Million Dollar Baby (2004)

 Rated R, but there are only a few dastardly words.

This is just our second boxing pic out of 24 Scoring At The Movies episodes and it’s a much-loved flicker show, especially with mature viewers. It won many Oscars, it made great bank at the box office and it’s well-regarded by both critics and its fanbase. Hilary Swank does her best-ever work (bonus points: she’s the first woman to play the lead in one of our two dozen sporty ventures) and Clint Eastwood & Morgan Freeman are rock-solid as always, but Paul Haggis’ writing and Eastwood’s direction are problematic. There are a few too many potshot stereotypes and there’s waaaay too much Danger. Chris also took issue with some of the story beats. But it’s hard to deny that it’s an unusual boxing film (especially in the 3rd act) and is an effective gut-puncher.

For The Record: The movie was shot in June & July of 2014, not in the fall. Also, this flick is indeed director Eastwood’s 8th-biggest hit adjusted for inflation, but it’s only his 15th-biggest as an actor (largely thanks to the Dirty Harry and orangutan mega-hits that he didn’t direct).

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Rotten Tomatoes reviews

2004 U.S. Box Office

AFI’s Top 100 Lists

IMDb’s Top 250

2004 Academy Award winners & nominees

Oscar acceptance speeches: Picture and Director and Swank and Freeman

Links to: Rocky and Rocky IV and Unforgiven and The Sea Inside and Crash

YouTube links: The obligatory training montage and Maggie wins and Scrap pounds on Shawrelle and Blue Bear cheap-shots Maggie into paralysis and Maggie asks Frankie to do her the biggest favour and Frankie The Euthanizer