Warrior

Warrior

4.8 8
Director: Gavin O'Connor

Cast: Gavin O'Connor, Joel Edgerton, Tom Hardy, Jennifer Morrison

     
 

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Two estranged brothers and Mixed Martial Arts fighters confront the forces that tore their family apart as they prepare to do battle in the ring in this drama from director Gavin O'Connor (Pride and Glory). Tommy Conlon (Tom Hardy) is an ex-Marine from Pittsburgh who'sSee more details below

Overview

Two estranged brothers and Mixed Martial Arts fighters confront the forces that tore their family apart as they prepare to do battle in the ring in this drama from director Gavin O'Connor (Pride and Glory). Tommy Conlon (Tom Hardy) is an ex-Marine from Pittsburgh who's never quite shaken his troubled past. Upon learning that the purse in an upcoming MMA tournament is the largest in the league's history, Tommy recruits his father, Paddy (Nick Nolte), a former coach and recovering alcoholic, to whip him into shape in time for the competition. Meanwhile, as Tommy steadily ascends the ranks by defeating one powerful opponent after another, his brother, Brendan, struggles to provide for his family with his job as a public school teacher. A former MMA fighter with a devastating punch, Brendan begins to wonder if he, too, could have a shot at winning the coveted purse. In time, Brendan and Tommy both emerge as dark horse contenders in the competition, setting the two brothers on a brutal collision course. But Tommy and Brendan's biggest battle won't be fought in the ring -- it will be fought in their hearts and minds.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
Writer/director Gavin O'Connor's Warrior begins not with a physical blow, but an emotional one -- indicating from the first line spoken that there will be precious little levity in this tale of two brothers who are destined to clash in the ring. Emotions run hot in Warrior, but the unflinching earnestness of the script and the actors ensure that the feelings ring true. Even the victories that appear to come easy in the film have been earned through years of suffering and endurance, and with each punch thrown we always know exactly what can be lost to failure. But you don't have to be a mixed-martial-arts fan to appreciate the struggles waged in Warrior, because they're battles we all wage on a daily basis, just told on a grander scale. Tommy Conlon (Tom Hardy) is an ex-Marine from Pittsburgh who's never quite shaken his troubled past. Upon learning that the purse in an upcoming tournament is the largest in MMA history, Tommy recruits his father, Paddy (Nick Nolte), a former coach and recovering alcoholic, to whip him into shape in time for the competition. Meanwhile, as Tommy steadily ascends the ranks by defeating one powerful opponent after another, his brother, Brendan (Joel Edgerton), struggles to provide for his family with his job as a public-school teacher. A former MMA fighter with a devastating punch, Brendan begins to wonder if he could have a shot at winning the coveted prize as well. In time, Brendan and Tommy both emerge as dark-horse contenders in the competition, setting the two brothers on a brutal collision course. But Tommy and Brendan's biggest battle won't be fought in the ring -- it will be fought in their hearts and minds. In recent years, Tom Hardy has earned well-deserved critical acclaim for his charismatic performances in Nicolas Winding Refn's Bronson, and Christopher Nolan's Inception. The emerging star maintains this steady momentum with a magnetic performance in Warrior. As Tommy, Hardy is a beast caged in his own flesh, emotionally crippled by his traumatic upbringing and seemingly incapable of focusing on anything beside his determination to pummel every contender who steps in his way -- including (and especially) his own brother. But Warrior is as much Joel Edgerton's movie as