After last year’s Mystic River, Clint Eastwood is back on our top ten list. Eastwood and Morgan Freeman play gruff old trainers who own a dirty gym in California. A female boxer (Hillary Swank) shows up insisting on being trained by Eastwood, who has no interest in seeing another student get hurt by the sport.
Great cinematography shows the dirty silhouettes and shadows of their world. And Eastwood and Freeman make such a great pair of lifelong friends, they could make a movie of themselves sipping coffee for two hours and it would be entertaining.
Eastwood takes a long time to fully introduce all the characters, letting our first impressions be a little bit wrong. In the process, Eastwood shows how lazy we audiences have become watching mainstream movies that give us caricatures and archetypes that you really can peg in their first scene.
Million Dollar Baby is an unassuming film. It’s not glitzy or glamorous. It’s not an obviously great film. It’s just so solidly written, acted, photographed, and edited that it earns its spot on the list.