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Million Dollar Baby
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Customer Reviews:

  • Over-rated
    Short takes:

    Hillary Swank is brilliant as the would-be champion student fighter.

    Cinematography is stunning (the in-ring action jolts you).

    Morgan Freeman only plays one character -- and he shows up again in this film.

    Clint Eastwood needs to stay on the back side of the camera. I idolized him in his early westerns, and the Dirty Harry stuff. Now, he can no longer get away with just turning in long steely eyed profile shots. Maybe he's just bored with it. It certainly looks that way. He was the worst actor in the film.

    While generally enjoying the film, I noticed the awkward "dreamy" music. It was out of place. Then I was surprised (but not surprised) to see that Eastwood had written the music. This attempt as a composer was not much better than his performance as a "singer" in Honky-Tonk Man. I admire Eastwood for stretching his boundaries . . . I just wish he wouldn't do it with my entertainment money.

    Still, the story is quite good, and Swank as the centerpiece is great. Worth the watch. 3 1/2 stars....more info
  • a gift to rave about!
    Excellent! I got it because Clint Eastwood was involved and loved it for the total content...more info
  • Million Dollar Baby on HD DVD
    Absolutely marvelous. I missed this flic in its theatrical run. What a pleaseure to see and hear it in so excellent a format. GO HD DVD!!!!!...more info
  • Full circle!!!
    Clint Eastwood has done some beautiful cinematic work in his lifetime, but this one takes the cake. There's something magical about Morgan Freeman and Clint Eastwood together on screen (again). I don't know what it is, but it works. And Hillary Swank is magnificent! This movie takes you on an emotional ride of realism that comes full circle by movies end. This movie is great!...more info
  • Reminiscent of another era
    Clint Eastwood's `Million Dollar Baby' is about a gruff, macho boxing trainer who trains an enthusiastic young woman. Its description belies the fact that it is an unusually subtle and moving film.

    Less ambitious than Eastwood's previous movie `Mystic River', `Million Dollar Baby' centers on Frankie Dunn (Clint Eastwood), an irritable boxing trainer who runs a gym with Eddie Dupris (Morgan Freeman), a former boxer known as "Scrap-Iron", who also works as a janitor. Their life is somewhat stagnant until Maggie Fitzgerald (Hilary Swank) interrupts their world. She is a southern girl who visits the gym every moment she is not waitressing. Maggie wants nothing but to be trained by Frankie. As convention has it, he at first refuses, due to her sex and age, but eventually gives in.

    Yet the film is far from conventional. It does not have a catchy moral message or one-liners. Morgan Freeman's beautiful narration is both poetic and natural, as is all the dialogue. The characters, who could easily have been uninteresting stereotypes, are well drawn and portrayed with restraint. Eastwood's acting pales slightly in comparison to Freeman and Swank, but he fits his role perfectly. Frankie is hardened and quietly tormented, but he searches for assurance and tenderness.

    Freeman is also superbly cast as Eddie, whose eye was knocked sightless in his final fight. He is witty and genuine; he cannot stand watching people fall short of their potential. Eddie is more than a saintly sidekick; he has an edge that allows him to view the world realistically.

    Maggie is perhaps one of the kindest, most sincere characters in cinema. Swank is unquestioningly believable as an earnest girl driven by a desire to box. She is honest and strong-minded and does not box for the violence (unlike some of her opponents, including a particularly scary boxer played by Lucia Rijker). However, like the other characters in this film, Maggie is alone.

    Maggie and Frankie find glory in her boxing career. It is not because she is uncommonly talented; it is because she strives for success and because the two of them find satisfaction meeting the other's expectations. More importantly, Maggie and Frankie find each other, and their relationship is far less clich¨¦ than it sounds.

