Critics Consensus

Maudlin, predictable, and clichéd, Legendary pins its talented cast under a heavy layer of formulaic schmaltz.



Reviews Counted: 43

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User Ratings: 3,551


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Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.6/5

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Movie Info

In the small town of Sallisaw, Okla., the Chetley name is synonymous with victory. This inspirational tale of a young man's dream to reunite his family through amateur wrestling is as triumphant as it is profoundly touching. Mike Chetley is a former high school and collegiate champion, estranged from his family. Things change when his awkward, undersized, younger brother Cal comes back into his life with a plan to unify Mike and their widowed mother Sharon, but not without major setbacks. With the guidance of Red, Cal learns that winning against all odds is worth more then he could have ever imagined.

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John Cena
as Mike Chetley
Patricia Clarkson
as Sharon Chetley
Devon Graye
as Cal Chetley
Danny Glover
as Harry "Red" Newman
Tyler Posey
as Billy Barrow
Madeleine Martin
as Luli Stringfellow
John Posey
as Jim Tenent
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Critic Reviews for Legendary

All Critics (43) | Top Critics (20)

Audience Reviews for Legendary

This film is quite predictable, formulaic, and far from original, yet it is well-meaning, inspirational, and I actually sorta liked it. It's flawed enough to where I don't feel quite comfortable enough to give it an extra half star, but I did enjoy it, and think that there are a few scenes that are okay enough to watch. So, in a rare move, I don't totally recommend the film, but I think it would be okay to watch if you rent it or something, like if you feel you need or just really want to see it. The story here is that of the classic underdog. Cal is a runt whose father and brother were local wrestling gods, but he is not wrestling material. He feels he has something to prove though, so he tries to follow in his family's footsteps, and in the process tries to better his life, come of age, and get his estranged family back together. This is total Hallmark stuff, but I do applaud WWE Films for making somehting not related to the horror or action genres. Graye is actually not bad as Cal. He's a convincing underdog. As Cal's brother Mike, John Cena brings some authenticity to the proceedings, despite his stiff acting and limited emotional range. Danny Glover is underused but it's nice to see him, even though his characters seems more like an angel than a human. Surprisingly though, it is Patricia Clarkson who really holds thigns together. She brings some needed weight and gravitas to things, even if she's put in better work elsewhere. Even though I think the character of Luli was mishandled and awkward, I don't totally blame Madeleine Martin. She's not great, but she's trying, and she seems like a nice and quirky girl, so there. Like I said, this film is nothing new, but I was never bored. The wrestling scenes are well done and you can tell they put effort into bringing some realism and integrity to their portrayal. For this to be a great movie it just also needed a better script and some stronger performances. It will please most viewers though, I'm sure. It's relatively inoffensive, has a lot of heart, and there are a couple of scenes I really liked. As Siskel and Ebert would sometimes do, I'm giving this a rare "thumbs sideways" because I'm just torn about it, and can't think of a better way to judge it.

Chris Weber
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Well slap my back, and call me Sally!!! I really liked this little movie. John Cena is surprisingly good. Devon Graye gives a great performance in what should have been a breakout role for him, if only the movie had a wide release. Hopefully, he will get a chance in the future to become a star. In the meantime, watch this heart-warming movie about overcoming personal obstacles, and achieving more than victory!

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer


It's not the greatest film of all time, but it definitely is a very good one. I found myself feeling every emotion that the cast was feeling, mainly, because it wasn't huge actors, but it was new actors who will one day become stars, and you are sitting watching this film thinking about things that are all related to this movie. It has a very gripping story, but at times the plot seems stale. It has it's very heartfelt moments just like any drama, but something feels special here. Danny Glovers character seems like nothing in the beginning, but in the end he is triumphant to the story. Great story, but it has been told before in a different way. I really liked it, but there is much room for better developement! However, not disappointing one bit!

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

Cast: John Cena, Patricia Clarkson, Danny Glover, Devon Graye, Madeline Martin, Tyler Posey, John Posey, Angelena Swords, Teo Olivares, Lara Grice Director: Mel Damski Summary: Fed up with fending off bullies, bookish teen Cal Chetley (Devon Graye) joins his high school's wrestling team with hopes that his older brother, Mike (WWE star John Cena) - a gifted athlete who wrestled in high school and college - will want to whip him into shape. Trouble is, the brothers haven't had much of a relationship since their father was killed in a car accident and Mike left Cal and their mother behind. My Thoughts: "I am always concerned with a film when there's a singer or in this case, a wrestler. But to my surprise I really liked it. The story is simple, yet interesting. Really liked Madeleine Martin in this. Thought her character was funny, quirky, and bubbly. She brought some good humor to this film. Devon Graye was also well placed in this film. I was surprised with his acting. I thought his and Patricia's scenes were really good. You believed that tight mother and son bond. Patricia Clarkson did a great job in this as well. Her scenes with Cena were pretty emotional. Danny Glover at first seemed liked that strange old man who just showed up and gave speeches of great wisdom and encouragement. But in the end his character is explained. I have seen John Cena in a couple other movies, but they were action packed and very typical. But this film showed him in a different light, and surprisingly he played well in a drama. You won't find any action in this besides a couple bar fights. He was good in this supporting role. Just a good little film that is a bit heartwarming and sad. Definitely worth the rental."


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