Million Dollar Baby

Clint Eastwood's fascinating, late-career urges to self-examination and spiritual inquiry continue. On the surface, he's directed a boxing movie with a familiar plot and stock characters, in which a broken-down fight trainer named Frankie Dunn (Eastwood) takes on a raw but courageous champ-in-the-making (Hilary Swank -- that's right, a woman). But Eastwood lost patience long ago with surface and convention, and he's nothing if not a reacher. So from the moment the film's ironic title appears on the screen until we're blindsided by what follows almost two hours later, we see that this is not Rocky or even Requiem for a Heavyweight, but another painful Eastwood meditation on conscience. Swank is sublime as the abused, feisty heroine from the Ozarks, and Eastwood's tormented Irish Catholic gym rat is carefully constructed. Morgan Freeman, as an ancient, one-eyed ex-fighter named Scrap, provides the wise aphorisms -- sometimes to a fault. This is not as compelling as Mystic River, perhaps, but the old gunfighter is still searching for the secrets in things with admirable resolve.



  • Clint Eastwood


  • Hilary Swank
  • Clint Eastwood
  • Morgan Freeman
  • Jay Baruchel
  • Christina Cox
  • Anthony Mackie
  • Margo Martindale
  • Michael Pena


  • Paul Haggis
  • F.X. Toole


  • Tom Rosenberg
  • Albert S. Ruddy
  • Clint Eastwood
  • Paul Haggis

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