Million Dollar Baby
Despondent over a painful estrangement from his daughter, trainer Frankie Dunn isn't prepared for boxer Maggie Fitzgerald to enter his life. But Maggie's determined to go pro and to convince Dunn and his cohort to help her.
Stanley Kauffmann The only differences between this new film and its many forebears are that the young hopeful is a woman and the finish is unforeseen.
David Ansen As an actor, Eastwood has rarely taken on a character as complex as Frankie Dunn.
David Edelstein It's impressive, in the sense that a sucker-punch impresses itself on your skull.
Joe Morgenstern It is thoughtful, unfashionable, measured, mostly honest, sometimes clumsy or remote, often exciting, occasionally moving and eventually surprising. It's correct.
David Germain Barely a year after the release of Mystic River, Clint Eastwood delivers a second consecutive drama that fearlessly probes the shadows of human morality without falling back on easy answers.
Richard Corliss Like Eastwood, it's a relic that dazzles you with its footwork, daring and class.
Geoff Andrew Quietly quite magnificent.
Andrew Sarris No movie in my memory has depressed me more than Million Dollar Baby.
Ann Hornaday The result is the kind of movie they don't make anymore -- a real crowd-pleaser.
Desson Thomson As Maggie, Swank is a package of dynamite, a determined soul with too much to prove and too little time to do it in, to worry about defeat. Eastwood is so good in this movie, it almost feels like cheating.
Charles Taylor Solemn, inflated and dull.
Rex Reed An unsettling and unforgettable masterpiece of skid-row poetry that punctures the heart.
Scott Foundas A deeply knowing study of families abandoned and found, battles won and lost, dreams realized and deferred.
Lisa Rose Eastwood delivers a ferociously emotional tale that matches, and in some respects surpasses, the artistry of last year's Mystic River.
Paul Clinton (CNN.com) The film works on every level -- acting, direction and production -- as it tells its heartfelt story about human frailty and the power of redemption.
David Denby [An] evocative and poetic boxing movie.
A.O. Scott Clint Eastwood's drama about a grizzled boxing trainer and a spunky young fighter is the best movie released by a major Hollywood studio this year.
Michael Atkinson Eastwood's point of view has been seasoned enough to locate poignancy and respect for his protagonists where you least expect -- saying it's an old man's movie is a serious compliment.
Todd McCarthy Slow-burning drama of a determined female boxer and her hard-shelled trainer, a tale Eastwood invests with rewarding reserves of intimacy, tragedy, tenderness and bitter life knowledge.
Kirk Honeycutt Under Eastwood's painstakingly stripped-down direction -- his filmmaking has become the cinematic equivalent of Hemingway's spare though precise prose -- the story emerges as that rarest of birds, an uplifting tragedy.
Richard Roeper Deeply involving.