The film is just that good. Perfect casting, a tight script, and great camerawork keep it from veering too close to cliché or caricature. Mark Wahlberg is solid as Micky Ward, a boxer who has to escape his family in order to chase his title dreams. His older brother Dicky, played by Christian Bale, has a boxing philosophy that sums up how the film affects the viewer: "Head Body Head." I'd rate it my second favorite boxing flick of all time, right after Body and Soul.
Let's hope it boosts tourism in industrial Lowell, Mass.
Added 12/20: Sports Illustrated interviews the real Micky Ward about the film. A snippet:
On his family's reaction to the film's often unflattering portrayal
"I'm sure it's hard for Dicky to look at it and see the way he was. He'll never go back [to that life] again. I don't know how my sisters and mother are going to feel, either. I'm not sitting next to them when they see it!"