Now Showing NZ’s Mini Movie Review – Netflix’s Bruised (2020)

IMDb Summary - A disgraced MMA fighter finds redemption in the cage and the courage to face her demons when the son she had given up as an infant unexpectedly reenters her life.
JulieGDecember 6, 202160/1005 min
Year of Release
Drama, Sport
2 hr 9 mins
Overall Score
Rating Summary

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Halle Berry portrays a washed-out ex-MMA fighter named Jackie Justice, who was once at the top of her game. The film begins in the past with a flashback of Jackie Justice losing to her opponent several years before. From this, we understand two things: Jackie Justice was entirely out of her league with that opponent. The second is that Jackie’s loss pushed her out of the MMA ring and into the life of a woman without any direction in her life. Jackie is lost. That is until she is reunited with her estranged son. Suddenly, Jackie finds herself responsible for a son she doesn’t know because her ex-husband has passed.

The setup here is kind of obvious (perhaps even a touch cliche?). Jackie isn’t a fighter anymore. She’s a heavy smoking alcoholic who isn’t doing anything good with her life. Her son is supposed to be her way back to the person she was and back to being a mother again. Okay – that’s a little less exciting than it should be. But the remaining film focuses on Jackie’s “second chance” at everything. Will she screw it up, or will she come through?


There’s a ridiculous love scene about three-quarters of the way through the film that’s just unnecessary. Did we need to see Halle Berry getting it on with another woman for the story to progress? Nope. For the most part, Halle Berry’s Jackie Justice seems like an unlikely heroine, which doesn’t change. But getting in contact with her son again definitely changes Jackie for the better.

The other interesting thing about Bruised is Halle Berry’s directorial debut. And yes, so many actors are becoming directors now that it’s commonplace. It used to be something special, but now it’s just ordinary. Whether Halle Berry did any good with Bruised is anyone’s guess. We know she can act, and she has an Oscar to prove it. But we’re going to have to see a lot more of Halle’s work behind the camera before we’ll be comfortable critiquing it.

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Freelance entertainment writer and reviewer. Visit my blog on

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