Critics Consensus

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



Total Count: 43


Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,546
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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) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (35)

Audience Reviews for Legendary

  • Feb 17, 2013
    The film isn't bad but it is not great either. It feels like an after school special. The film reminded me of movies like Win Win, Vision Quest, The Fighter, Invincible, and the Karate Kid. Only those movies were better than this one. They needed a better director and a better script. I didn't like that they had songs in the film during scenes that didn't need songs. The film is also predictable. Patricia Clarkson shines in the film. Her best scene is with Cena in jail. Cena, I thought was better here than in 12 Rounds or The Marine. I would like to see him do a film with Mark Wahlberg. Danny Glover also shines in his supporting role. Devon Graye and all the other cast members felt miscast in their roles. Devon has no chemistry with Cena or Clarkson. The film is worth checking out for the performances of Clarkson, Glover, and Cena.
    Sol C Super Reviewer
  • Jul 18, 2011
    the film is well down until the ending which is just silly.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • May 18, 2011
    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 W Super Reviewer
  • May 01, 2011
    Not all legends are about victory. Some are about struggle
    Ida K Super Reviewer

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