    A few moments are predictable and exaggerated, including Maggie's redneck family. But overall, `Million Dollar Baby' is poignantly humanistic and timeless....more info
  • REACHING FOR DREAMS
    Eastwood, Swank and Freeman ( who finally got a much over-due Oscar ) are all magnificent in this fantastic film. There is not a false step in this masterpiece. It resonates with quiet power, and harsh beauty, and it packs an emotional impact that few films in any genre can compete with. ROCKY looks 'cute' next to this 'baby.' MILLION DOLLAR BABY is a classic, pure and simple....more info
  • Could Not Look Away
    ***** Spoiler Alert *****

    Hats off to Mr. Eastwood for getting me to watch a film about women's boxing. I believe that boxing (regardless of gender) is largely barbaric and distasteful.

    Add to that, women's boxing is made up in part by ex-prostitutes and ex-strippers, which means that we are heading into degrading territory. Even Frankie deemed female boxing a freak show, rendering him highly reluctant to get involved.

    The true heart of this movie is a father-figure daughter-figure love story.

    Frankie had to overcome the following to give Maggie her final gift:

    1) ethical concerns
    2) legal concerns
    3) the guilt-inducing part of Catholicism that would have him go against his heart
    4) the life-driven part of humanity that struggles against what Frankie did
    5) his own desire to keep Maggie with him

    Frankie was already carrying an awful emotional load concerning his biological daughter, as well as a burden of guilt of over what had happened to Freeman's character.

    We would all struggle to do what Frankie did for Maggie. But when you look at the baggage he was already carrying, his gift became all the more meaningful.

    This is not the easiest movie to sit through, but in the end Frankie's great fatherly love succeeds in making it worthwhile....more info
  • Soft and sweet, thoughtful and powerful...
    It was only after I watched "$1M Baby" the second time, that it's power, via its simplicity, knocked me over. Eastwood has a way of allowing the audience to absorb the material, and, as mentioned in the extras, Paul Haggis' screenplay hadn't reached it's final draft before Eastwood decided that the primitive screenplay as it was would be more effective. It was a good decision. Characters are complete, and in the hands of the letter-perfect cast, there is no question about who these people are, what they want nor where they've been. Various plot twists keep things interesting, and there's a softness, even in the fight scenes, that makes you adore these people. Hilary Swank, once again, was in an Oscar race with Annette Bening. She deserved both. Excellent film! ...more info
  • Million Dollar Hilary!
    While I'm not into women's boxing, per-se, this was nonetheless quite a powerful movie. The plot has an unexpected twist in it, and I would admonish people who view this movie NOT to find out what the twist is before watching it.

    I swear, you could dress Clint Eastwood up in a pink dress, put little girly hairpins in his hair and he would STILL be more macho than the lot of we men. In this film, he portrays a past-his-prime boxing trainer who is without any top-notch contenders to teach.

    Hilary Swank is a girl who shows up @ the gym some day, pays her dues and wants to get a trainer. Eastwood's character is reluctant to be her manager as he's never dealt with women boxers below. However, in the end her charm wins him over.

    Morgan Freeman is great as an over-the-hill boxer who had a very bad experience in his final bout. His character is kind of the "stabilizing force" of the movie.

    Hilary is toned & buff for the film. She looks sexy even with a broken nose and blood all over her face. On top of that, she's an accomplished actress. This will be one of the most memorable roles in this timespan of her career, although I have a feeling she will still be active as an actress in her 50's & 60's.

    This is a sports movie, but it is a very atypical one. It is as much about Hilary's character as it is about her boxing prowess. Hilary portrays a girl trying to break away from poverty, and the thing she is best at is boxing. There is perhaps more character development in this film than any other movie I know of. That's always a plus for a sports film!...more info
  • gripping
    Once again, Clint Eastwood proves, that he's 'the man'. The story of "Million Dollar Baby" is gripping and well told. The direction is very good, and the production values are top. The actors are all well cast and act well. Morgan Freeman and Clint Eastwood both do a great job, as does of course Hilary Swank as ms. Fitzgerald. The boxing, training and matches are well done, and the subplots all act out well and believeably.

    The ending is maybe just a wee bit too much drama, but I guess that's in a way also what makes the movie what it is.

