Fighters have a lot to overcome. In a family with seven sisters, a crack-addict half-brother, and a girlfriend pressuring him to look out for himself, “Irish” Micky Ward has a lot to deal with. Then he has to step into the ring and fight. Mark Wahlberg plays Ward, a hard-hitting boxer who grew up in Lowell, Massachusetts. Ward lives in the shadows of his crack-addict half-brother Dickie Eklund, but he still maintains a close relationship with him. Christian Bale portrays Eklund, an arrogant has-been who’s biggest thrill was knocking down Sugar Ray Leonard. Stepping away from the ring, Eklund becomes Ward’s trainer, more concerned about getting paid rather than picking fights that will help Ward win a title. Golden-Globe winner Melissa Leo plays the role or Ward’s manager and mother, Alice, a strong-willed woman who sets up her son’s fights. Unfortunately for Ward, she’s more on the side of Eklund, concerned with getting paid rather than choosing the right match-up for her son to win. But Ward is very loyal to her when he decides to fight an opponent that has 20 pounds on him, even though he knows he shouldn’t. If he doesn’t fight, nobody gets paid. “That guy did not just get off the… couch,” Ward says. “If he did, I’m gonna get a couch like that.” Ward’s career starts to spiral down until he meets Charlene Fleming (Amy Adams), a sexy bartender who pushes him to start looking out for himself. “I’m sick of being a… disappointment,” Ward says. This means a new manager and trainer, something Ward is hesitant about doing until his brother is arrested and thrown in prison. With the change, Ward’s luck starts to take a turn for the better. He starts winning and puts himself in the position for a title shot. While Ward is boxing, Eklund is recovering in prison after seeing his son crying on television when Eklund was sentenced. As he does his time, Eklund gets clean from the cocaine that ruined his life. When he is released, Ward has to make a decision, whether to allow his brother back into the corner, or leave him out. This decision is made tougher with pressure from Charlene to refuse letting Eklund back, and from Alice who lets Ward know that he never would have made it this far without his brother. “I’m the one fighting,” Ward says. “Not you, not you and not you.” “The Fighter” isn’t so much a boxing movie as it is a movie about family. Ward has a genuine connection with his family that shows that he cares more about them then he does himself. He wants to help them and he wants their help too. He wants to do what is right, but is torn between finally doing something good for himself, and feeling like he’s abandoning his family. “The Fighter’s” superior cast and storyline make it one of the top films of 2010. It shows the meaning of family, friends, and making tough choices to try and help more than one person at the same time. The plot is easy to follow and the action is hard-hitting, but “The Fighter” will leave you with more than one boxer knocking out the other.