Ty Burr’s review of “The Fighter” appears in today’s Globe. He says Christian Bale as Dickie Ecklund and Melissa Leo as Mickey Ward’s mom are both outstanding, although he gives high marks to the rest of the cast. He also says that the film is “so good, so engrossing, for so long, that its failure to find an ending to match is perplexing” although he explains that by saying that real life doesn’t have Rocky-like endings and this movie is about real life.
As for the inanimate star of the movie, the city of Lowell, here’s what Burr has to say:
Actually, I’m curious what Lowell will think of the movie as a whole, since it paints the town a deep, bilious gray. A decade-plus of Boston-area movies has rubbed our noses in the yawp of working-class neighborhoods but never as relentlessly as this. The triple-deckers sag with decay and the faces are bloodshot with vanished hopes. You watch half-wondering if there’s a statute for civic libel but also rapt, because Russell makes the place jump with life, his camera swiveling to catch every desperate street-corner showdown.
Civic libel? I can’t wait to see what prompted him to say that.