    Definitely worth watching...more info
  • Million Dollar Disappointment
    After waiting over a week to avoid paying for the high cost of shipping, my DVD arrived. I settled in with my popcorn and pepsi to watch my movie that same evening. I popped it into my DVD player and it said "loading, loading, loading" and then finally, "bad disk". This is my second unhappy experience with Amazon. I shipped the disk back and decided to instead purchase the DVD at the video store. Not only was it $6.00 cheaper (not including the shipping!) but when I popped it into my DVD player, it actually loaded and played! And it had a second disk of special trailers included! The good thing is that you were able to credit my account after only a week which I appreciate. Thank you....more info
  • The best movie I've ever seen...
    And that is saying a lot...because I consider myself to be a lover of movies...This ranks right alongside if not above Braveheart, The Godfather, and E.T. I can't say it is the movie I liked the most...but it is SO well acted...so well directed...and the story, although seemingly contrived worked for me. Swank has proved that she is in a class all by herself, with her second Oscar and quite possibly the best female performance I can EVER remember...it is the subtleties of her portrayal that makes this performance work... I was wondering if my assessment of this flick was way off, so I started surfing reviews...and for once, ...more info
  • 3.5 stars out of 4
    The Bottom Line:

    Marred only by an unfortunate subplot involving a mentally-deficient boxer, Million Dollar Baby is a powerful look at three characters that pulls no punches and takes its story to an emotionally honest conclusion; a deserved Oscar-winner, it is well worth a watch. ...more info
  • Worth Every Penny for this Baby!!!!
    Great HD DVD Movie!!! Great movie!!! Great acting!!! I truly love this film and happy it made it to my HD Collection!! During the HD film, i was like, "This is awesome!" Many times i wore out that saying! This is by far a great boxing movie. A great heart conquers! Although, the ending was not what I wanted, but it was like "Wow didn't expect that" factor! That is always a good thing about a movie! A great movie about boxing and determination of one's desire to succeed....more info
  • Please enter a title for your review
    Best picture? Really? Against The Ropes had more flavor than this. I can't even tell if this is supposed to be set in present day or like 30+ years ago, or if that ambiguity is intentional. The old trainer dude makes some arbitrary statements about "pride" and "heart" intended to pass for wisdom, and the way the other boxers in the gym behave makes it seem like a prison for the mentally disabled. Swank's character's manner of speaking like Huck Finn makes her seem at home in the asylum atmosphere, but there is no exploration of her progression as a fighter, it's just like one minute the trainer says she knows nothing and then suddenly she's convincingly winning all her fights. And what is the title supposed to mean? ...more info
  • An encapsulation and celebration of great movie making!
    From the haunting music accompanying the movie, the fascinating and intriguing characters and finally to the bitter, heart-wrenching ending, this is a movie that encapsulates great movie making, with a heart.

    The film starts by showing Eastwood's character trying to "protect" his prized boxer from fighting for the Title. Gradually, we learn that he is not protecting those people around him, but only himself. Over time, his initial dislike for Fitzgerald turned into a fatherly love. In the finale, although much criticism was placed on the film's ending, i honestly believe that he did what he did out of sheer fatherly love for Fitzgerald, and that Fitzgerald herself would've warranted the act.

    Sure, a lot of films made has heart in it. Take for example, the insecurity and jealousy of Jake La Motta in Martin Scorcese's Raging Bull (great performance by Robert De Niro!) and also Braddock's ferocious love for his family in Ron Howard's Cinderella Man. But rarely do we see a film which brings us to understand Eastwood's character - his frailty, his unrequited love for his daughter, and his passion for boxing.

    Without this great ensemble of a cast - Clint Eastwood, Hillary Swank and Morgan Freeman, and of Eastwood's superb directing and composing, the movie would've suffered from the style-over-substance syndrome, which this movie is definitely and utterly not. ...more info
  • Swank!!
    Hillary gives the awsome performance with her small town southern ways-but it cant hide her beauty. Is Morgan in every movie? He's great as always. The movie is a must have and deserved the best picture it recieved. A tear jerker at a couple parts and a delight overall...more info