Willie is one of Los Angeles’s many homeless people. One day, a group of rich teens come around offering to pay Willie and his contemporaries to fight each other. Caught up in this violent, underground sport, Willie has only the burnt diary of a little girl to keep him company and provide him with the willingness to push through life.

CARDBOARD BOXER has a runtime of approximately 89 minutes and is not rated.


What We Thought: 

Cardboard Boxer isn’t quite the movie I was expecting. It’s more emotional than I thought it would be.

I figured there would be some emotional ploy because it is about a homeless man, but I expected it to be more about him fighting than what it is. I thought the whole movie would be about him fighting and the outcome of those fights. But he finds a burned diary and learns to read cursive. It’s more about him relating to the girl who wrote the diary than it is about getting paid to fight other homeless men.

He does become the “Cardboard Boxer” eventually when some kids in an SUV see a mentally challenged homeless man acting aggressive and get the idea to pay homeless men to fight each other while they video it. Or they saw Bum Fights and just wanted to copy the idea.

I will say that Thomas Haden Church is quite good as Willie. He can be a good actor and he shows it here. Terrence Howard is given second credit and is on the Blu-ray box, but he’s barely in it. He’s in some scenes and helps the homeless and has a scene towards the end when he finds out about the fighting, but he’s not in it much.

The Blu-ray looks like your standard HD movie of today. Coloring and picture are sharp and clean. Audio has easy to hear dialogue and score.

Cardboard Boxer has a good performance from Thomas Haden Church, but I don’t think it’s something I’d watch again. Once you watch it, it’s not a story you feel like you need to see again. It’s worth seeing once though because of the story and performances.

Cast & Crew:

  • Thomas Haden Church
  • Terrence Howard

Recommended If You Like

  • The Soloist 
  • Thomas Haden Church

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