Movie Review: WARRIOR (2011) – Martial Art Family Drama

Published by Shah Shahid on

I’m a huge fan of fight movies. Well ok, Boxing movies to be exact. But these days boxing has been replaced with MMA fighting. It’s more brutal, there are fewer rules, and cooler styles blended together in an octagon of awesome. So a movie about MMA fighting that is done well and written well… I think we’ve got a new trend here folks.


5 Out Of 5

WARRIOR is an awesome movie that deals with the relationship of two brothers with a backdrop of the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. Joel Edgerton as a teacher, family man and former Ultimate Fighting Champion competitor, is trying to provide for his family, unsuccessfully. His last hope is a new tournament style MMA Competition that promises a lot of money to the winner.

On the other end we’ve got Tom Hardy as his loner, former Marine brother who returns to everyone’s life with no answers of where he’s been, but a surprise fluke shot at the same competition.

Two brothers, in the same tournament… you kind of see where this is going. But how they get there is beautiful.

On top of both having their own reasons to fight, they’ve both got horrible relationships with a former alcoholic abusive father. Years have kept this family apart, but one common idea will bring them together.

Not just being an action flick, WARRIOR relies heavily on its writing and performances by the three main leads. Yes, three. Nick Nolte is the abusive father. And man, does he do an awesome job.

let’s hope his son doesn’t Hulk out due to his abusive… wait, wrong Nolte movie. 😐

The gruff, brash and loud mouthed Nolte tones it down as a broken down man perpetually paying his penance for what he’s put his family through and constantly trying to seek forgiveness. It’s refreshing to see Nolte as an almost pathetic old man just trying to find a spot in his two sons’ lives.

Joel Edgerton is just great to watch as the reluctant father and husband, who enters the world of fighting, risking bodily harm as a desperate move to try to provide for his family.

Tom Hardy is just as great as a psychotic asshole that just wants an outlet for his rage because of some mysterious thing in his past. Hardy’s been great in the past, and he delivers here as well. Big time! The explosive chemistry, between these two characters is amazing to watch, especially when all the family angst, bitterness explodes in the Octagon physically between the two brothers.

WARRIOR is by no means a sport/fighting movie, despite the how the hype makes it appear. The story is about this broken and fractured family. A story of these two brothers and how they both have reasons to do something so violent, through which they end up being at the same crossroads, and have to go through each other to get to their goal. That’s what WARRIOR is about.

An amazingly well written movie, that’s paced brilliantly. Even the talky scenes are interesting and add just that big of mystery in the dialogues and interactions to keep you interested about wtf they’re talking about. It’s a great plot, executed well and performed even better by all involved.

of course there’s going to be training scenes!!

WARRIOR is a must watch for anyone interested in amazing storytelling. The genre of a ‘fighting movie’ would be the wrong label to put onto this film. It’s an emotional story within the backdrop of a violent sport. That’s all.

Get The Blu ray


Shah Shahid

Entertainment Writer | Film & TV Critic | Bollywood Blogger | Host of Split Screen Podcast | Proud Geek Girl Dad


Zach Mandell · September 13, 2012 at 4:30 AM

What an amazing film

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