Knock Out
Million Dollar Baby
Review Review by Ross Anthony

A bit slow in the get go, very strong in the middle, then slow again on the way out, but endearing -- always endearing. Strong acting (not sure if its Oscar worthy), good direction, and pleasant cinematography. How to review without spoiling? I'm not sure it's possible. Therefore read on at your own risk.

Sort of a female Rocky picture, this film decides to take on an entirely different fight by the end. Some will argue this makes the film richer, deeper, braver... and they're right. Some will argue that this turn knocks out the entertainment value... and they'd have a good point too. Myself? At first I felt the latter, and later I felt the former. One reviewer (Kirk Honeycutt) called it an "uplifting tragedy." On that, I'd say more the later than the former.

The film hinges on a pivotal event, important, strong, shocking. Some of the circumstances around that event give cause for pause. Additionally, I was a bit confused about time period in which this story plays out? Sometimes it feels like the seventies and then at other times -- modern day. Much of the film centers around Eastwood, Swank and Freeman (Freeman tells the story); So, exterior shots are rare. The film develops the new relationship between old trainer and young boxer. And accents that with the old relationship between old trainer and long retired boxer.

I especially enjoyed the tasteful humor in editing during Swank's Round 1's.

What appears to be a boxing film is really a study on dealing with guilt, responsibility for risk, and personal drive. If you're just up for an up film, don't see this one.

This film screened at a Krikorian Theatre.

  • Million Dollar Baby. Copyright © 2004.
  • Starring Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank, Morgan Freeman, Jay Baruchel, Mike Colter, Lucia Rijker, Anthony Mackie.
  • Directed by Clint Eastwood.
  • Screenplay by Paul Haggis. Based on "Rope Burns" by F.X. Toole.
  • Produced by Albert S. Ruddy, Tom Rosenberg, Paul Haggis at Warner Bros/Lakeshore/Malpaso/Ruddy Morgan.

Grade..........................B+ (2.5/4)

Copyright © 1998-2022 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:03:32 PDT