• R, 2 hr. 8 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Martin Scorsese
    In Theaters:
    Dec 19, 1980 Wide
    On DVD:
    Aug 1, 2000
  • United Artists


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Raging Bull Reviews

Page 2 of 353
Cle S.
April 18, 2014
Though "Rocky" seems to be the best known boxing film this Scorsese/De Niro collaboration easily outshines the Stallone movie. De Niro's extraordinary performance with an enormous weight gain and the beautifully choreographed fight scenes make this the best sports movie ever made! Well, I like "Rocky" too, but in comparison to this black & white masterpiece it comes across quite shallow.
April 4, 2014
4.5 Stars just because of De Niro. An impeccable and absorbing performance by the man whose vicissitudes are reflected not only by his acting but also by his physical transformation. The Supercilious attitude of 'Bronx Bull' couldn't have been better portrayed by anyone else than De Niro.
Felix B.
April 16, 2014
Not merely a showcase of De Niro's transcendental performance as Jake La Motta, but a soaring work of art, one of the greatest films of all-time, that is fantastically constructed in every way - from the screenplay to the lighting.
March 5, 2014
A superbly crafted and extremely well acted classic film. Arguably, this is Scorsese's finest picture.
February 3, 2014
Martin Scorsese crafts a rather ordinary tale about a terrible man.
July 17, 2012
My favorite Scorsese film and one of my probably top 15 films ever made, this movie is about as close to perfect as a movie can get.
October 5, 2013
Elevates movie making into high art on every level.
March 29, 2014
A brutal portrait of a man that wanted it all and ended up with nothing. Incredible film.
September 27, 2012
Martin Scorsese's most touching and autobiographical film is, at it's core a study on masculine insecurity and the violent nature of men with a searing performance from Robert De Niro and some of the most beautiful black and white cinematography my eyes have ever and most likely will ever behold.
March 16, 2014
Martin Scorcese's adaptation of a boxer's autobiography also contains content adapted (or, less generously, plagiarized) from previous films. The elements of the book that Scorcese emphasizes are the same that were at the core of "Rocky," and it is therefore fair to draw comparisons between the two: an Italian-American boxer who fights an African-American boxer and loses, an overshadowed wife figure, and a short, pudgy brother figure who doubles as a manager. What Scorcese's film does not have is any of the heart and sweetness that made "Rocky" enjoyable. Perhaps he hoped to replace the sweetness and light with a more realistic, hardcore sentiment, but he got only as far as the blood and gore and cursing, and forgot to add any meaning. There are no stakes to Jake LaMotta (Robert DeNiro)'s fights, as there were for Rocky's: Jake's life winds up the same regardless of their outcome. It's difficult to find a reason to care whether he wins or loses, unless you're content to root for him because he's the main character. "Rocky" knew that wasn't a good enough reason, and fleshed out its characters and world. If there were no elements of LaMotta's book that could have given some originality and depth to the story, Scorcese should have invented some.

Instead of filling in the story's sizable gaps with original content, Scorcese rips off "The Godfather" in completely needless, bizarrely particular ways. There are grainy pictures at a wedding party where everyone is wearing the exact clothes from the beginning of Coppola's movie, and one character even reaches over to bring a woman in a red dress and wide-brimmed hat into the shot. Why import this familiar scene, stripping it of the layers of meaning it enjoyed in its original context? It adds nothing to "Raging Bull," not even the reflected luster of the superior film being copied. Later, during one of many interminable and repetitive domestic abuse scenes, a man chases his wife into a bathroom through a narrow, mirrored side-door. The door swings mostly shut, but he throws it open again. Some of the angles are the same as in that famous, far more important and meaningful scene from "The Godfather." Why such meticulous thievery? Again, it adds nothing to "Raging Bull," but it does serve to remind me of a movie I'd rather be watching, and it causes me to marvel again at the delicate plotting and characterizations that made it work in its native setting.

