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Over the last decade, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) has grown from a controversial no-holds-barred gladiatorial sideshow into a billion dollar phenomenon eclipsing boxing as the dominant combat sport in the world. But far from Las Vegas, in sweat-soaked gyms and low-rent arenas across America, the big lights are but a dream. Here, men fight to test their mettle, fortified with the mythic promise that an ordinary man can transform into a champion. Fightville is about the art and sport of fighting: a microcosm of life, a physical manifestation of that other brutal contest called the American Dream,… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 59%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"'Fightville," you had me at "gladiator school.""
‑ Kyle Smith, New York Post
""Fightville" feels authentic about this world, where success may be measured in wins, but the balance of unrelenting brutality and self-discipline needed for those wins is a trickier equation."
‑ Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times
"An exhilarating sports documentary and a levelheaded, piercingly intelligent treatment of a touchy subject."
‑ Eugene Novikov, Cinematical
"...not an investigative documentary but a celebration of a subculture which is aided by an excellent technical package..."
‑ Sarah Boslaugh, Playback:stl
"It's not for the squeamish -- the cage matches get pretty messy -- but just about everyone else should find something to appreciate."
‑ Norman Wilner, NOW Toronto
"An up-close but superficial portrait of aspiring MMA stars as they fight their way through the Cajun Country regional circuit."
‑ Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter
"The filmmakers take a mostly effective Hoop Dreams approach in showing how young hopefuls test the limits of their abilities and their economic situation."
‑ Scott Tobias, AV Club
"The bumpy road to success as a mixed martial arts fighter is ambiguously investigated in this amateurish documentary by the directing/editing team of Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"Aside from illustrating the rigors of training, Fightville doesn't offer much else, other than a look at the small-time quality of this circuit."
‑ Marshall Fine, Hollywood & Fine
"Fightville looks at cage fighting as a means to identity and an unending sales pitch, and also at the products sold, that is, vulnerable young men. Certainly, they don't see themselves as such."
‑ Cynthia Fuchs, PopMatters
"Ms. Epperlein and Mr. Tucker have talent and resolve - they spent months shooting "Fightville," a commitment that's scarcely evident - which makes the movie's superficiality all the more frustrating."
‑ Manohla Dargis, New York Times
"It doesn't seem to display much of a point of view at all."
‑ David Fear, Time Out New York
"A shrewdly observed MMA doc [that's] the equivalent of an unexpectedly delightful conversation with a potluck-seated dinner companion with whom you thought you might have nothing in common."
‑ Brent Simon,
"Fightville's most worthwhile material tends to lie in the space between what its subjects say and what we know to be true."
‑ Michael Nordine, Slant Magazine
More reviews for Fightville on Rotten Tomatoes