Beyond the Mat Reviews

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Eric D. Snider
EricDSnider.com
January 1, 2000
Fans of Roberts or Funk may be interested to see what these men are like when not performing, but others may find it simply boring. Their stories are not especially compelling in the human-interest department; they're for fans only.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Elvis Mitchell
New York Times
January 1, 2000
Beyond the Mat wants to blend thrills and pathos, getting at the many sides of what is, as Mr. Blau stein describes it, a carny act. The problem is that he doesn't articulate any of his own thoughts beyond a few slight asides.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
January 1, 2000
Blaustein suggests wrestling's appeal -- as a kind of primal spectacle closer to parades and pageants than any accepted form of sport -- without wondering at all why he finds it compelling.
Top Critic
Tom Maurstad
Dallas Morning News
January 1, 2000
So tired and dated.
Fiona Morrow
Sight and Sound
December 3, 2002
Unfortunately Blaustein isn't an experienced enough film-maker to make much of such material.
Frank Swietek
One Guy's Opinion
January 1, 2000
Soft, repetitive to a fault, and narrated by its maker in tones of wistful awe that seem totally inappropriate to its subject.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Cheryl DeWolfe
Apollo Guide
January 1, 2000
I guarantee you will never watch Smackdown without thinking about what is going on beyond the mat.
Full Review | Original Score: 70/100
Jon Popick
Planet Sick-Boy
January 1, 2000
A biased story of a billion-dollar industry that must have tons of skeletons in its closet. But it didn't even open the closet door.
| Original Score: 3/10
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
January 1, 2000
The wrestlers are cannier than Blaustein probably gives them credit for; they seem to be offering up their backstage lives to him in ways that mimic the soppiest of melodramas, and he falls for it.
Edvins Beitiks
San Francisco Examiner
January 1, 2000
It's too close-up.
Gemma Tarlach
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
January 1, 2000
The film is sometimes riveting -- and sometimes hard to watch.
Top Critic
Ken Hoffman
Houston Chronicle
January 1, 2000
Beyond the Mat takes all the fun out of the insanity that is wrestling.
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
August 28, 2002
...an easygoing, straightforward film without too many surprises
| Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 1, 2000
It has a hypnotic quality.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Nell Minow
Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
January 1, 2000
This is the best documentary since Hoop Dreams
| Original Score: 4/5
Nell Minow
Common Sense Media
October 14, 2010
WWF documentary is OK for older teens.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
May 26, 2006
A very good film that both wrestling fans and non-wrestling fans will enjoy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Joe Baltake
Sacramento Bee
January 1, 2000
Sometimes, you find material for a good movie in the most unlikely place.
Christopher Null
Filmcritic.com
January 1, 2000
It's hard to explain why a movie about wrestlers is so compelling, but it's probably the same thing that makes the WWF itself so popular.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Susan Granger
rec.arts.movies.reviews
January 1, 2000
It may be more than you ever wanted to know about the subject of professional wrestling.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
Sam Adams
Philadelphia City Paper
January 1, 2000

Boston Phoenix
March 24, 2002

Sight and Sound
June 18, 2012
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