it is Hardy's. As the struggling teacher who's literally willing to fight for his family's future, it's Edgerton who manages to make the story resonate by gaining the viewer's sympathy. While some will indeed relate to Tommy's struggle to care for a sick parent without the benefit of health insurance and his feelings of being abandoned by the rest of his family, given the current economic climate it's likely that many more will find it easier to relate to a character who's working multiple jobs just to pay the mortgage, yet is still drowning in debt and facing foreclosure. And Edgerton doesn't simply sit back while screenwriters O'Connor, Anthony Tambakis, and Cliff Dorfman do all the heavy lifting; in the quietly desperate scenes that find Brendan and his wife Tess (Jennifer Morrison) wrestling with weighty decisions about their family's future, Edgerton conveys just as much emotional authenticity as he does physical intensity during Warrior's white-knuckle climax. In the vast majority of sports dramas, we can rest assured the protagonist will ultimately emerge victorious -- not only because it's a tried-and-true storytelling paradigm, but also because most filmmakers realize that viewers won't respond well to being put through the emotional wringer of seeing the underdog beaten after enduring so much adversity. By splitting our sympathies between two protagonists who each have something honorable to fight for and then pitting them against one another, director/co-writer Gavin O'Connor and fellow screenwriters Tambakis and Dorfman get us to invest in both characters, creating a unique and poignant story dynamic that keeps us invested even when Tommy's words and actions are less than endearing. It's around the point where Tommy and Brendan have their first face-to-face encounter that we realize just how effective the trio's carefully structured screenplay has been at laying a solid framework, too. Details are skillfully meted out as the story winds to a climax, ensuring that the key revelation about Tommy and Brendan's relationship still carries dramatic weight even though viewers have known they were brothers all along. Meanwhile, the fact that both siblings have their own dedicated cheering sections drives home the point that every fighter is waging a battle both inside and outside of the ring, and allows us to cheer along as some key supporting characters root for their man to deliver the knockout blow. With grainy, naturalistic cinematography more fitting of a 1970s-era William Friedkin film than a post-millennial MMA drama, director of photography Masanobu Takayanagi gives Warrior a unique retro look that's only discernible as contemporary by his occasionally erratic, handheld style. Though Takayanagi and O'Connor work to give Warrior's quiet moments a sense of genuine dramatic weight and depth, the cinematographer's erratic style during the crucial fight scenes occasionally makes it difficult for the audience to get a true sense of the shifting power dynamics in the ring and just who's got the upper hand. It's not enough to pull us out of the struggle being waged onscreen -- just enough to remind us of the artifice. The fighter has always stood as the ultimate cinematic symbol of human strength and endurance. It's a formula that's worked for nearly a century, and frankly, one that has grown a bit clichéd over the decades. By switching the focus from boxing to MMA, and working themes of sibling rivalry, family strife, and forgiveness into the mix, however, Gavin O'Connor and company are able to make it feel fresh and vital again. Warrior is that rare breed of film capable of eliciting enthusiastic applause from an audience, despite the fact that no one is there to receive it. Should you find yourself inexplicably clapping after the final punch has been thrown and the victor has emerged, don't be ashamed -- the emotion is infectious.

