As usual, Ron Howard lets his film breathe but in doing so he risks dragging the narrative with redundant plot points--surely done in pursuit of a Lean-esque epic. Brilliant editing and fight choreography in addition to Crowe's grand performance help steady his landing, turning the film out as a success though not the epic masterpiece it purports to be. 78/100 - Very Good. (3.5)
One of those glossy, corny, predictable, "inspirational", oh-so-tasteful, prestige Oscar-baiting biopics that end up moving one's heart anyway. Being able to pull emotional strings doesn't make them artistically worthier, but it makes them efficient. Giamatti steals the show - what a lively performance!
Wow... great perfomance by Russel Crowe!! He made me feel nervous each time he had a fight. Besides, it's fantastic how he gives everything to the role, physically and emotionally, reminds me the "Gladiator". However, Max Baer wasn't a evil person, how it's portrayed in the movie... I hope he hasn't been angry. x)
Not quite the sum of its parts---the attention to period detail is effective, and all the actors give conviction to their parts, especially Crowe. However, the film moves in stops and starts, and I have mixed feelings about a movie where people overcome the depression because somebody punched another man in the face.