edgerton, Tom Hardy, Jennifer Morrison (II), Frank Grillo, Nick Nolte ... see more see more... , Denzel Whitaker , Bryan Callen , Kevin Dunn , Laura Kenley , Capri Thomas , Maximiliano Hernandez , Sam Sheridan , Fernando Chien , Jake McLaughlin , Vanessa Martinez , Tim "Skyskrape" Katz , Julia Stockstad , Carlos Miranda , Joshua Rosenthal , Kurt Angle , Nick Lehane , Erik "Bad" Apple , Dan "Punkass" Caldwell , Nate Marquardt , Lexi Cowan , Noah Emmerich , Roan Carneiro , Daniel Stevens , Panuvat Anthony Nanakornpanom , Hans Marrero , Yves Edwards , Amir Perets , Anthony Johnson , Jimmy Cvetic , Jace Jeanes , Jake Digman , Richard Fike , Andre Mason , James Houk , Aaron Kleiber , Raymond Rowe , Anthony Tambakis , Lambert R. Strayer , Roman Vasylyshyn , Jonathan Matthew Anik , Rashad Evans , Stephan Bonnar , Michelle Brown Mooney , Tim Bickel , Jack Fischer , Jeff Hochendoner , Armon York , Adam Christian Stanley , James Dreussi , Kevin P. Hanley , Tammy Townsend , Etta Cox , Sandy Notaro , Francesca Ortenzio , Jaime Sinue Aguirre , Tracy Campbell , Thomas McCue

Haunted by a tragic past, ex-Marine Tommy Conlon (Hardy) returns home for the first time in fourteen years to enlist the help of his father (Nick Nolte) to train for SPARTA, the biggest winner-takes-a... read more read more...ll event in mixed martial arts history. A former wrestling prodigy, Tommy blazes a path toward the championship while his brother, Brendan (Edgerton), an ex-fighter-turned teacher, returns to the ring in a desperate bid to save his family from financial ruin. But when Brendan's unlikely, underdog rise sets him on a collision course with the unstoppable Tommy, the two brothers must finally confront each other and the forces that pulled them apart, facing off in the most soaring, soul stirring, and unforgettable climax that must be seen to be believed. -- (C) Lionsgate

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92% liked it

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83% liked it

174 critics

PG-13, 2 hr. 19 min.

Directed by: Gavin O'Connor

Release Date: September 9, 2011

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DVD Release Date: December 20, 2011

Stats: 6,740 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (6,740)

  • June 7, 2013
    Sports movies are tired. Have been for a while. You can see each beat coming and it all feels like a colour by numbers experience. Most of the time. Then there's Warrior.

    Two brothers come together in the same Mixed Martial Arts competition for entirely different reasons to win ... read morethe cash prize.

    It's a pretty simple plot, and that really is it. But it's the way that such a simple story has an emotional kick like a horse which is really impressive. Each of these brothers is damaged in their own way and neither of them have really found a way to deal with the psychological distress their father has caused since the day they were born. As the movie unfolds, the extent of this damage becomes clearer and the relationship with their father more strained and defined. This emotional tension is ratcheted up notch by notch until it reaches breaking point, coincidentally at the same point that the action is at its climax. It's this beautiful choreography of emotional engagement and intense and furious action which puts this film above others of the same ilk. Gavin O'Connor's handling of these usually opposing forces is masterful; he maintains a familiar handheld style throughout proceedings but his restraint during purely dramatic moments shines through after the chaotic capturing of the action. He lingers on scenes in hotel bedrooms when a son comforts his father or when a husband makes difficult decision because it's reflective of their mindset. He blasts through the action because it's fast and brutal and over in fleeting glimpses. That being said, the fights and camerawork are choreographed so well that you're never straining to see what's going on. It's in capturing the feel of these situations with equal ease and control that O'Connor proves his mastery of the craft.

