Tell us what you thought of ‘Warrior’

Posted by · 10:08 am · September 9th, 2011

Also opening today is Gavin O’Connor’s “Warrior.” I’ve already given my thoughts in print and in the podcast, with high marks for Nick Nolte and particularly Tom Hardy. But I’ll be really interested to see if others feel similarly that the film is a bit of a wash, or if you all side with the overwhelming positivity building in its favor. Come on back and let us know once you see it.

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24 responses so far

  • 1 9-09-2011 at 10:31 am

    JJ1 said...

    Perhaps the tide has swung a little bit towards your opinion, Kris.

    9 out of 33 reviews on Metacritic are not very high on it, at all. It has tons of 3 out of 4 stars (not raves). And it actually only has 1 score of 100.

    I plan on seeing this film and Contagion over the next couple of days.

  • 2 9-09-2011 at 10:40 am

    jon said...

    I thought it was overwrought B.S. Cannot believe the level of hype this film has generated.

  • 3 9-09-2011 at 10:48 am

    Keith said...

    Yeah, well, I think Metacritic averaged out Crash’s score as 69 and we know what happened there.

  • 4 9-09-2011 at 11:00 am

    tony rock said...

    It’s no more overwrought than The King’s Speech or The Fighter. Besides, was the buzz ever THAT high? The consensus is it’s a very good movie, just not great. The performances elevate it.

    Also, what is it with this site’s hard-on for the 30-review Metacritic? Hardly a good barometer for consensus.

  • 5 9-09-2011 at 11:04 am

    Findley said...

    More fight moviezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

  • 6 9-09-2011 at 11:06 am

    JJ1 said...

    I was just using Metacritic as a consensus of “Top Critics”. I suppose no site is a great barometer. tony rock, what’s yours?

  • 7 9-09-2011 at 11:22 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    “Besides, was the buzz ever THAT high?”

    Yes, it was (and still is). “Buzz” isn’t just what you read online, tony.

    Also, I’ve never written a word about Metacritic. Perhaps you should replace “this site” with “this site’s commenters.”

  • 8 9-09-2011 at 11:42 am

    red_wine said...

    Even if Tom Hardy isn’t in Oscar consideration for this, his traps should be.

  • 9 9-09-2011 at 11:45 am

    Matthew Starr said...

    The Fighter is a much better film.

  • 10 9-09-2011 at 3:02 pm

    jon said...

    @ Matthew Starr @ tony rock: I agree, The Fighter was a better movie. I had to fight hard (nudge nudge) to keep from laughing out loud several times during Warrior (for the wrong reasons). If you like your nachos with extra cheese, maybe you’d disagree.

  • 11 9-09-2011 at 3:36 pm

    ninja said...

    Tom Hardy + buff + badass + oozing masculinity = awesome movie. Nuff said.

  • 12 9-09-2011 at 6:42 pm

    Dana Jones said...

    A little surprised that it’s at 84% on RT while ‘The Fighter’ is at 91%. I prefer ‘Warrior’. Bale and Adams were the best part of ‘The Fighter’ for me, while every single actor (and non-actor for that matter) was terrific in ‘Warrior’. I’ve said it before, but I really hope Hardy gets a nom for his performance. I would say the same for Edgerton, but his performance didn’t impact me as much as Hardy… although both men made me weep like a baby towards the end of the film (Nolte too). All in all, I think ‘Warrior’ is one of the years best (so far…).

  • 13 9-09-2011 at 7:52 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Just saw it.

    I feel like my initial response may not be the same tomorrow or the next day, etc. But I’ll shoot now…

    I liked it. And the first thing of note to come to my mind is: Edgerton deserves the same accolades as Hardy, if not more.

    I wonder if Hardy is getting the most mentions because of his character arc and/or because he’s more on the brink of stardom/Hollywood up & comer, etc..

    Because strictly acting-wise, I was AS impressed, if not moreso, by Edgerton’s choices.

    Nick Nolte had moments of brilliance. I suppose he’ll be nommed. But I thought he’d be better given all the buzz.

    I thought most of the fight sequences were incredibly well done; loud, visceral, & meaningful.

