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The Wrestler (2008)

tomatometer

98

Average Rating: 8.4/10
Reviews Counted: 219
Fresh: 214 | Rotten: 5

Mickey Rourke gives a performance for the ages in The Wrestler, a richly affecting, heart-wrenching yet ultimately rewarding drama.

98

Average Rating: 8.2/10
Critic Reviews: 45
Fresh: 44 | Rotten: 1

Mickey Rourke gives a performance for the ages in The Wrestler, a richly affecting, heart-wrenching yet ultimately rewarding drama.

audience

88

liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 136,976

My Rating

Movie Info

Back in the late '80s, Randy "The Ram" Robinson was a headlining professional wrestler. Now, 20 years later, he ekes out a living performing for handfuls of diehard wrestling fans in high school gyms and community centers around New Jersey. Estranged from his daughter and unable to sustain any real relationships, Randy lives for the thrill of the show and the adoration of his fans. However, a heart attack forces him into retirement. As his sense of identity starts to slip away, he begins to

R,

Drama

Darren Aronofsky, Robert Siegel

Apr 21, 2009

$26.1M

Fox Searchlight Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (219) | Top Critics (45) | Fresh (214) | Rotten (5) | DVD (6)

It's a wonderful, career-reviving performance, and you can't imagine the movie without him. Welcome back, Mickey.

January 16, 2009 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Predictable as it is, this sad, strong beast of a film keeps us pinned to the mat with the strength of its compassion and the overpowering force of its central performance.

January 16, 2009 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle | Comment (1)
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Aronofsky directs with unfussy candour, alternating between the intensity of the wrestling and the drabness of Randy's 'real' life.

January 16, 2009 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The chance to play that poignant confusion is the real prize that Rourke and Tomei earn in The Wrestler.

January 14, 2009 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie presses too hard and too often, but the performances are strong enough to withstand the melodramatic impulses, and the themes of isolation and self-destructiveness are too sharply realized to be trivialized.

January 9, 2009 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Wrestler has the intimacy of a fly-on-the-wall documentary. No stunt men were harmed -- or used -- in the fight sequences. But the drama makes for vibrant art.

January 9, 2009 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Darren Aronofsky's filmmaking in The Wrestler is the most subtle and nuanced he's ever done.

February 20, 2014 Full Review Source: Movie Mezzanine
Movie Mezzanine

The movie is populated with real wrestlers, and it makes sure to nail all the little details.

June 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Deadspin
Deadspin

Emotional and engaging, The Wrestler is a masterful piece of work that deserves every award the Academy can throw at it.

September 29, 2012 Full Review Source: TheShiznit.co.uk
TheShiznit.co.uk

Rourke makes you feel every ache, disappointment and battle scar, both inside and out.

September 29, 2011 Full Review Source: American Profile
American Profile

The Mick is back.

August 16, 2011 Full Review Source: East Bay Express
East Bay Express

Savour one of cinema's rawest talents finally powerslamming his way to glory and be grateful that Aronofsky dragged himself off the ropes on countless occasions to convince the money men to finance the movie with such a seemingly unbankable lead actor.

July 14, 2011 Full Review Source: Digital Spy
Digital Spy

[Rourke's] performance here is so good and unshowy that you wind up almost happy to keep watching that mangled mug struggle for redemption.

April 4, 2011 Full Review Source: Movies.com
Movies.com

There was no character to root for more strongly in spite of himself in 2008 than Randy the Ram, and "The Wrestler" spat and bled his physical poetry - an elegy of emasculation and exhaustion building, in its final shot, to all the exhilaration he needed.

December 15, 2010 Full Review Source: Suite101.com
Suite101.com

Rourke doesn't need makeup to look this permanently damaged these days, and some of the emotional scars in his performance probably run painfully close to reality as well.

June 13, 2010 Full Review Source: DCist

Gran actuación, gran película, 109 minutos sin desperdicio a dos de tres caídas. Recomendable sin duda alguna.

March 11, 2010 Full Review Source: Cinenganos
Cinenganos

Whatever mistakes and indignities and turmoil led Mickey Rourke to where he is now, whatever demons have plagued him -- they all lead to the 1 hour and 55 minutes of magnificence that is his performance in' The Wrestler.'

December 24, 2009 Full Review Source: Florida Times-Union
Florida Times-Union

Despite the low-tech feel, The Wrestler is very tight and disciplined. The score is spare but effective, nothing is wasted in dialogue or action, and the fight choreography and stunts are incredible. Rourke is phenomenal.

December 15, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinerina

It's brutal yet sincere, funny yet solemn -- Darren Aronofsky has made a remarkable film that expertly depicts the reality of a sport it both honours and berates.

October 31, 2009 Full Review Source: Moviedex
Moviedex

It's a testament to Mr. Rourke's talent that Randy's life and attempted redemption never devolve into maudlin, unearned sentimentality.

August 30, 2009 Full Review Source: Washington Times
Washington Times

The Best Film of 2008

August 2, 2009 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com | Comments (15)
Filmcritic.com

Any film that can make you feel the utter loneliness of a character like Mickey Rourke's is one that you can totally endorse. Yes, he's as good as they say.

July 18, 2009 Full Review Source: CNNRadio
CNNRadio

I don't know if I've ever seen an actor more honest and vulnerable on screen.

May 15, 2009 Full Review Source: Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)

Rourke wears his scars (both physical and emotional) with such naked humanity that his performance becomes a kind of on-screen outpouring of his own grief and waylaid potential

May 11, 2009 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

Topping off an outstanding production, director Darren Aronofsky's ending to The Wrestler is sheer perfection.

