A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie has underlying messages about self-reliance, honor, and character -- but since the film takes place in the world of illegal street-fighting, there's a disconnect between the characters' purpose and the sometimes-brutal action. New York's neighborhoods are depicted using broad ethnic stereotypes -- Brooklyn is full of Russian Jews, Chinatown full of caricatured Asian gangsters, the Bronx teeming with cliched Latinos, etc.
Violence & Scariness
Non-stop bare-knuckle brawling -- including grappling, punching, wrestling moves, kicks, punches, and more. Characters are shown bloodied and beaten after fights. Some gunplay; a supporting character is shot in the ear. The infamous "sleeper hold" is used repeatedly.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some kissing and cleavage; some suggestive talk about transvestites. Kissing leads to what must be sex; the deed isn't shown, but it's implied via a cut to characters cuddling and getting dressed.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Language includes "ass," "s--t," "dick," "nuts," "bitch," "oh my God," and "a--hole." References are made to "white boys," and the "N" word is used once.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Brands mentioned or featured on screen include Mercedes, Everlast, and International House of Pancakes.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink hard liquor and beer and smoke cigars and cigarettes. Characters go to bars. "Crackhead" is used as an insult.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this mediocre action drama about illegal street fighting is (suprise!) quite violent, with lots of brawling and some blood. There's a simmering romantic-sexual subplot, too, but the movie spends a lot more time on characters punching each other than on kissing. Although the movie has an underlying "follow your dream and never quit" message, it's hard to reconcile that with the illegal, brutal world it takes place in. Expect some broad ethnic stereotypes, strong language (including "s--t"), drinking, and smoking. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Opening with a '70s-styled montage, Fighting hints that it might be more than just another fights-and-fury action film. Howard's work as wheedling, cajoling Harvey also adds to the retro feel. Unfortunately, an ace soundtrack and sterling character acting aren't enough to make Fighting much more than a series of poorly shot fight sequences strung together with cliches.
The script is as underdeveloped as Tatum's muscles are well-developed; viewers don't get much insight into what motivates Shawn to take and dispense brutal beatings, and we don't really glimpse why he feels like this is the only way he can make money -- or even what he needs to make money for. Fighting is actually structured uncannily like a video game -- down to the series of increasingly difficult fights against tougher and tougher opponents and the finale against the most difficult opponent, who shares a past connection with Shawn. Director Dito Montiel tries to fill the film with scrappy, funky flavor, but Fighting's so comfortable in its mediocrity that it actually bores you with its barrage of blows.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.