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Movie Review


MPAA Rating: R for language

Reviewed by: Hillari Hunter

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1 hr. 50 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
Michelle Rodriguez in “Girlfight”
Featuring: Michelle Rodriguez, Jaime Tirelli, Paul Calderon, Santiago Douglas, Ray Santiago, Elisa Bocanegra, Shannon Walker Williams, Iris Little Thomas, John Sayles
Director: _____
Producer: _____
Distributor: _____

Diana is an aimless Latina tomboy who appears to be mad at the world. She lives in a household where her widowed father worries more about her brother’s future than hers. She has gotten into several fist fights at school and is in danger of expulsion. One day she takes money to the gym where her brother Tiny takes boxing lessons to pay his trainer. She likes the atmosphere and decides that she wants to train as well. Hector, Tiny’s trainer, doesn’t want to train her because she’s a female, but Diana is not one to give up so easily.

Santiago Douglas in “Girlfight” Good sports films aren’t just about the sport they highlight, and “Girlfight” is no exception. Once Diana starts training, she has a purpose. Boxing gives her self-respect, and it channels her anger into something positive. Tiny eventually gives up boxing, letting his sister take his lessons instead. Another boxer in the gym named Adrian (Santiago Douglas, in an obvious nod to the “Rocky” films) notices her newfound confidence and is attracted to Diana. However, their relationship is put to the test due to their career goals.

There are fights that are the staple of every film about boxing, including the big match that the main character’s future depends on. Some audience members might have a problem seeing a woman fighting, and Diana (Michelle Rodriguez) does get hurt a few times. Diana also steals from her father in the beginning to pay for her boxing lessons, and is disrespectful towards him (although the reason why is eventually revealed). There is a scene where Diana and Adrian sleep in his bed, but no sexual activity takes place. The R rating is mostly for language. This film does have a lot of heart, and the lead actress, a newcomer, is very believable in her role.

Viewer Comments
Girlfight is the kind of movie you hope for each time you enter the theater. It takes the viewer through highs and lows, and comes to a satisfying end. The language is understandable considering it takes place in the Bronx. The sexual tensions are also understandable considering you are dealing with young adults. But that should not prevent anyone over the age of 15 from seeing this movie. In the end, it is a triumphant portrayal of a young woman who uses her fists to find peace. An odd sentiment, but it works. My Ratings: [Average / 4½]
—Carol, age 24