    O'Connor's influence extends to the script as well. Being one of the principal writers on the film, he keeps the focus on these two brothers at the core of the story. Bringing the two of them together on a contrivance would feel like a cheat, but the way both brothers are entered into the contest feels natural and plausible, allowing the audience to maintain some illusion of reality throughout the film. Their status in the competition feels earned as well. Brendan (Edgerton) is almost a joke by the time he steps in the ring. We may be fans of his but the audience at Sparta are not. He's there after someone is forced out due to injury and he's never seen as more than a low level threat. Tommy (Hardy), on the other hand, is the contest's dark horse; a brutal, terrifying hulk who has no restraint and shows no mercy as he smacks down opponent after opponent. O'Connor is able to show us the two of these very separate characters with subtle character definitions and hints along the way, and eventually shows us the juxtaposition between the two; the contrasts, their strengths and most importantly, their weaknesses. Tommy is strong because of his anger. Brendan finds strength in the ones he's fighting for. Their climactic fight is not just a fight, it's brother vs brother with no real notion of who will actually win.

    And these two brothers are played with quiet brilliance by Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton. Hardy may now be known for playing Bane, but his performance is here is so impressive; restrained, dark and furious and completely believable that it's a crime he didn't gain his fame from Warrior. He's so powerfully withdrawn in quiet moments and understandably antagonistic in others, less understandably in others, but he plays it all with such conviction that it's astounding to see. The flip side of his coin is Edgerton who turns in an equally impressive performance as the more relatable Brendan. He doesn't have the haunted anger to play with as Hardy does, but his soulful, open performance makes him a pleasure to watch. When the two clash for the first time, meeting on a beach for a painful, angst-filled conversation, it's amazing to see the two of them finally sharing the screen. Spending most of their time apart during the film is a bold decision, but it pays off after seeing stunning duets like this one. But the film isn't sole property of these two. Nick Nolte plays their father, and his is a towering performance, full of regret and the pain of knowing the mistakes he's made and having his attempts to fix them rejected time and time again by his sons. His alcohol-fuelled breakdown is one of the more painfully beautiful moments of the film. His occasionally cloying attempts to reconnect clashes beautifully with Tom Hardy's stoicism and the two of them are wonderful together. Jennifer Morrison also has a part to play, as the life we have to hope for on Brendan's behalf. If she wasn't as charismatic as she is, our attachment to Brendan's cause wouldn't have the strength it needs to make a connection. Thankfully, she manages to maintain a realistic sense of their relationship as well as keeping up a level attraction and support for her husband that helps us to understand what he must be going through.

    The music is not the main focus of the film, which is good because the original score is nothing special. Besides a few moments where Beethoven has been remixed into an action film score with great results, it's mostly stuff we've heard before. But the soundtrack is wonderful, with a great choice of sleepily beautiful acoustic based track with an amazing use of Today by The National in the final fight which adds a huge amount of emotion to a moment which is already supercharged with it.

    Even though it's technically a sports movie, few of that genre have been put together as well as Warrior has. Gavin O'Connor's ability as both a writer and director shines through in every moment. Sure, it's great to see Tom Hardy pummel someone into unconscious with the self-assured savagery of a gladiator, but it's moments when we see Tommy sitting alone in his dressing room; cut off from any real connections, or Paddy's joy at barely glimpsing his grandchildren through a doorway that the film really shines.

