Back to The Best Movies of 2011
You didn't see 'Warrior,' which is a shame since it was one of 2011's most emotionally satisfying bits of adult drama. The story of two estranged brothers (Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy) who meet inside the octagon-shaped ring of an ultimate fighting championship -- a log line which certainly provides ample opportunity for schmaltz -- 'Warrior' plays things with a close-to-the-vest honesty that few 2011 releases even attempted. Edgerton and Hardy are outstanding as two sides of the same coin, while Nick Nolte, as their alcoholic and formerly abusive father, steals his scenes with the gusto of a guy gunning for an Oscar nomination. In a just world, Nolte, Hardy and writer/director Gavin O'Connor would get some Academy recognition for 'Warrior'; unfortunately, as 'Warrior' proves in both content and reception, this isn't always a just world. -- C.R.