cranky home
Reviews since 1993:   A-E     F-N      O-Z    Posters       Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do         Search the Site

Your Donations support the Site

Top Selling DVD     Books

50 Shades of Grey
Exodus Gods and Kings
Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game, The
Into the Woods

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Theory of Everything
Ride Along
We're the Millers
The Great Gatsby
The Avengers
Amazing Spider-Man
Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo
Dark Knight Trilogy
World War Z
Happy Feet 2
Iton Man 3 combo
Batman Begins
Dark Knight
Fifth Element
The Hangover
Hunger Games
James Bond 11 disc coll.
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Mission Impossible GP
Sherlock Holmes AGOS
Singing in the Rain
Snow White Huntsman
Star Trek Into Darkness combo
Star Wars Saga
21 Jump Street
Ultimate Matrix coll
X-Men First Class
X-Men Trilogy
X-Men Wolverine

 BLU-Ray for Family DVDs 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
A Bug's Life
Chronicles of Narnia set
Harry Potter 1-8 collection
Iron Man 2 combo
Kung Fu Panda
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pinocchio
Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
Pixar short films
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
Snow White & 7 Dwarfs
Star Trek motion pictures set
Star Trek TNG Season One
Star Wars Saga (1-6)
Toy Story combo
Toy Story 2 combo
Toy Story 3 combo
Wall-E SE


Search engine by FreeFind
Click to add search to YOUR web site!
click to search site

Alice in Wonderland
Beauty and the Beast
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Princess Mononoke
Shrek the Whole Story
Simpsons Movie
Spider-Man Trilogy
Spirited Away
Star Trek movies set
Star Trek TOS (TV)
ST:TNG complete tv set
Star Wars Trilogy (1-3)
Star Wars Trilogy (4-6)
Toy Story DVD combo
Toy Story 2 DVD combo
Toy Story 3 DVD combo
Wallace and Gromit
Wall-E SE

Buy Movie collectibles
TV/Movie Collectibles

movie review query engine

NY film critics online

Privacy Policy

Click for full sized poster

Cinderella Man

Starring Russell Crowe, Renee Zellweger, Paul Giamatti, Craig Bierko, Bruce McGill, Paddy Considine
Screenplay by Cliff Hollingsworth and Akiva Goldsman
Directed by Ron Howard

IN SHORT: The first "best of" for the year. [Rated PG-13 for intense boxing violence and some language. 144 minutes]

Even when he isn't at the top of his game, director Ron Howard has yet to deliver a film that isn't worth watching. When he is at the top of his game, which is the case with Cinderella Man, the result is nothing short of spectacular. In this particular case, the film delivers four Oscar worthy performances built on the bones of a clear script and direction that are worth nods of their own. June is usually way too early to be tossing around the "O" word but not in this case.

For boxer James J. Braddock (Russell Crowe), whose pro career is just beginning to make noise, 1928 was a great year to be alive. He, wife Mae (Renee Zellweger) and their three children live comfortably in a modern home in their native state of New Jersey. Jim and Mae have big dreams. Jim's manager, Joe Gould (Paul Giamatti), sees a clear path to incredible fame and wealth for all of 'em and, like almost everyone else with any kind of money, (they) put it in the stock market.

Need we explain what happens in 1929? We thought not.

The nice house gone, the career up in smoke, Braddock falls back on his physical strength to haul cargo at the local docks. It isn't a steady gig. It's a day by day, luck of the draw toss-up with dozens of able bodied men lined up waiting for the foreman to point a lucky finger. Even on the good days, the income isn't enough to feed the kids and keep up with the bills. The man is too proud to take relief offered by the federal government. The man is too proud to beg for help from his friends. The man is about to discover that pride is nothing to get fussy about when things get really bad. Like most of the country in the years post 1929, things are really, really bad.

Even worse is that the boxing powers that be strip him of his license to battle. A day job on the docks doesn't cut the mustard for a man who has sworn to keep his family together regardless of the cost. That the cost is far beyond anything he can accomplish makes the story all the more gripping. What is made available to him is a "tune up" bout, for the only real heavyweight contender -- it isn't Braddock but you can fill in the pieces. We'll say no more

Ron Howard's Cinderella Man is a flawless piece of filmmaking that doesn't let any aspect of its stories overwhelm any other. Howard gets, as expected, top notch performances by the A-list stars but also brings out the best performances in the supporting cast as well. These include Craig Bierko as heavyweight champion Max Baer (real life dad of the Beverly Hillbillies actor that played Jethro!), boxing commissioner Jimmy Johnson (Bruce McGill) and the one fictional character, a dock worker/ union agitator named Mike Wilson (Paddy Considiine)

There is nothing to dislike about the film. The only bit of reasoning keeping the dollar rating below from hitting a ten out of ten is that, the perfect ten has always been reserved for films that made us want to get back on line to see a second time, immediately. We're sure that the DVD will be added to our collection when the time comes. For now, it's getting the highest reco we give.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Cinderella Man, he would have paid . . .


Don't argue with us. Just see the film.

amazon com link Click to buy films by Ron Howard
Click to buy films starring Russell Crowe
Click to buy films starring Renee Zellweger
Click Here!

The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.