Resurrecting the Champ 2007

Critics score:
60 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: The film is easy to take, though it must be said: It's almost 100 percent blather. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: Treacle takes over in the last act, but most of this fact-based story by screenwriters Michael Bortman and Allison Burnett takes the inspirational sports drama into unexpected and morally complex territory. Read more

Joanne Kaufman, Wall Street Journal: The movie itself -- which deals (not very interestingly) with the issue of journalistic integrity and (very predictably) with father-son relationships -- doesn't pack much of a wallop. Read more

Tom Keogh, Seattle Times: There's no rule that says a movie must have a likable character at its center, but it helps if a nonlikable central character is at least interesting. Read more

Tasha Robinson, AV Club: Champ is a solid effort with a lot going for it, but it suggests that Lurie still isn't willing to relax and let viewers interpret his films. Read more

Scott Craven, Arizona Republic: Resurrecting the Champ bobs and weaves enough to avoid the usual sports cliches, but its too-earnest screenplay lays it on thick and pulls what could have been a knockout punch. Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: Resurrecting the Champ is one-sided Hollywood claptrap about honesty and valor, about how the truth, sigh, can set us free -- well, some of us. Read more

Kevin Crust, Los Angeles Times: ...Resurrecting delivers a heckuva story marred by some credibility problems but lands the majority of its punches via subtly powerful performances and a moving undercard of paternal connection. Read more

Tom Charity, Resurrecting the Champ is authentic in its newsroom scenes, and appropriately concerned at how entertainment value trumps diligent reporting. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: ...director Lurie displays discipline and finesse in telling a compelling tale that explores the tensions between fathers and sons, and then some. Lurie and Jackson have also given audiences a rare and striking portrait of homelessness. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: Jackson does some good work, sporting a high gasp of a voice and letting his character surface to reality smoothly, but the movie becomes too much of a morality play as it unwinds. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: Speechy monologues on the responsibilities of journalism, the particular evil of infotainment, and the gooey sanctity of the bond between fathers and sons all but nullify Jackson's zesty performance. Read more

Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press: In Lurie's Resurrecting the Champ, about the only cliche missing is somebody barking 'Get me rewrite!' into a Bakelite pay phone. Read more

Mario Tarradell, Dallas Morning News: Despite generating plenty of turmoil, Resurrecting the Champ fails to be compelling. It does, however, succeed in being implausible. Read more

Gene Seymour, Newsday: When Resurrecting the Champ climbs off its high horse and makes itself comfortable within the contours of daily newsroom life, with its alternating languor and tension, the movie feels authentic and lived-in. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: The whole thing is a mismatch from the start. Read more

Bob Mondello, Read more

Jack Mathews, New York Daily News: What is irony if not a movie whose production notes declare 'A film about truth demands authenticity' and is not authentic? Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: ...authentic isn't the word I'd use for this maudlin male weepie, a compendium of the worst cliches of sports and journalism movies. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: Even if it doesn't bring the nearly dead boxing film back to life, Resurrection offers a revealing peek into reporting and the ways it can go wrong, coming from the best or most crass intentions. Read more

Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer: Though sensitively acted by Jackson, this solemn sermonette from Rod Lurie struggles to get off the ropes and never quite establishes its rhythm. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: Jackson disappears into his role, completely convincing, but then he usually is. What a fine actor. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: Resurrecting the Champ is enjoyable in the moment -- But it's the complexity of Lurie's moral universe that makes it linger in the mind. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: This is at heart a story about fathers and sons and self-discovery, and on that score it's a knockout. Read more

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Read more

Globe and Mail: The relationship between reporter and subject is always a tricky one, but in Resurrecting the Champ it's downright delusional. Read more

Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star: While Resurrecting the Champ seems to be just what you expect, it's only when you've let your guard slip that you realize it's hiding something altogether more forceful in its glove. Read more

Hank Sartin, Time Out: Read more

David Fear, Time Out: Read more

John Anderson, Variety: Read more

Robert Wilonsky, Village Voice: Director Rod Lurie can always find the overwrought in the mundane. Read more

Stephen Hunter, Washington Post: Hardly anything feels real, but what feels even more unreal is Hartnett with a cloying, sentimental, self-pitying performance. The liveliest thing in the film is the great Jackson, slumming again in a role miles beneath him. Read more