    Defining Scene:
    Tommy and Brendan fight and The National starts playing. Cue the waterworks.
  • April 18, 2013
    It`s a hard knockout with fist, feet and heart. A spectacular and heart-pounding action-packed drama. A masterpiece. Director, Gavin O`Connor crafts a wonderful, fierce and moving combination of stunning martial arts action and powerful drama. An incredible and deeply moving film... read more. A true tour de force that`s a must-see. It has you standing up and cheering. A breathtaking and inspiring piece of work. This is one hell of a strong and unforgettable movie that pulls all the punches and then some. The characters are well drawn and the performances are convincing and gripping. A tremendously entertaining action-packed ride. Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton are electrifying, they give some impressive and heart-wrenching performances. Edgerton and Hardy give career making performances. Nick Nolte is superb, one of his best performances ever in this film. Their chemistry feels so real and hits all the right notes. Frank Grillo is outstanding. This movie grabs hold of you by the heart and dose not let go until the very end. For over two hours you will be held spellbound by this astonishing movie.
  • March 2, 2013
    03/03/2013 (Online)
  • September 13, 2012
    A great, engrossing film. Picked a good cast for it to, a real mix of Rocky & The Wrestler combined along with some awesome fights.
  • fb791220692
    August 28, 2012
    More than a little implausible and full of cliches, "Warrior" nonetheless emerges a champion - it's beautifully shot, brilliantly acted, and full of emotion and suspense. Plus, it has one of the best montages I've ever seen.
  • fb1442511448
    July 27, 2012
    A gripping and reality-driven story that beats you to the punch and grabs you by the heart. The gritty in-your-face action was well interpreted and rare in the form of an MMA-based script. Nolte revives himself in this role and Edgerton and Hardy make a great one-two punch as wel... read morel. The final spectacle is what brings everything together and provides purpose and realization. Warrior has the strength to knock you down and gives you the courage to stand back up for more. 5/5
  • July 20, 2012
    Loved it! A moving and exciting film. The Fighter meets The Wrestler and then some!
  • May 29, 2012
    A pretty good movie that could have been a great one. As it was, it was well over two hours, but in a way, this could have been even longer, or maybe an HBO mini-series - that the brothers are on a collision course is evident from the beginning, and the challenging relationships ... read moreare well laid out, but the father storyline featuring Nick Nolte gets short shrift in the conclusion. The conflict between the two brothers didn't seem the most serious in the film, as they both had a bigger conflict with their recovering alcoholic father; the sibling rivalry kind of paled in comparison. I suppose the message is that "brothers stick together," but "both brothers and the father all work it out and stick together" would have been better. Maybe the ending is supposed to tell us that eventually this will happen, but I wasn't convinced, and I didn't think they should have left the father conflict hanging. That said, it's still a montage-heavy, high stakes fighting movie that's enjoyable... and maybe for the first time ever, I might have actually wanted a movie to be longer. It's lean for such an ambitious story, but in a few places, it kind of shows through.
  • March 26, 2012
    I enjoyed this movie way more than I thought I would. I didn't like Rocky and I didn't have any interest in seeing The Fighter, and this seemed no different to me. How wrong I was.

    I really loved and really cared about every character in this movie. I also think it's wonderfully... read more elegant how the past interacts with the present very naturally; we don't get the exposition in flashback but through how frosty the characters with history treat each other, and how you only find out later why. I ended up feeling kind of sorry for Paddy actually, since you never actually saw the abuse that soured his sons towards him. His two sons have been placed on either side of him by circumstance, and this divide has molded the two brothers into completely different men who carry the same pain very differently. I saw this movie just out of love of Tom Hardy, but he's the icing on a really delicious cake. In the ring he's really vicious and imposing, but sadness and genuine bitterness permeate his character. It's like all his years of anger have served only to make him really sad and isolated, and violence is the only avenue he has left to express himself. Hardy's body language alone speaks volumes, especially in his exchanges with Brendan (Joel Edgerton). Both actors' natural accents are invisible as well, and anyone who's seen Inception would never recognize Eames. Luvvit! This movie is miles above Rocky in terms of emotional realism and richness of character. I also think that this film, more artfully than any other I've seen, poetically marries all the character's baggage with their fight styles in the ring. It's really devastating at the end when the brothers have to fight each other, but what other outcome could there possibly be?
  • March 24, 2012
    To say that WARRIOR is just another fight film is a preposterous understatement. Whether or not it goes down in history as one of the greatest films of the 21st century (which is likely to begin with), it will certainly be nominated for a few Academy Awards for its next grand co... read morempetition at the forthcoming Oscar ceremony. A cinematic champion.

