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The Hammer Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… almost kind of funny and good. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 60

    out of 100

    The New York Times

    Rambling and disorganized. At the same time, though, The Hammer also has dry wit and unforced working-class swagger, and hits some surprising emotional notes.

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  • 60

    out of 100

    Variety Ronnie Scheib

    This inordinately likable and consistently funny boxing saga-cum-romantic comedy doesn't so much ridicule the "Rocky"-type inspirational sports fable as gently deflate its heroic overdrive.

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  • 60

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    The film hardly could be credited with breaking any new ground, but it has a hangdog charm, much like its leading actor.

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  • 60

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    So many movies these days are overworked or overblown: The Hammer feels genuinely tossed-off. It isn't a great movie, or even a consistently good one. Yet it gets to elusive feelings about failure and success, hope and mortality (and reveals a quietly subversive attitude toward the boxing-movie genre).

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  • 70

    out of 100

    Los Angeles Times Gene Seymour

    What you have here, essentially, is a classic "Honeymooners" episode juiced with tropes from the most recent "Rocky" movie.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 15+

A boxing comedy with a potty mouth and warm heart.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that, like Billy Elliot, this is a film full of strong language that their kids have probably already heard elsewhere -- and a positive message that they should hear, too. Most of the movie's violence is in the context of boxing, which is depicted without glamour or gore as an athletic competition with rules and regulations. There's some drinking and kissing, but really the main content issue here is the language. That said, while the language is rude and pervasive (expect everything from "f--k" to "gay" and more), the film's characters and message -- work hard for your dreams -- are surprisingly positive.

  • Families can talk about the nature of boxing movies. What do they often have in common? How is this one different? Does the fact that it's a comedy instead of a drama change the messages it sends? If so, how? Families can also discuss the kind of hard work and sacrifice that following your dreams can truly require.

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: A clearly racist bully refers to Nicaraguan characters as "beaners" and "wetbacks." A discussion of "going Dutch" for a date leads to a riff about how the Dutch "must be cheap bastards if that what's they're known for." Brief contextual discussions of the difference between Caucasian and African-American athletes. Carolla's character's work to make it to the Olympic boxing trials is shown in detail, and the effort required to fulfill that dream (impractical as it may be) is evident throughout.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Many boxing matches, including knockouts; some blood and bleeding. Outside of the ring, an angry man takes swings at a dodging Carolla, and one punch is delivered to a deserving bully's jaw. The delineation between the athletic pursuit of boxing and fighting outside the ring is clear.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Discussion of the idea that boxers should abstain from sex during training; some joking references to sexual potency (here called "chi"). Some kissing as part of a romantic relationship. The affection and care between Carolla and Juergensen's characters is a real part of their relationship.

  • language false5

    Language: Pervasive, including several "f---"s and one "motherf---er" also "goddamn," "bitch," "gay" (as a descriptive, but not a pejorative), "balls," "crappy," "piece of s--t," "dips--t," "p---y," "a--hole," "whore," and many others.

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Some logos visible, including Mikita power tools, Tecate beer, and Orchard Home Supply, as well as Everlast and other athletic equipment suppliers.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Some discussion of "crack whores" and "methheads" Carolla's character drinks to excess one time, with clear and vulgar ramifications (hangover-induced vomiting).