Battle of the Sexes

Critics Consensus

Battle of the Sexes turns real-life events into a crowd-pleasing, well-acted dramedy that ably entertains while smartly serving up a volley of present-day parallels.

85%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 299

72%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 15,711
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Movie Info

In the wake of the sexual revolution and the rise of the women's movement, the 1973 tennismatch between women's World #1 Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and ex-men's-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) was billed as the BATTLE OF THE SEXES and became one of the most watched televised sports events of all time, reaching 90 million viewers around the world. As the rivalry between King and Riggs kicked into high gear, off-court each was fighting more personal and complex battles. The fiercely private King was not only championing for equality, but also struggling to come to terms with her own sexuality, as her friendship with Marilyn Barnett (Andrea Riseborough) developed. And Riggs, one of the first self-made media-age celebrities, wrestled with his gambling demons, at the expense of his family and wife Priscilla (Elisabeth Shue). Together, Billie and Bobby served up a cultural spectacle that resonated far beyond the tennis court, sparking discussions in bedrooms and boardrooms that continue to reverberate today.

Cast

Emma Stone
as Billie Jean King
Steve Carell
as Bobby Riggs
Andrea Riseborough
as Marilyn Barnett
Sarah Silverman
as Gladys Heldman
Elisabeth Shue
as Priscilla Riggs

News & Interviews for Battle of the Sexes

Critic Reviews for Battle of the Sexes

All Critics (299) | Top Critics (50) | Fresh (255) | Rotten (44)

Audience Reviews for Battle of the Sexes

  • 4d ago
    Well cast film suffers from being too safe. The is inspiring and showcases the lack of progression since this tennis match was played. Stone is strong and Carrell is well cast in a more supporting role, adding some extra depth. I don't believe the film captured the era or the characters motivations clearly. This is more a Disney feel good film when it should've been primarily focused on Billie Jean King's internal and external struggles, it's more hinted at, not focused. I liked the film, but it deserved to be much better. This was a film deserving a larger canvas and audience, but it failed to ignite at the box office. I would actually be surprised if many people knew about this film. Certain films have the luxury of streaming to the world directly, but Battle of the Sexes chose an alternative distribution model, this was not the right choice. This should've been released via streaming to ensure it had legs. Sadly this film went ignored and has vanished in a market it should've flourished within. 16/11/2019
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Sep 03, 2018
    A well acted and written depiction of a real life sports event. Stone and Carell own their roles and Carell makes an unlikable man, sympathetic . It's hard to believe how closed minded we were back then and how far we have come. Also, good are Silverman, Riseborough, Shue and Bill Pullman. A definite movie worth watching. 09/02/2018
    Christopher O Super Reviewer
  • Jul 01, 2018
    A rather mediocre biopic, Battle of the Sexes is unfocused and doesn't know what story it's telling half the time. Though it presents itself as the telling of the 1973 tennis match between women's champion Billie Jean King and retired men's champion Bobby Riggs, it turns out to be a guise to tell a lesbian romance story. Both Emma Stone and Steve Carell give strong performances and are backed by a solid supporting cast that includes Sarah Silverman, Bill Pullman, and Elisabeth Shue. But the writing is extremely heavy handed. There's no subtlety to the women's equality message, and even less to the gay rights one. Unfortunately Battle of the Sexes doesn't give this groundbreaking sports event its due, and instead pads the film with unnecessarily scenes and subplots to make political statements about women's equality and gay rights.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 16, 2018
    So surprised to be excited watching a movie about tennis! This was great. Emma is outstanding as always. Movie to make you annoyed and inspired all at the same time. Margaret Court really wasn’t any better in her younger years either.
    Nicki M Super Reviewer

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