May 6, 2009 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

Rourke's performance is gritty and real for sure and the tender moments ring true. But let's not go overboard. It's practically a reality show.

May 1, 2009 Full Review Source: Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)

Audience Reviews for The Wrestler

Possibly the most beautifully filmed work I have seen---the cinematography is absolutely gorgeous. Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei are excellent--they give flawless performances. Aronofsky redeems himself after the failure that was The Fountain with a raw, captivating story that foreshadows his 2010 masterpiece Black Swan. The Wrestler is at times beautiful, at times disheartening, and at other times--as in the style of Aronofsky--thrilling and disillusioned in its portrayal of the destruction of the human spirit. In the end, The Wrestler is a film that must be experienced, one that captured my heart. I can honestly say that I loved it--every moment.
July 9, 2013
Matthew Samuel Mirliani

Super Reviewer

20 years after his hay day, Randy "The Ram" is still trying to nurse his broken body through the independent wrestling circuit when he suffers a heart attack that threatens his career. Maybe because it's because I'm English, or maybe because I don't have wheels on my home, I approached this film with a certain trepidation because I have absolutely no interest in wrestling, or sports movies in general.The plot is very much in the same vein as one of the million+ corny true life TV movies out there, but I must admit this film did win me over, basically for Mickey Rourke's incredibly honest performance for which he obviously drew on his own experiences as a professional boxer. It is the anti-sports movie, where instead of a small town guy making good, it is the story of a man who begins at the top and slowly descends into obscurity. It's a film about the effects of age, as his own failing body and mind gradually strips him of everything that made him feel special and worthy. For this reason, I think younger audiences may find it difficult to relate to the character, but Rourke is quite brilliant and if you like your 80s cock rock, you'll be in hair metal heaven.
June 28, 2013
garyX
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Mickey Rourke's Wrestler performance is already one of the outstanding, iconic acting jobs of the last few decades, one of the most convincing acting jobs I've ever seen. It actually made me feel like watching a documentary at times, forgetting I am watching Rourke play a role. Aronofsky's directing and the camera work adds to that impression. We often follow the character through his locations, getting a very real feeling of the surroundings. While there are a few interesting looks behind the curtain of pro wrestling, that's not really what this film is about. It's a close look at a man struggling in life, being no longer able to do what he likes to do best. The fact that he is a decent human being, deserves respect and treats others likewise doesn't make his failing easier to watch. The realistic feeling and the outstanding acting performances still make us watch and care. Thankfully, the ending is somewhat open and does not offer the most obvious solution. Impressing, sad and touching.
July 24, 2012
ironclad1609

Super Reviewer

"The Wrestler" has almost nothing to do with wrestling... typically a Darren Aronofsky thing. The narrative is traditionally linear and simple, but it is very raw and riveting. An authentic, bona fide acting performance by Mickey Rourke. There's a surreal amount of veracity that everything carries whether it is heightened from the camerawork, the screenplay, or the pitch dark tones the narrative throws at the audience. It's a downer for sure, but it doesn't mean Darren Aronofsky doesn't succeed. The audience are emotionally plunged into the life of Mickey Rourke's character, Randy "The Ram" Robinson due to fine direction and screenplay. This is by far the most simplistic yet compelling film Darren Aronofsky's ever done. It's his best work yet.
March 9, 2012
Albert Kim

Super Reviewer

    1. Randy "The Ram" Robinson: I used to try to pretend that you didn't exist, but I can't. You're my girl. You're my little girl. And now, I'm an old broken down piece of meat... and I'm alone. And I deserve to be all alone. I just don't want you to hate me.
    2. Randy "The Ram" Robinson: Bet'chr ass man, Guns N' Roses! Rules
    3. Randy "The Ram" Robinson: Then that Cobain pussy had to come around & ruin it all.
    4. Randy "The Ram" Robinson: As times goes by, as times goes by, they say 'he's washed up', 'he's finished', 'he's a loser', 'he's all through'. You know what? The only one that's going to tell me when I'm through doing my thing is you people here.
    5. Randy "The Ram" Robinson: Hey lady - you want some fucking cheese? Get your own fucking cheese!
    6. Randy "The Ram" Robinson: The only place I get hurt is out there. [Randy points away from the ring]
    7. Randy "The Ram" Robinson: Fresh? Fresh as monkey's breath, brother!
    – Submitted by rick b (2 years ago)
    1. Randy "The Ram" Robinson: Hey, spring chicken, what can I get for you?
    – Submitted by Ian B (3 years ago)
    1. Randy "The Ram" Robinson: When you live hard and you play hard and burn the candle at both ends... in this life, you can lose everything you love, everything that loves you. Alot of people told me that I'd never wrestle again, they said "he's washed up", "he's finished" , "he's a loser", "he's all through". You know what? The only ones gonna tell me when I'm through doing my thing, is you people here. You people here... you people here. You're my family.
    – Submitted by rob g (3 years ago)
    1. Randy "The Ram" Robinson: I just want to tell you, I'm the one who was supposed to take care of everything. I'm the one who was supposed to make everything okay for everybody. It just didn't work out like that. And I left. I left you. You never did anything wrong. I used to try to forget about you. I used to try to pretend that you didn't exist, but I can't. You're my girl. You're my little girl. And now, I'm an old broken down piece of meat... and I'm alone. And I deserve to be all alone. I just don't want you to hate me.
    – Submitted by rob g (3 years ago)
View all quotes (4)

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