Real Steel (2011)



Critic Consensus: Silly premise notwithstanding, this is a well-made Hollywood movie: Thrilling and exciting action with just enough characterization.

Movie Info

A gritty, white-knuckle, action ride set in the near-future where the sport of boxing has gone high-tech, Real Steel stars Hugh Jackman as Charlie Kenton, a washed-up fighter who lost his chance at a title when 2000-pound, 8-foot-tall steel robots took over the ring. Now nothing but a small-time promoter, Charlie earns just enough money piecing together low-end bots from scrap metal to get from one underground boxing venue to the next. When Charlie hits rock bottom, he reluctantly teams up with … More

Rating: PG-13 (for some violence, intense action and brief language)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By: Shawn Levy, Richard Mathis, Jeremy Leven, Dan Gilroy, John Gatins
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 24, 2012
Box Office: $85.5M
Walt Disney Pictures - Official Site


as Charlie Kenton

as Bailey Tallet

as Aunt Debra

as Marvin

as Tak Mashido

as Farra Lemkova

as Kingpin

as Big Sister

as Little Sister

as Littlest Sister

as Bill Panner

as Large Texan Man

as San Leandro Gentlema...

as San Leandro Gentlema...

as ESPN Boxing Commenta...

as ESPN Boxing Commenta...

as Starblaze Arena Repo...

as Starblaze Arena Repo...

as Virgin America Spect...

as Virgin America Spect...

as WRB Promoter

as Twin Cities Corner T...

as Twin Cities Controll...

as Bing Arena Announcer

as Bing Arena Ref

as Older Gentleman

as Blacktop Controller

as Underground Promoter

as Robot Promoter

as Sergei Lemkova
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Real Steel

All Critics (216) | Top Critics (41)

All this swiping from Stallone, and they couldn't find room for a cameo by Paulie's birthday robot?

Full Review… | May 3, 2015
Philadelphia Weekly

This movie about robot boxing needs more robot boxing.

Full Review… | June 23, 2013

Real Steel envisions a future where boxing has evolved into giant fighting robots. Great special effects and cool fight choreography makes this a must-see.

Full Review… | February 11, 2013
We Got This Covered

Good thing we all love Hugh Jackman so much

Full Review… | January 6, 2013
Tribune News Service

Real Steel offers plenty of fun and engaging moments -- of both the human character drama and giant CGI robot battle variety.

Full Review… | October 2, 2012

"Real Steel" just never gives us a reason to care, and for two hours that can be quite detrimental.

Full Review… | September 19, 2012

Audience Reviews for Real Steel

I was pleasantly surprised with this one. I thought it would be a decent, cute, family film but it was one that actually had a decent plot and a spine. Thinking it would be quite predictable, there were levels to the story that kept me wanting to know the story of the main characters and was really rooting for their success. Reminiscent of a modern take on "Rocky", this one was a lot better than I had predicted.

Jon Lantz

Super Reviewer


Forgettable. Okay for kids.

Wildaly M

Super Reviewer

Although it employs (read wallows) in just about every film cliché EVER, this film, set in the near future has enough cool CGI and an underdog mentality to make it passing entertainment; but oh those clichés! From sappy strings in the Danny Elfman score, swelling whenever something heartfelt is perceived; to the entire Dad gets forced to interact with abandoned son, and how they go through rough patches to eventually bond - this one has it all.

There's the faithful female role - you know, where there's a hint that there once was a relationship in the sack, but god forbid you let the kiddies in on that secret! So now she's just the faithful sidekick, supporting her man for no good reason and sweetly sighing at his latest failed attempt at being a man (or whatever).

There's the obligatory bit of action/drama that takes place in the rain, providing proof that the wethead is NOT dead.

There's the slimy woman villain, who of course has a thick Russian accent (nevermind that if it wasn't for her and her money the whole boxing enterprise that everyone is so enamored with wouldn't exist - just sayin'), plus a serious bit of stereotyping in which all the cool tech stuff and those who use em are Japanese.

And yet.... The film is somehow worth watching - kind of like Rocky IV - you know what's coming and yet want to root for the knuckleheads just the same. Of course there's the acting, especially that of lead knucklehead Hugh Jackman. He's competent in a stumbling, bumbling kind of way, but I couldn't help feeling that the script covered for him - letting him slide away from any serious acting, the same as in all those 80's Arnold films.

Stealing the film is the cherub cheeked Dakota Goyo who plays Jackman's son - a smart ass 11 year old who feels equally comfy spouting lines too wise for his age or giving those big doe eyed looks when he feels vulnerable.

The film also has some horrendously obvious bits of product placement by HP, but heck, ya gotta pay the bills somehow, otherwise how are you going to pay the cinematographer? And speaking of which, the film starts out with a nice bit of cinema, seeing the lights of a county fair through the windshield of Jackman's truck - but then, in the most distasteful bit of filming, the script introduces the whole fight bot concept by having Jackman's worn bot take on a fer real bull - not funny and almost made me want to turn the film off... in spite of the fact that the bot's movements were fun to watch.

And really, this film is really about the action - just like Rocky IV - forget the lame sub plot and, even though the story is a bit predictable, the CGI generated fighting bots are uber cool. For this aspect alone I give the film a marginal passing grade - it ain't Shakespeare, heck, it isn't even original other than the idea of robots prize fighting, but for those cool fighting scenes and some pretty snazzy looking bots, you could do worse.

paul sandberg

Super Reviewer

Real Steel Quotes

– Submitted by April Jan S (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Typhon Q (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Shirley W (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Josanne M (3 years ago)

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