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[National Review Online, June 3, 2005]
He's the Bulldog of Bergen, the Pride of New Jersey, the Hope of the Irish: James J. Braddock, has-been, might-have-been, and struggling breadwinner. As Russell Crowe portrays this real-life figure from the Depression era, he lopes down the sidewalk with his eyebrows tented in mild surprise and his mouth hanging slightly ajar. This Cinderella still has dust behind his ears.
Braddock is no ball of fire. He not motivated by a passion for boxing, like Maggie in last fall's hit, "Million Dollar Baby." He doesn't even have the horsy competitiveness of Seabiscuit, subject of Hollywood's last inspirational-underdog-of-the-Depression venture.