The Wrestler - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Wrestler Reviews

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Super Reviewer
July 5, 2013
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.
Super Reviewer
½ January 24, 2009
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.
Super Reviewer
December 11, 2008
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.
Super Reviewer
½ April 5, 2011
"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.
Super Reviewer
½ January 2, 2009
Mickey Rourke makes his career movie, a moving, emotional down to gritty earth story of an old sore wrestler who tries to make it with a failing heart and lonely life.

This is a really decent film with good performances and a insightful look into the fake wrestling world. Its actually kinda funny really...grown men in tights grappling with each other, wearing make up and whats more its actually a very popular 'sport' in the US. This baffles me, do grown up's know its fake? I can forgive kids obviously but grown adults? will this film scar some people for life with its spoilers of the wrestling world?

Behind the scenes the film shows how the whole setup works, from drugs and muscle enchancing to scripts and fake injuries...its all there yet why its so popular is another story. The plot isn't too original, the sleazy stripper that needs to be won over, the come back, the bad father who battles to keep his daughter by his side, we've seen it before in many sports flicks but this looks fresh and realistic.
The film is almost in a documentary style, following 'the Ram' around as he pushes through life, the camera is shaky and handheld, there aren't any special effects and their is alot of real human emotion that all people from all walks of life can relate to, its very touching and at times slightly depressing to be honest.

Rourke himself looks pretty shit these days...a bloated hotdog with a scarred, stretched face from too much surgery, he shifts around like a brick with a heavy suntan and delivers speech much like an 80's Stallone. His performance isn't the greatest in the world but he does make you believe he could be a wrestler and you do feel for him all the way through the film, you want his life to work out, in this sense he acts well but what he shows isn't too far from the 'Marv' character in 'Sin City', a large mumbling hulk.

Its still a very good film due to its portrayal of real life and real problems which so many skip around or fantasize too much. The ending is too sad really, I would of liked to see a better finish for the Ram...I guess Mickey did his job well cos I'm upset about his characters final scene.
Super Reviewer
January 14, 2012
An intense character study about the difference between the dreams we have for life versus the often brutal reality (that cuts like a dull knife - on a good day) and that inevitable realisational moment of, as they say, agonizing reappraisal when we finally acknowledge the difference, with atomic performances by the main cast to carry the message home. Exemplary filmmaking.
Super Reviewer
July 15, 2011
Mickey Rourke's critically-lauded performance carries this straightforward and often predictable film from beginning to end, making it one of Darren Aronofsky's greatest creations.
Super Reviewer
June 16, 2011
Without a doubt Mickey Rourkes best performance ever. He brings such drama, humor, and muscle to the screen that without him it would be just another underdog movie. Marissa Tomei is always great and she really deserved the Oscar nomination. The plot is that of Rocky Balboa, but instead of it being a series, its a single amazing dramatic masterpiece that people will watch many times. Another thing I loved was the look of the film, it had a fuzzy screen the whole time and it gave it a sort of documentary feel to it like were witnessing him trying to win his life back. The wrestling scenes were amazingly realistic znd Darren Aronofsky obviously did his research on wrestling. This isnt just a underdog movie, its about a man who worked hard, made mistakes, and earned his own life and ended it doing it what he loved best, wrestling. Darren Aronofskys best film tied with Black Swan, both amazing but I thought it was funny how he went to wrestling movie to ballerina movie, lol.
Clintus M.
Super Reviewer
May 25, 2011
The gut-wrenching, heart-on-your-sleeve drama The Wrestler is one of my favorite films of all time. Mickey Rourke doesn't play the title character, he embodies him. He plays an aging hero, broke and broken down yet worshipped by sentimental fans and children. His glory days are long past, but he cannot let it go. Marisa Tomei is perfectly cast as his love interest; in my opinion, there has never been such perfect, inspired casting, acting, writing, and direction. Every word and scene in this drama is completely believable. These characters have had their day in the sun, and now some struggle to exist (Tomei) while others (Rourke's Ram) struggle to regain a glimpse of their glorious past. That's the allure of "Ram-Ayatollah 2," trying to recreate past glory when today is so incredibly bleak. It's a problem of Illusion v. Reality. Both the strip club and the wrestling arena offer patrons an ideal, but the reality behind the glitter is heartbreaking.

