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Real Steel (2011)



Average Rating: 5.9/10
Reviews Counted: 210
Fresh: 126 | Rotten: 84

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


Average Rating: 6/10
Critic Reviews: 39
Fresh: 21 | Rotten: 18

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



liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 208,060

My Rating

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

Jan 24, 2012


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All Critics (215) | Top Critics (39) | Fresh (126) | Rotten (84) | DVD (10)

Its remote-controlled emotional responses leave little room for genuine uplift.

October 17, 2011 Full Review Source: New Yorker | Comments (17)
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Satisfyingly sturdy and no-nonsense, a multiplex monster smartly constructed from tried-and-trusted parts.

October 11, 2011 Full Review Source: Time Out | Comment (1)
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Thanks to an admittedly corny script, some amazing fight scenes, and a terrific cast, "Real Steel's" actually a winner by split decision.

October 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Richard | Comments (8)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Surely a story as elementary and essentially derivative as this one could be told in less than 127 minutes.

October 7, 2011 Full Review Source: | Comments (6)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

They should call this overloud, underwhelming movie Real Steal.

October 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Comments (23)
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Aas the plot proceeds from boy-meets-dad verbal sparring to an uneasy peace to the underdog-vs.- champion title bout, it becomes increasingly easy to forgive its many nicks.

October 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Denver Post | Comments (3)
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This movie about robot boxing needs more robot boxing.

June 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Deadspin

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.

February 11, 2013 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

Good thing we all love Hugh Jackman so much

January 6, 2013 Full Review Source: McClatchy-Tribune News Service
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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

October 2, 2012 Full Review Source: ScreenRant

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

September 19, 2012 Full Review Source:

...the film benefits substantially from the inclusion of several unexpectedly engrossing robot-on-robot fight sequences...

June 2, 2012 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Wow, they actually made Rock Em Sock Em Robots - The Movie! Even more surprising is how amazing this movie is. Filled to the brim with heart, soul, grit, and fun. One of the best movies of 2011.

April 22, 2012 Full Review Source: Eclipse Magazine
Eclipse Magazine

The visual effects are a slick combination of real robots and CGI, and -- especially on the new Blu-Ray release -- the result is gloriously seamless.

February 3, 2012 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

By no means is Real Steel an original film, at least in terms of its base story, but that doesn't mean it's not an effective, tear-jerking kids movie.

January 29, 2012 Full Review Source: IGN DVD | Comment (1)

Clash time between the machines is nigh overwhelming in this never-before-seen context, and that's the payoff here.

January 16, 2012 Full Review Source: Cinema Signals
Cinema Signals

"Real Steel" has all the brainless fun of Rock'em Sock'em Robots and the heart and rousing fight sequences of "Rocky."

January 11, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis | Comment (1)
Movie Metropolis

Never in a million years did I think that I would enjoy a boxing robot movie from the director of Night at the Museum.

January 4, 2012 Full Review Source: Ebert Presents At The Movies

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December 26, 2011 Full Review Source: Movies for the Masses | Comments (4)
Movies for the Masses

'Real Steel' about an estranged son and his father, a man who's been beaten down by repeated failures, a needy boy who finds something he can believe in, and, of course, it's a sports movie, too, because it's sort of a metallic 'Rocky.'

December 22, 2011 Full Review Source: KWQC-TV (Iowa) | Comments (2)
KWQC-TV (Iowa)

This much is clear as soon as they meet: father and son have matching attitudes, both resentful of their sudden connection and very tough on the outside even as they're really vulnerable.

December 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Time to Play Magazine
Time to Play Magazine

A film that feels as if it's been written by a five-year-old who's been allowed to create it as some sort of bizarre birthday present this is undemanding all the way

November 19, 2011 Full Review Source: The Sabotage Times | Comments (2)

The robots are fun, but the script never gets beyond cliches

November 14, 2011 Full Review Source: Movie Habit | Comment (1)
Movie Habit

Characters' smug, this-is-so-cool!ness and jingoistic, heartland subtext tries to knock us into submission. The hero's one of those animatronic adults in kid's clothing.

November 11, 2011 Full Review Source: Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada) | Comments (3)
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

Silly, corny and featuring nearly every boxing cliché... But fighting robots? Dads and their young sons will have a blast.

November 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)

Even with my sense of humor firmly intact, I'm not sure that I've seen a more crassly manipulative movie this year. As cold and calculating as movies get -- a glossy, soulless piece of junk that wants you to cheer along, but it doesn't earn one ounce.

October 27, 2011 Full Review Source: | Comments (8)

Audience Reviews for Real Steel

Forgettable. Okay for kids.
January 16, 2014

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.
November 5, 2012
paul sandberg

Super Reviewer

In a near future where human boxing has been replaced by bouts fought by giant mechanical robots, an ex-fighter and deadbeat dad bonds with his estranged son while taking a scrapyard reject to the championship. Rocky gets robotic in this borderline sci fi that takes the familiar sporting underdog formula and adds some excellent merchandising opportunities. It's no doubt a very cynical exercise with some blatant product placement to be seen and plenty of colourful robots to line the shelves in Toys R Us but the fact is that the film is extremely accomplished in its execution. Making the fighters robotic rather than human means that the excitement of the bouts is not coloured with the ugly violence of watching two men beat each other to bloody unconsciousness making for a family friendly sports movie much in the vein of The Karate Kid. The kid in question actually shares some decent chemistry with Jackman's likeable jerk and the flashy action scenes are perfectly pitched to get the kids cheering for the heroic "no-hoper". It's corny, contrived and very manipulative (the junkyard rescue scene in particular comes very close to crossing the line into puke inducing) but it works. Extremely predictable but successfully crowd pleasing nonsense that parents should get some enjoyment from too.
October 10, 2012
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

A different and fun look on the action genre which is both involving and cheerful.
October 3, 2012

Super Reviewer

    1. Charlie: Fight smart, be patient and pray.
    – Submitted by April Jan S (17 months ago)
    1. Charlie: How old are you? Nine? Ten?
    2. Max: I'm eleven.
    3. Charlie: Okay... are you sure?
    4. Max: Yes. I'm sure I'm eleven.
    – Submitted by Typhon Q (18 months ago)
    1. Max: I want you to fight for me!
    – Submitted by Shirley W (21 months ago)
    1. Max: Now you're concerned for Aunt Debrah? You sold me for 50 grand!
    – Submitted by Josanne M (2 years ago)
    1. Max: People's Champion?.... Sounds good to me.
    – Submitted by Facebook U (2 years ago)
    1. Little Sister: 15 dollars, seriously?
    2. Ricky: No, I need 15 dollars IMMEDIATELY.
    – Submitted by Facebook U (2 years ago)
View all quotes (22)

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Latest News on Real Steel

October 17, 2011:
Box Office Guru Wrapup: Real Steel Holds Off Footloose
This weekend, the worldwide protests against remakes came out in full force as the robot boxers of...
October 10, 2011:
Box Office Guru Wrapup: Real Steel Is the Real Deal
This weekend, Hugh Jackman scored an easy victory over George Clooney in the battle of People...

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