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|Directed by||Gavin O'Connor|
|Produced by||Gavin O'Connor
|Screenplay by||Gavin O'Connor
|Story by||Gavin O'Connor
|Music by||Mark Isham|
|Editing by||Sean Albertson
|Studio||Mimran Schur Pictures
|Running time||140 minutes|
Warrior is a 2011 American sports drama film directed by Gavin O'Connor and starring Joel Edgerton, Tom Hardy, and Nick Nolte. Warrior tells the story of two estranged brothers entering a mixed martial arts (MMA) tournament and deals with the brothers' struggling relationship with each other and with their father. The film was released on September 9, 2011, to overall positive reviews, and earned an Academy Award nomination for Nolte. Warrior is dedicated to the memory of MMA clothing brand Tapout co-founder Charles "Mask" Lewis, Jr., as seen just before the ending credits.
PlotU.S. Marine Tommy Riordan (Tom Hardy) visiting his father, Paddy Conlon (Nick Nolte), a recovering alcoholic who has become a born-again Christian. Tommy becomes angry about his father's formerly abusive behavior and Paddy fails to convince him that he has truly changed. The next day, Tommy enters a gym where he beats a professional fighter named Pete "Mad Dog" Grimes (Erik Apple) unconscious in less than 30 seconds, in a fight which is filmed via a cell phone's video camera and later uploaded to the Internet, where it goes viral. Tommy learns about a winner-takes-all mixed martial arts tournament called Sparta in which the winner will receive $5,000,000. In order to provide for the family of his fallen friend in the Marine Corps, Tommy asks his father to help him train for the tournament, but only under the condition that Paddy does not try to reconcile their relationship.
Meanwhile, Paddy's older son, Brendan Conlon (Joel Edgerton), a high school physics teacher and former UFC fighter, is struggling to financially provide for his wife Tess (Jennifer Morrison) and two daughters and faces the possibility of his home getting foreclosed due to mortgage re-financing to pay for his younger daughter's open heart surgery. To increase his income, Brendan risks returning to his former profession as a mixed martial arts fighter battling amateur fighters for money. Rumors of Brendan fighting in the ring begin spreading amongst his students. The school's superintendent, objecting to his participation in such dangerous activities, suspends him without pay. Left with no other option, Brendan seeks the training of old friend Frank Campana (Frank Grillo) and begins competing in smaller venue fights. After the fighter Frank planned to enter into the Sparta tournament is injured during training, Brendan convinces Frank to enter him as a replacement.
After arriving at the tournament, Brendan discovers that Tommy has also entered. Tommy is still bitter at Brendan for staying behind with Tess when Tommy and their mother left the drunken and abusive Paddy; Tommy was left to care for their mother when she became terminally ill. Brendan claims that he has forgiven his father for the wrong he has done, but Tommy is unconvinced.
Meanwhile, the video of Tommy beating "Mad Dog" attracts the attention of a Marine in Iraq whose life was saved by Tommy months prior. The information and video of Tommy saving the Marine is shared with the press and Tommy becomes a national hero, gaining a massive fan base and appreciation from not only viewers, but from the U.S. Marine Corps as well. However, Tommy's records surface from the Corps and reveal that he deserted the military after his entire unit was killed in a friendly fire bombing. Tommy had been using his mother's maiden name as his own surname in order to evade arrest for his desertion. The military police will take him into custody after the tournament is over.
Over two nights, Brendan and Tommy have contrasting fortunes: Tommy quickly and brutally knocks out his three opponents, while Brendan has a much tougher time, outmatched physically but utilizing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to force submissions. In the semi-final match, Brendan narrowly wins by submission over the heavily-favored Russian fighter Koba (Kurt Angle). The night before the final day, Paddy attempts to talk to Tommy about his actions in Iraq only to be berated and dismissed, which the following morning has caused a distraught Paddy to start drinking again. Seeing his terrible pain, Tommy calms and comforts him. In the end the brothers are the last fighters remaining in the tournament, and despite Brendan's desire to reconcile, they unleash all the anger they have towards one another. The fight between the brothers shows Tommy having the upper hand initially, but Brendan manages to dislocate Tommy's shoulder. Tommy refuses to tap, and finally Brendan traps him in a rear naked choke. While they both lie struggling on the mat, Brendan tearfully apologizes to Tommy and tells him that he loves him. After some hesitation, Tommy taps out. The two reconciled brothers exit the ring as their father smiles.