Is this film melodramatic? No, it never lapses into sentimentality. Every time things appear to be turning toward Ram's favor, the rug is jerked out from under him, especially with his daughter's relationship. Its all consistent within the characters though. Randy "the Ram" Robinson consistently chooses his passion for the ring above anything else; his health, his family, his girlfriend, anything. He is the portrait of determination beyond any reason or common sense. To be true to itself, this story couldn't have a happy ending. Everything Mickey Rourke's ever done, on screen and off, culminates in this performance, one of the most memorable in screen history.
Super Reviewer
½ November 5, 2010
The Wrestler is an excellent film. One of the most depressing, yet utterly real dramas I have ever seen. Mickey Rourke gives an ASTOUNDING performance as Randy "The Ram" Robinson. He is worthy of every praise he received and i'm so thrilled he was able to come away with at least an Oscar nomination. Alongside Rourke is the stunning Marisa Tomei as the aging stripper, Cassidy. Another one of the powerful performances in the film. Evan Rachel Wood gives a stunning performance also, as much of the films emotional power comes from her character. The cinematography is top notch, brilliantly capturing the depressing tone of the film. The soundtrack is great. Everything is great. Fantastic, powerful, moving, memorable film by Darren Aronofsky!
Super Reviewer
½ April 3, 2011
"The Wrestler" is an extraordinary film. It's far and away Darren Aronofsky's best work because he lets Randy the Ram speak for himself. Aronofsky is not concerning himself with flashy directorial signatures (which hindered much of "Black Swan"). He is concerned with documenting. Mickey Rourke turns in a performance unlike any other. It's rare to see such a hyper-masculine man portraying such honest and true emotions. We haven't seen work like this since Paul Newman or Marlon Brando. Mix in some ace cinematography, artful editing and a duo of tremendous supporting performances in Marisa Tomei and Even Rachel Wood and "The Wrestler" is a deeply affecting, multifaceted and unforgettable experience. Aronofsky needs to be making more films like this. This was a large step forward for him.
Super Reviewer
February 8, 2011
Mickey Rourke has finally emerged from the deep, dark pits of hell where he's been trapped for decades (personally and professionally) - and from this quite prolonged hiatus he unleashes the performance of a life-time. This movie will cripple your very soul and leave you to cry yourself to sleep for ages to come. A must-see.
Super Reviewer
January 10, 2011
This is an excellent movie. It's a crushing story, that's even sadder considering this is what happened to several of our favorite wrestlers from the 80's. Perfectly directed, as always, by Aronofsky. Rourke's performance is fantastic.
Super Reviewer
February 23, 2009
This film is a feat in emotional subtlety. Mickey Rourke's aging wrestler is at once a repentant human being, an unabashed entertainer, and a dorky dad. So much of the role calls for emasculation, and Rourke does it without regard to his own vanity. He deserved to win Best Actor. The portrayal of pro wrestling is certainly illuminating; although it's staged, it's as real as any stuntwork and wreaks terrible havoc on the body.
paul o.
Super Reviewer
½ December 29, 2010
I LOVED pi, requiem for a dream, and black why do i think the wrestler is alright. Personally, I found the script a little cliche. The story of The Ram trying to gain redemption while facing various trials. It was good but honestly, Mickey Rourke just isnt that great.
Super Reviewer
½ February 9, 2009
I heard a lot of good things about this film. By far the best thing about it is Micky Rourke performance of a once popular wrestler in the 80's now 20 years on making appearances on the small time circuit to try and make ends meets. It's a sad, touching drama of someone who has a fall from grace, struggling to carry on doing what they love and trying to put things right from where they went wrong in the past. It has a raw gritty feel to it and made on a low budget but it doesn't deter from the great acting on show. Might be a bit slow for those who are not in to dramas.
The Gandiman
Super Reviewer
July 12, 2010
At first glance this doesn't seem like the heart-grabbing, gut-wrenching flick that it is - but Rourke delivers a compelling and muscular performance with strong support from Tomei.
Super Reviewer
July 8, 2010
The Wrestler is by far Mickey Rourkečs best performance. A sad story about a washed up wrestler, This is a terrific drama film with a great cast including Evan Rachel Wood in the role of Stephanie Robinson, ickey Rourk's daughter in the film. Another highlight inThe Wrestler is Marisa Tomei who gives one of the greatest performances of her career. This is a fine drama film about a man who lost everything, and regain something. This is a phenomenal film with great acting, storytelling and directing. This is a film for true film enthusiasts as this won't appeal the common film goer who views the same Will Farrell bullshit every friday night. This is a terrific film that shouldn't be missed!
Super Reviewer
½ September 26, 2008
The Wreslter is gruelling, ultra-violent and at times very ugly and seddy and yet Mickey Rourke makes The Wrestler one of the most humanly beautiful films of the year. His performance cannot be underestimated it is simply a revelation, Rourke bares his soul on camera, and I say Rourke not his character, because you know the character of the wrestler is more Rourke than Rourke is the character. Although I did not like his character, prefering Marisa Tomei's subtle stripper, in another great performance this year, I was moved to tears by the character's tragedy in much the same way I was moved by Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull. An emotionally defeating film, not easy but rewarding.
Super Reviewer
February 20, 2009
This is an extremely well-acted, strongly directed, powerful, affecting, and moving story of a sad and lonely has been professional wrestler at the twilight of his career. The raw unflinching documentary style cinematography adds an intense leve lof realism to a form of entertainment that too often gets a bad rap. Yes, much of pro wrestling is staged, but not all of it, and the parts that aren't staged are more consequential to those involved than what people are lead to believe. Had this not been an independent film, it wouldn't have been as intense and hard hitting, and would have suffered. The film is pretty accurate in its portrayal of the business. Some of the wrestlers are shown as more pathetic than not, but ultimately, this film is pretty respectful and sensible. These guys are neither complete losers nor ultimate heroes, they are mianly just hard working guys who only know how to do one thing, do it well, and make great sacrifices to do it.
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