I love the holidays when I can spend most of my time at the movie theater!!

I loved this movie. The story itself is based on true events, so it is not a film that relies on plot twists or surprises. It is a pretty typical "triumph over circumstances" sports film. But the performances elevate it, particularly Christian Bale's performance. He is the one to beat for Supporting Actor (though it is a very major role) come Academy Award time.

Bale is mesmerizing as a junkie former boxer trying to recapture his glory days through his brother (Mark Wahlberg). And Wahlberg who can be so horrible ("The Lovely Bones," "The Happening") and yet sometimes pretty good ("Boogie Nights," "The Departed") turns in a darn good performance here. Amy Adams and Melissa Leo both give solid supporting performances that will be Oscar front-runners (with the edge to Leo).

The film wasn't perfect (I could have done without so much of the "sisters") but overall it is one of the best of the year. Bale's performance alone makes it worth the price of admission. I'd give it an "A."