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Resurrecting the Champ

Sport . Drama

Up-and-coming sports reporter rescues a homeless man ("Champ") only to discover that he is, in fact, a boxing legend believed to have passed away. What begins as an opportunity to resurrect Champ's story and escape the shadow of his father's success becomes a personal journey as the ambitious reporter reexamines his own life and his relationship with his family.

Actors: Kristen Shaw , Nick Sandow , Rachel Nichols , Dakota Goyo , Kathryn Morris , Teri Hatcher , Alan Alda , Josh Hartnett , Samuel L. Jackson
Directors: Rod Lurie
Country: USA
Release: 2007-08-24
More Info:
  • Zack Haddad

    It is great to see a boxing movie that portrays both boxing and Jackson in different lights.

    Film Threat Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    Jackson disappears into his role, completely convincing, but then he usually is. What a fine actor. He avoids pitfalls like making Champ a maudlin tearjerker, looking for pity. He's realistic, even philosophical, about his life and what happened to him.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    It's the complexity of Lurie's moral universe that makes it linger in the mind.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Lawrence Toppman

    About a guy who stood on the brink of greatness but, because of one flaw he could never overcome, had to settle for being pretty good before he faded away. Strange, then, that the movie works exactly the same way.

    Charlotte Observer Full Review
  • Duane Byrge

    Charged by a knock-out performance from Samuel L. Jackson, this compelling story of manly redemption will deliver a winning boxoffice combination of word of mouth and ultimately step outside the generic ring of sports lore.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • J.R. Jones

    Treacle takes over in the last act, but most of this fact-based story by screenwriters Michael Bortman and Allison Burnett takes the inspirational sports drama into unexpected and morally complex territory.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • William Arnold

    It's more intelligent than most Hollywood movies you'll find in the heat of summer, and its saving grace is the quality of its acting, including Jackson's uncompromising turn as the old fighter, and delicious bits by David Paymer and Alan Alda as veteran editors.

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer Full Review
  • Michael Sragow

    Jackson creates a searing study in reverse nobility as a character with a battered, street-poetic presence and subtle powers of sympathy that come into play even when he appears to be a rogue.

    Baltimore Sun Full Review
  • Tasha Robinson

    The cast is generally excellent, but Hartnett in particular comes across as convincingly complicated, alternately reprehensible and sympathetic.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    By skewing the film into a father-son inspirational saga, the filmmakers sell out the best possibilities in their material. Lurie clearly wants Resurrecting the Champ to be "more" than a sports movie, or a newspaper movie. Ironically, he ends up with less.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    The film is easy to take, though it must be said: It's almost 100 percent blather.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Carrie Rickey

    Struggles to get off the ropes and never quite establishes its rhythm. The film takes place in eternal moral twilight, dark enough to make faces look photogenically poignant, light enough to see the white lies.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Maitland McDonagh

    Lurie's film never fully reconciles the story about newsroom ethics with the sentimental drama about bad dads and bereft sons.

    TV Guide Full Review
  • Glenn Kenny

    This picture reminded me of one of the things I like best about "All the President’s Men": It doesn’t give a good godd--- about Woodward and Bernstein’s personal lives.

    Premiere Full Review
  • Kevin Crust

    Delivers a heckuva story marred by some credibility problems but lands the majority of its punches via subtly powerful performances and a moving undercard of paternal connection.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Stephen Holden

    For Mr. Lurie, who specializes in political subjects, Resurrecting the Champ is an encouraging return to film following the rise and fall of his television series "Commander in Chief."

    The New York Times Full Review
  • John Anderson

    Overly sentimentalized and the execution is slack. If not for Samuel L. Jackson's performance as the ravaged boxer, "Champ" would be of limited interest.

    Variety Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    The thoroughly unconvincing drama Resurrecting the Champ might be based on a true story, but that doesn't mean you're going to believe a single frame of it.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Jack Mathews

    The film itself is a tedious melodrama whose sole saving grace is the performance of Samuel L. Jackson as Tommy Kincaid.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Wesley Morris

    If most boxing movies are about redemption, Resurrecting the Champ is a boxing movie that goes to exasperating lengths to redeem its boxing writer.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Jason McBride

    The relationship between reporter and subject is always a tricky one, but in Resurrecting the Champ it's downright delusional.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Marjorie Baumgarten

    Stays on its feet through all the rounds, but it never “floats like a butterfly.”

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Shawn Levy

    Clumsiness follows clumsiness -- the acting, the staging, the details of the plot -- until you reach the point of cool indifference. There's a lot more wrong here than can be corrected in a small space in the newspaper.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Robert Wilonsky

    This isn't great raw material, though Lurie and his screenwriters try their best to portray Erik as some guilt-ridden evildoer who's perpetrated a great fraud.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Joanne Kaufman

    The movie itself -- which deals (not very interestingly) with the issue of journalistic integrity and (very predictably) with father-son relationships -- doesn't pack much of a wallop.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Stephen Hunter

    Hardly anything feels real, but what feels even more unreal is Hartnett with a cloying, sentimental, self-pitying performance. The liveliest thing in the film is the great Jackson, slumming again in a role miles beneath him.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Lisa Schwarzbaum

    The gooey sanctity of the bond between fathers and sons all but nullify Jackson's zesty performance.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Lou Lumenick

    Well, it smells, all right, but authentic isn't the word I'd use for this maudlin male weepie, a compendium of the worst clichés of sports and journalism movies.

    New York Post Full Review
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