why Cranky is in pain
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

the mighty

The Mighty

Starring Sharon Stone, Gena Rowlands, Harry Dean Stanton, Gillian Anderson and James Gandolfini
Screenplay by Charles Leavitt
Based on the novel "Freak the Mighty" by Rodman Philbrick
Directed by Peter Chelsom
Website: www.miramax.com

IN SHORT: Solid Acting and Pretty Solid Story. Good flick.

As always, no comparison is made to the Source Material.

There's a great list of name-brand actors at the top of this page, but they form a well-balanced supporting cast in this almost perfect piece of moviemaking. Cranky wishes he could remember the last time he saw a movie subdivided into chapters, like a book, the way The Mighty is. Leonard Maltin has that kind of memory. Cranky lost that retention of past detail when he was disabled a decade ago. Long time readers know that. The only reason I mention it is that one of the few button pushing events in this career I find myself in is the use of medical information or disability as part of a character construct. Usually a writer has no idea what he/she is putting to paper, and that ticks me off righteously.

That is not the case in The Mighty, a movie about two kidlets suffering from differing emotional and physical traumas. This movie is funny and touching, filled with flights of fantasy and sobering reality. The parents and grandparents may be the name stars, but the kids are center stage at all times.

Two-time Seventh Grader Max Kane (Elden Henson) is emotionally scarred due to the murder of his mother by his father. He cannot read well, though he is impressively strong and physically large. His grandparents (Gena Rowlands and Harry Dean Stanton) are his guardians and protectors but he has no friends. Max feels like a sideshow freak, and is tormented by fellow school kids and a local gang.

Into the house next door moves single mom Gwen (Sharon Stone) and her son Kevin Kieran Culkin). Kevin suffers from a deadly degenerative disease called Morquio's Syndrome, which has twisted his spine and forces him to walk with crutches and live with braces on his legs. As inadequate compensation, he is gifted with an exceptional brain, a sharp sense of humor and enough optimism to confound you "normal" people. This twelve year old maintains the occasional fantasy of being a Knight, along the lines of those in King Arthur's court. While that may strike you as an emotional act of denial it is not. It is an act of protection.

A brain without a body. A body whose brain has shut down. Separate, they are freaks. Combined they are Freak the Mighty, inspired by tales of Camelot and standing up to the other kidlet scum who pick on the weak. It is a fairy tale. It is a good tale.

Then, reality rears its ugly head when the murderous dad is released on parole. Whimsy is replaced by fear and one-half of a Knight must overcome extreme obstacles on his real life quest to save his Other. Two usually drunk, white trash friends of the dad (Gillian Anderson and Meat Loaf) are accessories after the fact to the events that occur, but one has been aided by the littlest Knight, who returned a stolen purse to her, and her loyalties are torn. Anderson nails the lid on Scully, her television persona of The X-Files. Fans of that show may get real confused.

Across the board, the acting performances are so balanced that the script and production shine. There is nothing average about the jobs done by Stone or Rowlands or Stanton. They're just all outdone by Culkin and Henson. Only one piece of the story felt out of place to Cranky and, frankly, unbelievable. The spell cast by the work makes it easy to overlook the sequence, in which Max hot-wires a van. That may be possible in the UK, where original author Rodman Philbrick hails from, but in modern day Cincinnati? Cranky thinks not.

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


As the Oscar-wannabe field starts jockeying for position, the serious flicks get rated all the more seriously. The Mighty makes my tickler list at minimum for Kiernan, but he's relatively young. As for Sharon and the other actors, it's too soon to tell what I'll pick, come December.

buy movie posters

The Cranky Critic® is a Registered Trademark of, and his website is Copyright © 1995  -  2015   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.