Critic Reviews



Based on 36 critic reviews provided by
It succeeds in many of the ways a sports movie should, and, by employing a slightly different viewpoint for most of the production, manages a sense of freshness.
Chicago Reader
I'm far from being a fan of the sport, but the boxing sequences held me and the overall atmosphere appears reasonably authentic.
Think of Against the Ropes as a "Rocky" story -- if, that is, the vintage is somewhere between "Rocky IV" and "V," and the action centered around the Burgess Meredith character as played by Meg Ryan wearing "Barbarella" outfits.
Ryan and the rest of the cast are forced to slug it out with the kind of trite dialogue that seems to have been lifted straight off of those corporate inspirational posters.
The A.V. Club
Right up to the ludicrous finale and an even more improbable denouement, everything rings Hollywood-false. More galling still, the filmmakers' inventions take the zing out of the facts.
TV Guide Magazine
Even by the standards of pop-moral parables passing for entertainment, this is bland stuff.
Chicago Tribune
It's a real shame that most new boxing movies try to copy the crowd-pleasing, sentiment-choked tactics of "Rocky" rather than the stark drama of "Raging Bull" or the realistic grit of "On the Waterfront" and "The Harder They Fall." Against the Ropes is only the latest sorry example. The sad thing is that, with this real-life story and subject, it could have been a contender.
Entertainment Weekly
For all I know, Ryan's performance could be a dead-on Kallen impression. But what she appears to be doing is an impression of Johnny Depp doing an impression of Keith Richards doing an impression of Liz Taylor.
Dallas Observer
Ryan never quite convinces us she's seen the inside of a fight gym, much less that she's worthy to be Rocky in a miniskirt. On the other hand, her director here was not Campion but actor Charles S. Dutton, whose behind-the-camera skills, developed via cable TV, tend toward the cartoonish.
Like the recent "Mona Lisa Smile," this tale could have been an effective feminist fable if it weren't so calculated.

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