Beyond the Mat - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Beyond the Mat Reviews

March 23, 2007
Documentaries are almost always more interesting if the filmmakers fess up about their relationship to the subject, as unabashed pro-wrestling fan Barry Blaustein does in this naively made, compelling homage to the sport.
March 23, 2007
A gently and genuinely observed film whose subject is a garish, artificial display of mayhem.
Top Critic
June 24, 2006
We tour the All-Pro Wrestling School in California and Philadelphia's fearsome Extreme Championships, but it's the studies Blaustein makes of several wrestlers that root the film.
March 19, 2002
Entertaining and twisted.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
January 1, 2000
Blaustein's documentary about championship wrestling is as voyeuristic, artificial and perversely compelling as the sport itself.
January 1, 2000
Beyond the Mat wants to blend thrills and pathos, getting at the many sides of what is, as Mr. Blau stein describes it, a carny act. The problem is that he doesn't articulate any of his own thoughts beyond a few slight asides.
Read More | Original Score: 3/5
January 1, 2000
Beyond the Mat is crazily entertaining.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
January 1, 2000
Blaustein suggests wrestling's appeal -- as a kind of primal spectacle closer to parades and pageants than any accepted form of sport -- without wondering at all why he finds it compelling.
January 1, 2000
Beyond the Mat transcends its subject, pro wrestling, to become a wrenching, sobering, emotional glimpse at the lives of some men trapped by the aging process.
January 1, 2000
The rampant hucksterism of big-time wrestling is in a long American tradition, and Beyond the Mat is a very smart first step in opening the subject up to clearer view.
January 1, 2000
Beyond the Mat does what the wrestling game, with its manufactured personas, doesn't. It stays with the wrestlers until we start seeing them as people.
January 1, 2000
Friendly, soft-hitting documentary.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
January 1, 2000
Beyond the Mat takes all the fun out of the insanity that is wrestling.
January 1, 2000
Funny and touching documentary.
January 1, 2000
It has a hypnotic quality.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
January 1, 2000
The wrestlers are cannier than Blaustein probably gives them credit for; they seem to be offering up their backstage lives to him in ways that mimic the soppiest of melodramas, and he falls for it.
January 1, 2000
It's the most entertaining look at its world since Pumping Iron took on body-building.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
January 1, 2000
So tired and dated.
January 1, 2000
It grabs professional wrestling by the throat and rarely lets go.