This amazing family drama movie from 2011 made megastars out of then-unknown actors, Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy. Both really put great performances in and out of the ring. Both really took a beaten, to make the cage fighting seem real. Edgerton suffer from a torn MCL, while Tom Hardy suffered a broken toe, broken ribs, and a broken finger. It takes a lot of guts just to do that. Not only does Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy, make very brutality and believable gritty fights, but I love how both were able to touch the heart-strings as well. The intensity from both of them, made this movie, very entertaining. Directed by Gavin O'Connor, the movie tells the stories of two estranged brothers, Troubled Iraq vet, Tommy Conlon (Tom Hardy) & unemployed and indebt teacher, Brendan Conlon (Joel Edgerton) who enter a Mixed Martial Arts tournament to compete with each other, for their own good moral reasons. Who is going to win? Watch the movie to find out! Without spoiling the movie, too much, I love the fact, that the movie doesn't make, a bad seed out of Tommy or Brendan. Both characters have their faults, and their good side. However, I do believe that their one-dimensional fighting styles, don't really match up with their personality. Don't get me wrong, it's cool to see, Tom Hardy all buff out and knocking people out, with his striking ability, but it makes little to no sense in the context of the character's history. After all, wasn't this man once a former wrestling prodigy? Wouldn't he be, doing more takes down, and arm holds than his brother, Brendan!? I don't get it! Another problem with the film is the huge gaps in logic within the story structure. A good example is how Tommy even got back to the US, if he supposedly went AWOL in Iraq. You would think, that wouldn't be easy. Another problem with the film is how the film, has no epilogue, so we never see the repercussions of Tommy's desertion nor find out what becomes of the family he promised to support. What happen to them!? Brendan's story arch isn't any better. Brendan being forced into fighting by economic reasons, to supplement his income is bit of a joke. It doesn't make any sense, since most amateur fighters make little to no money at all. Most of them, pursuit this dangerous career, because it's their dream job. Brendan had no reason to go back into fighting; after all, he was a physic teacher! Colleges would pay, good money for his teaching ability. Brendan's main flaw is his pride. His absolute refusal to file for bankruptcy or move to a smaller house, even though his wife, Tess (Jennifer Morrison) would rather take that option than watch him risk his life in the ring is be too selfish than inspiring to watch. I know, that Brendan Conlon was based off, real-life math teacher turn UFC fighter, Rich Franklin, but unlike Brendan in the film, Franklin went from teaching math to fighting, because his love for the sport, not economic reason. In my opinion, it would make more sense that Brendan went back into fighting, because that's what he wanted to do; not because he had to. Another thing that seem a bit illogically in the film is how both men whom seem, a bit amateurism in their fighting records, were able to get into the Sparta winner-takes-all competition at all. You would think, that a high-profile, winner-takes-all competition with a $5 million purse would be fill with more season trained fighters than amateur fighters. The mixer of amateurs with mostly unsanctioned fighting records with pro-fighters seem a bit too jarring to be taken seriously. It's like if Daniel LaRusso from 1984's Karate Kid was against Martial Arts Master, Bruce Lee. It's kinda unbelievable to see that ever happening in real life. Although the competition action sequences takes itself pretty realistically; there were too many terrible calls from the ref and judges to make any the fights in this film, seem 100% realistic in real fighting accuracy. I give the movie, more like 75% in that. Still, the idea that a MMA sport event is a brutal blood sport where competitors are able to continue to fight with a broken arm is also a highly doubtful probability. I know that it was played up for dramatic effect, but in reality, getting your arm broken would result in an immediate stoppage, no matter how much you want to continue fighting. While, I have to say, the performances in the ring were really great, despite some flaws, I have to say, that the performances out of the ring, were a little better. Most of the best parts in the film, are the interactions between the family members. The movie deals with some weighty mature content that most people might find, a little too uneasily, to watch. The conflicted relationship between fathers and sons, the estrangement of brothers, PTSD, alcoholism, inferiority, abandonment issues and family debts are all melodrama clichés used at its best. Nick Nolte as the boys' father, Paddy, a retired, recovering alcoholic boxer is outstanding. I was really glad, he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, for this role, that year. His recovery and his will to redeem himself, made for a very inspiring side story. Another great part of this film is the soundtrack by Mark Isham. The track 'Listening to the Beethoven', is amazing. Not only that, but the music that came along with it, such as the band, the Natural's song 'About Today" was gripping to hear. Overall: This underdog emotional fighting story was a major hit for me. Tons of manly tears from me. A great inspiring punch, to knock some sense in you, if you're feeling out of the fight. A must-watch.