Million Dollar Baby – Review

Worth seeing: as a powerful female-Rocky-style drama that morphs into something else entirely, with the return of ghosts from the past
Director:Clint Eastwood
Featuring:Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank, Anthony Mackie, Benito Martinez, Brian F O'Byrne, Jay Baruchel, Michael Peña, Morgan Freeman
Length:132 minutes
Released:14th January 2005


Veteran boxing trainer Frankie (Clint Eastwood) reluctantly agrees to take on the plucky thirty-something hopeful Maggie (Hilary Swank) against his better judgement.

Her dedication and drive to break away from her hillbilly past soon carry her out of the rundown LA gym and to a world title fight in Vegas.

But an unexpected incident leaves everyone involved contemplating what they really want from life.


There’s no doubting the fact that this is powerful drama, with three central performances honed to perfection, and another assured turn behind the camera from Eastwood.

But the much-trailed “twist,” an hour and a half in, changes the film from a feel-good-female-Rocky to something else entirely, and the audiences for the two films aren’t the same.

The film teases you with secrets from Frankie’s past but fails to answer your questions as the secondary plot kicks in.

You’ll either find it deeply emotive or unsatisfyingly corny, but there’s no denying that Eastwood knows how to tell a story.