An ex-Marine haunted by a tragic past, Tommy Riordan (Tom Hardy) returns to his hometown of Pittsburgh and enlists his father (Nick Nolte), a recovering alcoholic and his former coach, to train him for an MMA tournament awarding the biggest purse in the history of the sport. As Tommy blazes a violent path toward the title prize, his brother Brendan (Joel Edgerton), a former MMA fighter unable to make ends meet as a public school teacher, returns to the amateur ring to provide for his family. Even though years have passed, recriminations and past betrayals keep Brendan bitterly estranged from both Tommy and his father. But when Brendan's unlikely rise as an underdog sets him on a collision course with Tommy, the two brothers must finally confront the forces that tore them apart, all the while waging the most intense winner-take-all battle of their lives.
The world of mixed martial arts is brutal and tough. This family movie review takes you into the world of mixed martial arts. The main character must make a move to keep a roof over his family’s head. The product of an alcoholic father, now turned mixed martial arts coach, the main hero decides to enter the world of mixed martial arts fighting. As he rises in the ranks, he struggles to keep a balance between fighting and being a good father to his children. The world of fighting often clashes with his home life, causing marital difficulties. In the end, he must face his own brother, a war veteran, in the world championship of mixed martial arts. It is the fight of his life and will change their lives forever.
This family movie review does not consider this to be a movie for the children. Teenagers might like it, but parents must be warned that the fighting scenes are intense, bloody, and brutal. It does contain some words and language that might be inappropriate for children. There is one scene that graphically shows military combat in all of its reality. The father is an alcoholic, the family is broken, and the two brothers have a strained relationship, to say the least.
This parental guide to the movies considers this movie to be too intense for those under age 13. It shows very realistic family drama, including intense marital arguments as the young couple decides which options to take when their house is in foreclosure. The blood is real and the situations are real, perhaps a little too real for some. This is not a fun movie; it is a drama, a very intense drama.
If one could compare it to movies of the past, Rocky would have to be the closest approximation. The plot is a classic and similar to Rocky, The Karate Kid, and Bruce Lee movies. The character has to find it within himself to overcome obstacles. The hero in the movie is not like these other movies in that he is an average guy with no attributes that make him stand out from the rest of us. This gives the movie a sense of believability, rather than a fantasy quality.
In the end, relationships are mended, but not without traveling a rough road to get there. It does have a redeeming theme about not giving up and seeing things through till the end. Another theme in the movie is that even the seemingly worst relationships can be mended. However, these themes might only be apparent to the adults or older teens in the audience. They are not presented in a way that would make them obvious to children or younger teens. This family guide to the movies considers this a great movie for adults, but not for those under the age of 15.