Scott Hardie: “It ruled.”

This is definitely the PG treatment of anger and child abuse; the N-word is about as risqué as it's willing to get. But for an audience seeking a warm, gentle tearjerker, it's very satisfying; probably one of the best crowdpleasers of 2003. Luke, a ringer for the real Fisher, captures the gentlemanly discipline of a naval officer, and model Joy Bryant is engaging as his patient girlfriend. The climactic face-to-face confrontation with Fisher's past is worth the buildup. This film may handle its subject matter with kid gloves, but it's still immensely entertaining.

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