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Product Details

Release Date:
12/20/2011
UPC:
0031398147213
Original Release:
2011
Rating:
PG13
Source:
Lions Gate
Region Code:
A1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
2:20:00
Sales rank:
12,084

Special Features

Disc 1: ; Full Contact: Blu-ray enhanced viewing mode-an in-depth original and personal look at Warrior with the cast and crew; Redemption: Bringing Warrior to Life Documentary ; Philosophy in Combat: Mixed martial arts strategy ; Simply believe: A tribute to Charles "Mask" Lewis, Jr. ; Cheap shots: Gag reel; Brother Vs. Brother: Anatomy of the Fight ; The Diner: Deleted scene with Tom Hardy and Nick Nolte (with optional commentary); Feature audio commentary with filmmakers and actor Joel Edgerton

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Joel Edgerton Brendan Conlon
Tom Hardy Tommy Conlon
Jennifer Morrison Tess Conlon
Frank Grillo Frank Campana
Nick Nolte Paddy Conlon
Denzel Whitaker Stephon
Bryan Callen Himself
Kevin Dunn Principal Zito
Laura Kenley KC
Capri Thomas Emily Conlon
Maximiliano Hernandez Colt Boyd
Sam Sheridan Himself
Fernando Chien Fenroy
Jake McLaughlin Mark Bradford
Vanessa Martinez Pilar Fernandez
Tim "Skyskrape" Katz Himself
Julia Stockstad J.J. Riley's Assistant
Carlos Miranda Tito
Joshua Rosenthal Referee,Referee Josh Rosenthal
Kurt Angle Koba
Nick Lehane Nash
Erik Apple Pete "Mad Dog" Grimes
Dan "Punkass" Caldwell Himself
Nate Marquardt Karl Kruller
Lexi Cowan Rosie Conlon
Noah Emmerich Dan Taylor
Roan Carneiro Marcos Santos
Daniel Stevens Francisco Barbosa
Panuvat Anthony Nanakornpanom Sun Chu
Hans Marrero Diego Santana
Yves Edwards Houston Greggs
Amir Perets Yosi
Anthony Johnson Orlando "Midnight" Le
Jimmy Cvetic Tender Trap Promoter
Jace Jeanes Mike "The Mutilator" Moore
Jake Digman Tender Trap Announcer
Richard Fike Tender Trap Referee
Andre Mason Midnight Corner Man
James Houk State Official
Aaron Kleiber Koba Entourage #1
Raymond Rowe Koba Entourage #2
Anthony Tambakis Sparta Official
Lambert R. Strayer Koba Entourage #3
Roman Vasylyshyn Koba Entourage #4
Jonathan Matthew Anik Himself
Rashad Evans Himself
Stephan Bonnar Himself
Michelle Dawn Mooney Herself
Tim Bickel A.V. Simers
Jack Fischer Platoon Sergeant
Jeff Hochendoner Marine MP #1
Armon York Marine MP #2
Adam Christian Stanley Marine #1
James Dreussi Marine #2
Kevin P. Hanley Inspector
Tammy Townsend Zito's Wife
Etta Cox Zito's Secretary
Sandy Notaro Diner Waitress
Francesca Ortenzio Concierge
Jaime Sinue Aguirre Manny
Tracy Campbell Desk Girl
Thomas McCue Taxi Cab Driver

Technical Credits
Gavin O'Connor Director,Original Story,Producer,Screenwriter
Sean Albertson Editor
Matt Cheesê Editor
James Donahue Art Director
Cliff Dorfman Original Story,Screenwriter
Lisa Ellzey Executive Producer
Josh Fagin Co-producer
John Gilroy Editor
Randi Hiller Casting
Mark Isham Score Composer
John J. Kelly Executive Producer
Don Leigh Production Designer
Mark Mangini Sound Editor
Jamie Marshall Asst. Director,Co-producer
David Mimran Executive Producer
Abigail Murray Costumes/Costume Designer
Greg O'Connor Producer
Michael Paseornek Executive Producer
Brian Ross Musical Direction/Supervision
Jordan Schur Executive Producer
Masanobu Takayanagi Cinematographer
Anthony Tambakis Co-producer,Screenwriter

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Warrior
1. Just Passing Through [8:35]
2. Family Time [1:56]
3. I'll Fight Him [6:13]
4. Ask Him Yourself [3:35]
5. Quiet Night [6:11]
6. A Tournament [4:11]
7. Is It True? [8:21]
8. Back in the Cage [6:40]
9. Paddy's Plea [5:38]
10. Keep Moving [6:58]
11. I'm in [5:10]
12. Sparta [2:23]
13. Dark Horse [2:09]
14. Forgiveness [6:15]
15. Real Deal [4:36]
16. You Can Do This [3:28]
17. Teaching a Lesson [8:02]
18. Here to Fight [2:55]
19. Proud of You [7:14]
20. Trouble [4:27]
21. Your Cage [7:41]
22. Brothers [1:53]
23. It's Over [5:31]
24. New Beginnings [6:28]

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