Boxing movies have been done time and again. The last good one was called Cinderella Man. What made that movie great was how the struggles out of the ring were more important than the ones in the ring. You wanted success in the ring so that there would be success out of the ring. The Fighter is just as good, but in a much different way. Here, what happens in the ring is a reflection of what is going on out of the ring. Whether there was a boxing match or not, you are watching for the boxing. The Fighter is based on the true story of boxer Micky Ward and his struggle to step out of the dark shadow of his half brother, former boxer and current crack addict, Dickey Ecklund, the pride of Lowell Mass. Mark Wahlberg does a sufficient job, but the movies scene stealer is always the convincing acting of Christian Bale as the washed out crack addict brother with delusions of a boxing comeback. Also good is the acting of the woman, with Melissa Leo as the mother of both Micky and Dickey that can't quite realize that her enthusiasm is placed with the wrong brother, and with Amy Adams as the tough girlfriend of Micky that must square off against the more scary opponents that those seen in the ring, Micky's family. Good acting and a good story made strong by its reality make this a great movie. I watched it twice within one month. I give this two thumbs up.