Director Gavin O’Connor, also responsible for the new Ben Affleck film The Way Back, is the master of inspirational sports movies. Many people would sub in his film Miracle instead of this one, and we’re fine with that. But lots of people have rightly praised Miracle, while we think Warrior is badly underrated. And the execution should be inspirational to any storyteller. What sounds like a questionable premise — two estranged brothers meet in the ring — is completely engrossing movie because of the nuance and commitment of everyone involved, including O’Connor and actors Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton, Jennifer Morrison and Frank Grillo. Nick Nolte got a well-deserved Oscar nomination.
Warrior is a made-up story, but what a well-told made-up story.