Sports movies mostly have a similar feel to them. They are usually underdog stories and end in a predictable manner. "Cinderella Man" does not buck this trend, but it adds layers to the oft-used plot that makes it memorable and likable. Ron Howard can be a hit or miss director, but for the most part, I seem to enjoy his work. He does a great job of getting the necessary emotions from the actors and setting the tone and pace for the film. He is given a lot of help from a very strong cast too. Russell Crowe does great as real-life boxer, James J. Braddock. The story takes place in the late 1920s and 1930s. the film starts by showing Braddock winning a fight before the Great Depression and it shows his high-end life. He is living a great life, but just as the Depression affected so many people, he also was affected in a big way. He loses all of his money and has to work difficult-to-come-by dock jobs that pay pennies for strenuous manual labor. He is oftentimes injured and loses his boxing license. Fortunately he is given a second chance and a decent paycheck to fight again. He shows he still has talent, and proceeds to get another fight. He is then the only boxer who is not afraid to take on the best boxer at the time, Max Baer. Baer has killed people in the ring and threatens to do the same to Braddock. A training proceeds and we see the fight. The story is familiar, but making this movie a time-piece (it is a true story afterall) makes it feel unique. The personal struggles that Braddock and his family go through are both relatable and saddening. He promises his son that he will never send him away, but things get so dire that they have no choice but to ship their kids off for some time. It is heart-wrenching. Renee Zellweger stars opposite of Crowe and does a fantastic job as a mother trying to support her husband and family. This movie is a good movie. It is very predictable and has a plethora of sports movie tropes, but it has a lot of heart and is a very engaging movie. Overall, I give this movie an 8.5/10.