Girlfight
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Karyn Kusama makes her debut with this sensitive, subtly told coming-of-age story about boxing and love. Diana (Michelle Rodriguez) is a tough though painfully honest girl living in Brooklyn. Surly, frustrated, and directionless, Diana seems to have a ticket on the express train to expulsion; she repeatedly finds herself in detention and schoolyard fights. At home, her weak though abusive single father Sandro (Paul Calderon) clearly favorites her bookish brother Tiny (Ray Santiago) over her. While running an errand for her father, Diana finds herself in one of New York's more renowned… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It gives its fine actors room to breathe and behave -- and in Michelle Rodriguez's case, glow."
‑ Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine
"Kusama's direction is imaginative, her attention to detail makes for credibility and clarity with regard to the dilemmas faced by her determined young heroine, and Rodriguez is quite astonishing in the lead role."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"A bit of a lightweight."
‑ James Mottram, Film4
"It's sensitive, it avoids sentimentalism, and it wins our cheers by giving us believable characters that we care about."
‑ Jeffrey Overstreet, Looking Closer
"Like a smart boxer, Girlfight knows when to be light on its feet and when to hit hard."
‑ Jeffrey Westhoff, Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
"For once, the advance buzz has been amply justified, thanks to an extraordinarily charismatic film debut by a non-professional named Michelle Rodriguez."
‑ Andrew Sarris, New York Observer
"It's obvious Kusama knew what she wanted and was in control, because all the key roles and scenes are played with a uniform tone and conviction."
‑ Louis B. Parks, Houston Chronicle
"While parts were new and interesting, I can't make it a recommended view."
‑ Jason Gorber, Film Scouts
"A moving performance by newcomer Michelle Rodriguez showcases this moody Sundance showstopper about a Brooklyn teen who battles an age-old gender barrier."
‑ Jeanne Aufmuth, Palo Alto Weekly
"A low-key, naturalistic coming-of-age drama."
‑ Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
"For all the violence on view, Kusama's script insists on a real, wholly unsentimental tenderness."
‑ Matt Wolf, Associated Press
"While it wonderfully confounds our narrative expectations as a coming-of-age story and a romantic drama, it works on another level as a great sporting experience."
‑ Peter Howell, Toronto Star
"It's a refreshingly straightforward and honest attempt, flying in the face of the rest of the product out there, which is either manipulating and dumb or tricky and arty."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"The strength of this Romeo and gym-rat story is Rodriguez's performance. She is a vivid powder keg of repressed and resurrected dreams and desires."
‑ Mark Halverson, Sacramento News & Review
"First-time writer-director Karyn Kusama makes it seem believable (the big question is, how come someone with this much talent isn't getting more opportunities in Hollywood?)."
‑ Robert Roten, Laramie Movie Scope
More reviews for Girlfight on Rotten Tomatoes

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