    I do not think it is in the echelon of ‘The Fighter’. But I think it’s a solid entertainment.

    My friend who went with me was ALL into it, cried, laughed, squirmed, cheered, & clapped (with the rest of the audience at the end) … and yet, this isn’t expected to light up the box office this weekend.

    Overall, better than anticipated (given my lowered expectations to crazy buzz), but nothing to go crazy about.

  • 14 9-09-2011 at 7:54 pm

    Greg said...

    Amazing film with amazing performances. Nolte and Hardy deserve nominations. Unfortunately, I think only Nolte gets in as the film’s only mentioned during award season. This deserves so much more, though.

  • 15 9-09-2011 at 8:16 pm

    Rob said...

    I agree completely with your reservations, Kris. I didn’t feel anything but sympathy for Nick Nolte’s character, and 2 hours of resentment in the face of sobriety and contrition became not only repetitive but irritating. The father-sons dynamic of the film was underwritten and not given enough time for me to care (when precious screen time was afforded instead to the laughable supblot of the principal and high school kids). As Jon said, the aspect of cheesiness is often high, and some of the peripheral roles are poorly written and acted. The praise for Tom Hardy, JJ1, is absolutely warranted, and it has nothing to do with his rising star or his character arc. He took a character we’ve all seen before and made him captivating, fully utilizing his physicality in unique ways. Edgerton is solid but he took a character we’ve all seen before and also portrayed it as we’ve seen before. I don’t think there’s any comparison, really, and Hardy kept the film watchable in its tiresome stretches.

  • 16 9-09-2011 at 8:37 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Rob, you said “The praise for Tom Hardy, JJ1, is absolutely warranted, and it has nothing to do with his rising star or his character arc”.

    Hey, I thought Hardy was great. But to say “has nothing to do with his rising star” I don’t think is 100% accurate.

    I just happened to find Edgerton to be very effective, as well. And though Hardy’s character is a huge presence/post-film talking point … I feel like my entire theater was most moved/into the Brendan character.

    I gotta give Edgerton credit if no one else will. I know many have said he’s solid. But I just think he was more than solid.

    Again, great trio of performances, so-so screenplay, intermittently effective, solid overall.

  • 17 9-09-2011 at 8:54 pm

    Rob said...

    Fair enough. And I do think the film would have lost a lot of its intermittent effectiveness if Edgerton had not been on form.

  • 18 9-09-2011 at 9:58 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I can’t speak for the rest but I’m certainly not praising a performance based on a “rising star” status at all. Hardy’s character is so two-dimensional on the page that he had to do a lot of heavy lifting, while internalizing plenty and just digging under the skin of the character. Edgerton, who is great, had an easier road if only because his character was more spelled out for him.

  • 19 9-09-2011 at 11:32 pm

    dalurae jin said...

    Just saw the film and was a bit disappointed. I find The Fighter superior to Warrior in terms of character development, how the conflicts play out, and especially directing. Maybe I complain too much, but am I the only one who just doesn’t get split screen? I just felt it’d been better if the training sequence had been crosscut. And the characters seem underdeveloped, I think, mainly because the father-son and sibling conflicts are kind of plainly explained by the actors. Especially so when I compare this film with The Fighter which shows strong emotional undercurrents by giving the characters more depth without much explanation

  • 20 9-10-2011 at 5:33 am

    tony rock said...


    What I mean is the buzz was never super-duper Oscar-level buzz, so I don’t think it’s fair to compare Warrior to that sort of expectation. And yes, “site’s commentators.” I bring up Metacritic because I don’t see the point in using that site as a barometer when Rottentomatoes is a much deeper and more varied collection of critical voices.


    I’m actually a fan of this movie. There wasn’t anything cheesy about it in my opinion. Hardy deserves a Best Actor nomination. Maybe Nolte too (though he did get a little too “growling Nolte” in a couple scenes).

  • 21 9-10-2011 at 8:46 am

    Danny King said...

    I agree with your assessment, Kris, but I also find that this is an easy film to forgive it faults, if only because everyone involved seems to be working so passionately and intently, and that effort really does shine through on screen.