    Ranked #3 of 2011.

    Full Review:

Critic Reviews

Anna Smith
September 21, 2011
Anna Smith, Time Out

This doesn't pack a punch like 'The Fighter' - but it's still a must for grapple fans. Full Review

Bruce Diones
September 19, 2011
Bruce Diones, New Yorker

The movie is so skillfully made, and the performances are so convincingly real (Hardy is sensational), that, as it reaches its cathartic, winning finish, it achieves a surprising compassion and honesty. Full Review

Bob Mondello
September 16, 2011
Bob Mondello, NPR

Warrior ends up feeling a lot bigger than you expect it to. Full Review

David Edelstein
September 11, 2011
David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture

It's too corny to live. But the picture is a slam dunk. I mean a ground-and-pound double-leg takedown. It's really gripping. Full Review

Mary F. Pols
September 10, 2011
Mary F. Pols, TIME Magazine

Warrior's three principle characterizations are compelling - Nolte in particular gives a tempered performance as the shambling, sad-eyed wreck of a dad - but not enough to mask the film's lesser eleme... Full Review

William Goss
September 9, 2011
William Goss,

The beats are familiar, the stakes are high, the fights are brutal, and the rewards are just. Full Review

Peter Rainer
September 9, 2011
Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor

O'Connor films the fight scenes, and the fight training scenes leading up to them, with the requisite oomph. Full Review

Andrea Gronvall
September 9, 2011
Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader

For all the contemporary references, it's essentially a spin on the story of Cain and Abel, which may be the reason it feels timeless. Full Review

Adam Graham
September 9, 2011
Adam Graham, Detroit News

It's also a fight movie that knows all the fight movie cliches and doesn't shy away from embracing them wholeheartedly. But it hits its marks and hits them well, and feels fresh even as it traffics so... Full Review

Stephen Cole
September 9, 2011
Stephen Cole, Globe and Mail

Warrior is a weirdly affecting hybrid, a 100-proof melodrama that's two-thirds Sylvester Stallone and one-third Eugene O'Neill. Think Rocky's Long Day's Journey into Night. Full Review

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    • Tommy Conlon: I like what you've done with the place.There's not much of a woman's touch around here.
    • Paddy Conlon: Yeah, well, no more women for me, Tommy.
    • Tommy Conlon: Yeah, it must be hard to find a girl who can take a punch nowadays.
    • Paddy Conlon: Ahab! You Godless sonofabitch! You stop the ship, you Godless sonofabitch!
    • Frank Campana: You don't knock him out. You don't have a home.
    • Tommy Conlon: Tiptoeing around here like a beggar with your little cup.
    • Paddy Conlon: Come on, kiddo. I've been there. I've done it. I've seen it. You can trust me. I'll understand.
    • Tommy Conlon: Spare me the compassionate father routine, Pop. The suit don't fit.
    • Paddy Conlon: I'm really trying here, Tommy.
    • Tommy Conlon: You're trying? Now? Where were you when it mattered? I needed this guy back when I was a kid. I don't need you now. It's too late now. Everything's already happened. You and Brendan don't seem to understand that. Let me explain something to you: the only thing I have in common with Brendan Conlon is that we have absolutely no use for you.
    • Brendan Conlon: God, man, I don't understand this. You won't forgive me, but you'll forgive Pop?
    • Tommy Conlon: Shit. He's just some old vet I train with. He means nothing to me. From what I hear he means nothing to you, either, so you got balls talking about forgiveness.

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Warrior Trivia

  • Who plays the Viking warrior Herger in the movie The 13th Warrior?   Answer »
  • In the movie TROY, Brad Pitt's character, Achilles, is a great warrior, in the book, Achilles was....  Answer »
  • Who was a scottish warrior, a cop, a soldier, and a farmer?  Answer »
  • In what movie will you find Clive Owen acting as a legendary warrior who unites Britain against fearsome Saxons invaders?  Answer »

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