Fighting Tommy Riley

Released 2005


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Movie Summary

Eddie O'Flaherty
Fighting Tommy Riley is a 2005 drama about a promising young boxer who makes one final attempt at a title bout, and the over-the-hill trainer who helps carry him to the top. The script was written by J.P. Davis, a young writer who sold the film with the condition that he would play the title role. Tommy Riley is still a young man, but his boxing career has already hopelessly dwindled. Despite his raw talent he’d been unable to make the 2000 Olympic boxing team because of his intense dislike for his abusive stepfather who used to coach the talented Tommy. Having fallen out of the spotlight, he now works as a part-time sparring partner to stay in shape, but he has little in the way of aspiration. All that changes when he meets Marty, an experienced trainer who is also looking for a way back to the big time. Together, the unlikely pair face adversity to work their way back to the top. Once there, however, the tension between them threatens to knock them both out. Fighting Tommy Riley is a critically acclaimed independent film about friendship, loyalty, and what it takes to be a champion.moreless


Metacritic Score

  • 80

    Los Angeles Times Kevin Thomas

    This small, lovingly crafted film continually surprises with its depth and resonance.

  • 60

    The New York Times Janet Maslin

    Despite its flaws, the film gets across some genuine melancholy, played up by a sobbing Irish fiddle.

  • 60

    Variety Robert Koehler

    The winner by a knockout is Eddie Jones...Without Jones, pic is a standard drama on the sweet science with the usual tropes and a slight tweak on the usual conflicts.

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