Contender: ‘Warrior’

The Contenders 2011

Boxing pics have long resonated for Oscar, and now it’s time to see if mixed martial arts will fare as well.

“Warrior,” though disappointing at the box office (just under $14 million), was well-reviewed following its September release. Though it can be compared to last year’s “The Fighter” in its logline — both are about the inner turmoil of a family trying to make ends meet with a brother looking to make a financial score in the ring — “Warrior” never received the attention of the Mark Wahlberg film.

Best chances for Oscar consideration for “Warrior” likely sits with supporting player Nick Nolte, who plays a once-absusive father looking for a second chance. Nolte, who turned 70 earlier this year, has twice been Oscar nominated, both times as lead actor: “Affliction” (1997) and “The Prince of Tides” (1991).

As Nolte’s tough but unforgiving kids, both Edgerton and Hardy offer memorable and physically demanding perfs, but it could be difficult for them to break through in a competitive lead actor field.

Below-the-line work is all solid, especially during the fight scenes that make up the most dramatic moments of the film.

Release date: Sept. 9
Lionsgate
Read the Variety review

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