    Also chalk me up as thinking that Hardy and Nolte are both wholly deserving as Oscar nominations. Here’s my full review:

  • 22 9-10-2011 at 11:38 pm

    Nelson said...

    It’s all about the really incredible performances, loved Edgerton the most but Nolte and Hardy both are really powerful as well. It’s long, the action montage is sub-par, but other than that it is a moving and brilliant sports drama that delivers the goods. Sadly, with a bad release date, I don’t see this being a box office hit or a real Oscar contender, but it has the potential to do both.

  • 23 9-11-2011 at 5:35 am

    JJ1 said...

    It looks to not even make $5 mill this weekend. Eek.

  • 24 9-12-2011 at 6:15 pm

    Brett Buckalew said...


    You do such a good job of nailing two of the movie’s most unintentionally hilarious elements:

    -The subplot focusing on the principal and Edgerton’s students was so utterly superfluous, and clumsily executed to boot. None of the teen actors could emote to save their lives (my (least) fave reaction shot: the boy’s inscrutable pantomime of a shocked response to the commentators revealing, “the two combatants are brothers”), and as the principal, Kevin Dunn was unimaginatively cast in “the Kevin Dunn role” (just as Noah Emmerich could elsewhere be seen in “the Noah Emmerich role”).

    -The repetitive, shamelessly manipulative scenes of Nolte trying to make amends only to then be given a thorough verbal beat-down by one of his sons. The movie went to this particular well so often that all I could do during the umpteenth variation on Nolte-gets-shit-on-during-a-failed-reconciliation was mentally concoct jokes that imagine this tear-jerking gambit taken to absurdist extremes (i.e. Nolte approaching Hardy from behind to try and make amends, only to have Hardy turn around and reveal he’s wearing a shirt with “I Hate You, Dad” scrawled on the front; Edgerton pulling out a Nolte voodoo doll right when Nolte’s in the middle of one of his several bread-breaking speeches; etc.).

    While I do think Hardy, Nolte, and Edgerton do the absolute best they can with such cliched, thinly written characters, I think this is clearly not a case of “actors saving a film,” unless one were to mean “actors saving a film from being the worst of the year, and making sure it’s only the third-worst of the year,” but sadly, that’s not what most critics seem to mean.

    If I had read this on paper as a script, with no idea of who was cast in it, I’d be doubled over laughing through the whole thing. In its strict adherence to formula, the script just totally abandons believable human speech & behavior. I noticed this right from the outset, as everything out of Hardy and Nolte’s mouths in the opening was all extremely forced backstory exposition (“years ago, Mom did bla bla bla”).

    And it’s almost perverse that in constructing this movie, O’Connor took very little from his superior sports movie “Miracle,” whereas he took a lot from his mediocre cop movie “Pride & Glory” (especially the “*really* poor man’s Eugene O’Neill” family-dysfunction dynamics).

    The shooting and editing of the fight scenes was flat-out incompetent. The “Shakycam, rapid-fire cutting” approach combined with every camera angle in the Sparta fights being positioned right outside of the chain-link fence surrounding the ring created a nausea-inducing effect.

    Even though you’re right in pointing out not every critic on Metacritic has embraced the movie, the thing is, “Warrior” is still one of only 7 wide releases of the year so far to score above a 70 on the more-strict-than-RT-by-nature site. (Just to address the general Metacritic debate here, I’ll say I vastly prefer it to RT because every participating critic is smart & discerning, while too many eager-beaver fanboys clog up RT. And I say this as someone who’s been on RT many times before, but never on Metacritic.) That “Warrior” reached such a lofty height on the site is a troubling sign to me that we really are living in Mike Judge’s “idiocracy.”

    However, I felt gratified once the closing credits of “Warrior” began, not just because I had been waiting for the damn thing to end, but because there was nary a hint of applause from the theatre-half-full crowd I saw it with at the Grove on Saturday afternoon. You could really cut through the indifference with a knife.

    The lousy box-office performance means it’s out of every Oscar race except Supp Actor, methinks. Good riddance.