I liked two elements about this film: the DIY ethic, and the old scars carried by the boxers and trainers. Swank, Eastwood, and Freeman play characters that have forcibly developed themselves over time. They fought to be good, and some of them are still fighting to be good. The scars they accumulated over years of hardship bind them, so that they have to fight even harder to be what they want to be.
The things I didn't like: glossing over boxing strategy, and the use of foreshadowing. Granted, this isn't a boxing how-to film, but I still wanted to hear more strategy. That's fine. What's not fine is that I've come to hate foreshadowing, and this film has at least two instances of it. It's like being a cyclops, always aware of when you're going to die; and I don't enjoy it.
The positive elements dwarf the negative. By a mile.