I somehow managed to miss Million Dollar Baby when it was out in theaters, which actually took some skill as I rather like Hilary Swank (or at least I did prior to the award season for M$B) and I remember it got critical buzz right from the beginning.
I also remember getting spoiled for the ‘controversial’ subject matter of the second half of the film. I don’t know if I would have enjoyed it more if that hadn’t happened. I am of the opinion that a piece of work should stand up regardless (for example, The Sixth Sense & LA Confidential are both worth seeing more than once in spite of their twists, but A Beautiful Mind is not.) Million Dollar Baby might be one that suffers. It’s still solid, and Clint Eastwood in particular is wonderful but as directorial outings go, Mystic River is vastly superior.
(I might be spammy. I have a lot of catching up to do since I have had dodgy internet access. I will let you know when it is over.)