by Glenn Lovell
Sibling rivalry is taken to punishing new extremes in “Warrior,” starring Tom Hardy and Joe Edgerton as Pennsylvania brothers who ultimately work out their differences in a mixed martial arts tournament, i.e. gloveless boxing combined with wrestling and kickboxing.
Nick Nolte, however, sustains the worst beating in a brilliant supporting turn, his best in years, as the Irish-American father whose heavy drinking and perpetual bullying have left his sons estranged not only from him but from each other. Nolte never climbs into the ring, but that doesn’t matter: He’s left dejected and pummeled from recriminations. Such is the power of a jab to the heart.
WARRIOR ✮✮✮ With Tom Hardy, Joe Edgerton, Nick Nolte, Jennifer Morrison, Frank Grillo. Directed by Gavin O’Connor; scripted by O’Connor, Anthony Tambakis, Cliff Dorfman. 140 min. PG-13 (for profanity, brutal ring action)