Near the end, LaMotta deadpans a scene from "On the Waterfront." The audacity. The conceit. Clearly, we're being asked to marvel at how true the words are of LaMotta's life (well, of course they are, the movie has been written that way, and being based on LaMotta's autobiography is no excuse), but I'm not sure what we're supposed to feel during this scene. Are we supposed to feel sad for this wretched stereotype we've spent over two hours with? Are we supposed to take pleasure in the pathetic turn his life has taken? Never having been given a reason to care about anyone or anything on screen, I feel nothing either way. It's simply a bore to watch. There is one thing to be sad about, and that's that DeNiro's career has become uncomfortably like LaMotta's: he, too, has lately been reduced to lazily reading scripts for cash.

Scorcese fans, and there are many of them who know far more about movies than I do, will say what they will about Sorcese's technical chops as a filmmaker and his fluency in the history and language of cinema. It seems inexplicable to me that so few critics saw the same "Raging Bull" that Pauline Kael saw, about which she wrote, "Scorsese's excesses verge on self-parody. You can feel the director sweating for greatness, but there's nothing under the scenes... De Niro's portrayal of La Motta is a swollen puppet with only bits and pieces of a character inside." That describes the "Raging Bull" I watched. Without a story to put Scorcese's talents in service of, they're wasted. "Raging Bull" is preening and shallow, and every element in it was done better before and since by filmmakers who understand the primacy of narrative.
July 28, 2012
Raging Bull is what I would say, more than a movie. As a matter of fact, it is my favorite movie of all time. Aside from being one of the greatest stories ever told, it succeeds as a film, with excellent acting, cinematography, screenplay, and score.

Raging Bull is by no means a sports movie, it is a life story, semi-based off the book by Jake LaMotta of the same name. I say semi-based because the movie is pretty much a retelling of the real life story.
Matt H.
March 8, 2014
Raging Bull isn't Scorcese's best work, not by far. Considering this was his fifth feature film, it wasn't bad, but for a director like Scorcese we know he can push the limits. But Raging Bull just stayed in the sidelines and never fully got in the ring.
January 22, 2014
A beautiful and engaging tale of the rise and fall of a fascinating character. This is a movie done right.
May 26, 2013
The story of Jake LaMotta (Robert DeNiro), a former middlweight boxing champion, whose reputation for tenacity and success in the ring was offset by his troubled domestic life: full of rage, jealousy, and suspicion--particularly towards his wife and manager/brother--which, in the end, left him destitute, alone, and seeking redemption.

also stars Joe Pesci, Cathy Moriarty, Frank Vincent, Nicholas Colasanto, Theresa Saldana, Frank Adoins, Mario Gallo and Frank Topham.

directed by Martin Scorsese.
February 23, 2014
It's a film that doesn't pull its punches (ho ho ho), but man alive it's a powerful watch. What a performance from De Niro! And the fight scenes are often better than the ones in the Rocky series. Perhaps it's a little overdone because it's Hollywood (it was based on a true story).
February 19, 2014
Amazing performance by Robert DeNiro, and really I think everything that needs to be said about this film is said in the credits sequence.
January 11, 2014
DeNiro opens up the 4th dimension
November 24, 2007
Yes, De Niro's outstanding. And, OK, I should have seen it before so perhaps I'm missing something, perhaps I'm simply

biased by the content and not giving enough credit to the art. But I'm afraid there is this - I simply can't raise myself

above the observation that Raging Bull is about an entirely loathsome, stupid, misogynistic central character who is

nauseatingly prone to self-pity: LaMotta has no redeeming characteristic whatsoever and I can see wankers like this down my

local pubs any weekend night. But even that's not the point. Raging Bull is a brilliant film about a totally trivial

subject and a really boring man. And it's too long. I know it's rated one of the best movies of all time and yes I can see

why. But really it left me feeling not only like I've sort of wasted yet another couple of hours of my life, but slightly
February 7, 2014
An absorbing, compelling, powerful and at times very painful experience but it is a classic.
Page 2 of 353
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