This is a powerhouse of a film. An emotional and visual gut punch. Makes sense, since Warrior is about MMA fighting. Somehow this movie came out before Creed.

In the wake of a failed marriage and an abusive, alcoholic father, two estranged brothers have separately tried to pick up the pieces of their lives. We learn Tommy’s (Tom Hardy) backstory later and since it’s important to the plot I won’t reveal it. Brendan (Joel Edgerton) is now a high school science teacher. But as kids they were strong and recognized fighters.

And now they both have reasons to get back into the ring. Tommy wants to raise money for his dead friend’s wife. Brendan wants to save his house and the life he’s built. Neither knows the other is fighting in the same tournament.

Secrets spill out, old wounds reopened. And two men fight not only for immediate wants, but to prove that you can leave the past behind.

Amazing performances from Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton. And a particularly moving performance from Nick Nolte, everyone’s favorite abusive dad actor. Besides some weird details about Tommy’s backstory that are quite unbelievable, Warrior is a great film. You should see it.

3.5 out of 4 stars.

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