- 2 hr 20 min
Warrior is a gripping and emotional sports drama film from 2011, directed by Gavin O'Connor. The movie stars Tom Hardy, Nick Nolte, and Joel Edgerton in lead roles. The plot circles around two estranged brothers, Tommy and Brendan Conlon, who are competing in a winner-takes-all mixed martial arts tournament for a $5 million prize. But behind their rivalry lies a deeper, more complex family history.
Tommy Conlon (Tom Hardy) is a former marine and a mysterious, fierce fighter who returns to his hometown of Pittsburgh after a long absence. He seeks the guidance of his father, Paddy (Nick Nolte), a recovering alcoholic who used to be a boxing coach. However, Tommy's true motive for reuniting with his father is to ask him for help getting into Sparta, a high-stakes, Vegas-style MMA tournament. Paddy, who is desperate to repair their broken relationship, obliges and trains his son for the tournament.
Brendan Conlon (Joel Edgerton) is Tommy's estranged brother, who is a former MMA fighter and current physics teacher. Brendan's life has been spiraling out of control, financially speaking. He is about to lose his house and his family is facing major debts, including a medical bill for his daughter's heart surgery. In order to rescue his family from poverty, Brendan decides to enter the Sparta tournament as well.
As the tournament begins, both brothers advance through the rounds and are set to face off against each other in the final. Meanwhile, we learn more about the family history and why the brothers' relationship has been strained for many years. The film showcases themes of resilience, forgiveness, sacrifice, and redemption. It emphasizes how family bonds can be shattered and repaired, and how people can use sport as a way to overcome their adversities.
Tom Hardy delivers an outstanding performance as Tommy Conlon, portraying a character that is both menacing and vulnerable. The actor gained a significant amount of weight and muscular mass to embody the character's physicality and strength. Hardy's performance conveys the psychological trauma that Tommy has been through, his reluctance to trust others, and his hidden desire for love and acceptance from his family.
Nick Nolte is equally impressive as the father, Paddy Conlon. He received an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of a man who is tormented by his past mistakes and desperate for a chance to reconcile with his estranged sons. Nolte's performance is striking in its honesty, rawness, and vulnerability. He steals every scene he's in and makes the audience empathize with his character's struggle to rebuild his life.
Joel Edgerton completes the trifecta of superb performances as Brendan Conlon. He delivers a subtle and nuanced performance, capturing the desperation and determination of a man who is fighting for his family's survival. Edgerton's performance is understated and effective, allowing the other actors to shine while still commanding his share of the spotlight.
The fight scenes in the movie are brutal and realistic. The movie showcases different styles of MMA fighting and pays attention to detail, which adds to the authenticity of the sport. The film's climax, the final fight between Tommy and Brendan, is a tour de force of choreography and cinematography. The movie expertly captures the emotional stakes of the brothers' duel and the audience feels invested in the outcome.
In conclusion, Warrior is a must-see sports drama film that transcends the genre's limitations. The movie has excellent performances from its lead actors, a compelling and emotional storyline, and gripping fight scenes. It's a movie that explores the complexity of family relationships and the power of forgiveness, redemption, and sacrifice.
Warrior is a 2011 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 20 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 8.1 and a MetaScore of 71.