A movie review by Mr. Matthew Phinney:

Cinderella Man
Universal (June 3, 2005)
Cast: Philip Craig, Russell Crowe, Eric Fink, Paul Giamatti, Mark Simmons
Director: Ron Howard

Let’s get “Cinderella Man” underway. Round 1:

Being a boxer, it’s often difficult to watch a boxing movie for the entertainment and not get sucked into how wonky the actual boxing looks. That being said, I was pleased to see some epic, old-timey knuckle-chuckin’ on screen.

The story is an American classic. The epic, comeback story of heavyweight boxer, James J. Braddock, during the time of the Great Depression. This film is chock-full of good fights (seriously) and inspiration. I’ve seen this flick more than a handful of times and I still get goosebumps from several moments during the film.

Set in the time when boxers were walking mugs of salt and badassery, Braddock (Crowe) exudes what it is to be a man among men with his “do whatever it takes” demeanor and the humble, strong work ethic that those with such confidence possess.

But he’s got help: the literal man in his corner, Joe Gould. Gould’s (Giamatti) cunning instinct for survival, animated corner antics and unwavering belief and love for Jim makes him a top contender for a favorite character award. Mae (Zellweger) has got her man’s back, suffers the circumstances with head held high for the love of her man and family. Seriously, that’s a class of woman who out-values any amount of gold. Max Baer (Bierko) was actually a great guy and exceptional human being in reality. He still beat the bag out of more than a few Joe’s in the ring, sure. We’ll let the dramatic embellishments slide for sake of a good villain.
At a solid 2 hours and 25 minute runtime, Cinderella Man keeps the viewer’s attention and delivers a (don’t say it. Don’t. Say it.) 1-2 punch (Mother******!) of true story drama and real-life characters we’re excited to get behind.

On the 1-5 rating scale I give this move a strong four, not quite tipping that scale to a five.