Redbelt - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Redbelt Reviews

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Ben Kenigsberg
Time Out
November 17, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
October 18, 2008
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Ben Walters
Time Out
September 26, 2008
The plotting is contrived, the supporting characters two-dimensional, and the ending slides from predictable to absurd to maudlin.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/6
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Amy Nicholson
I.E. Weekly
May 15, 2008
David Mamet must have gotten roundhouse kicked in the head to think there was a story worth telling in his latest macho faceoff.
Full Review | Original Score: D
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Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
May 9, 2008
What is memorable is the film's portrait of a man of honor in a sleazy world, possibly a metaphor for the struggle of the artist to stay honorable in a world of backbiting, betrayal and hunger for easy money.
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
May 9, 2008
The glue that holds it together is Ejiofor's muscular performance as a man whose principles may be about to feel the brass knuckles of reality.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Mark Rahner
Seattle Times
May 9, 2008
David Mamet's take on the trendy new world of mixed martial arts is a gem not quite like anything I've seen before ‚" a smart, absorbing, anti-Hollywood, hypermacho look at what it is to be a true martial artist and a man.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle
May 9, 2008
Mamet's love for the sport comes through in every frame.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
May 9, 2008
It's neither uninteresting nor unentertaining, but the plot is as threadbare as an old carpet and Mamet's narrative contortions will leave many viewers scratching their heads.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
May 9, 2008
Ejiofor, a marvelously focused actor whose range and intensity are given a faintly inscrutable edge here, holds the center of the screen.
| Original Score: 3/5
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
May 9, 2008
Redbelt ranks as one of Mamet's lesser efforts as writer and director.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Sara Wildberger
Miami Herald
May 9, 2008
In Redbelt, David Mamet enters the realm of sports drama and Rocky-underdog clich√ (C)s and discovers it's a surprisingly good fit.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
May 9, 2008
Incompetently made and covered in corn, this is a martial arts movie that makes you yearn for The Karate Kid. Yes, that movie was corny, as well, but at least it was fun. Redbelt isn't fun, just laughable.
Full Review | Original Score: D
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
May 9, 2008
So gifted is Mamet as a writer and director that he can fascinate us even when he's pulling rabbits out of an empty hat.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
May 9, 2008
A sour little 70s-style David Mamet play about the lies, calculations, and ice-cold politics of Hollywood.
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
May 9, 2008
While Redbelt may be a character study in search of a movie, that character feels fresh and real.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
May 9, 2008
Redbelt's ultimate Ultimate Fight moment feels sorely lacking.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
May 9, 2008
Teeters precariously between Mamet's typically noirish realm and the kick-ass commercial galaxy, looking not quite at home in either.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
May 8, 2008
Like everything Mamet touches, whether predominantly comic or dramatic, this stern cautionary tale concerns whom we can trust (ourselves, if we live by a few simple, honorable rules of conduct) and whom we cannot (others, especially if they're in the film
| Original Score: 3/4
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
May 8, 2008
Before it sort of punches itself out in the final few minutes, it's a surprisingly compelling story about honor and betrayal.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
May 5, 2008
[A] very strong film.
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Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
May 2, 2008
It's still basically a boxing picture, not essentially different from dozens of other movies about life in and around what the old time sportswriters used to call 'the squared circle'. Mamet's circle is, alas, just a little too square.
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
May 2, 2008
Mr. Ejiofor gives a commanding performance, perfectly calibrated in what's withheld just as much as what's revealed.
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
May 2, 2008
Anchored by a powerful and nuanced performance by Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mamet's latest writing and directing effort is a compelling drama about the world of martial arts fighting.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
May 2, 2008
The only person bruised by the end of the competition is the audience.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
May 2, 2008
This isn't Mamet at his finest, though, which leaves us with a script that is merely three times as smart as the average feature.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
May 2, 2008
This does seem to be a world Mamet knows well, and every so often we see flashes of the great movie he might have made.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Carina Chocano
Los Angeles Times
May 2, 2008
[A] contemporary noir with a samurai movie interior, as sincere, plaintive and strangely optimistic a movie as he's made.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
May 2, 2008
Mamet toys with this existential dilemma but his heart -- or fist -- isn't in it.
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
May 1, 2008
Redbelt, is a satisfying, unexpectedly involving B-movie that owes as much to old Hollywood as to Greek tragedy.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
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Tasha Robinson
AV Club
May 1, 2008
A superior, sophisticated, and unusually gentle character study where the point isn't the twists, so much as watching how one man's belief system holds up through them.
| Original Score: A-
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Rafer Guzman
Newsday
May 1, 2008
Redbelt fails on nearly every level, from its incoherent story line to its threadbare action sequences.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
April 30, 2008
The final moment, which was probably intended to be poignant, instead feels laughable.
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
April 30, 2008
That thing Mamet does he does again with feverish effing commitment in Redbelt, his effing Rocky.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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J. Hoberman
Village Voice
April 29, 2008
With his 10th feature -- an entertaining tale of high-stakes martial arts -- Mamet has infused the sleight of hand with a measure of two-fisted action.
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Todd McCarthy
Variety
April 29, 2008
In the story of a purist-minded jiu-jitsu instructor trying to keep his distance from the vulgar commercialism of arena-style martial arts competition, David Mamet may have found the ideal metaphor for his own relationship with mainstream Hollywood.
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
April 28, 2008
So how's the Mamet Rocky? Fast. Lively. In your face. Very watchable. And, like its predecessors, so bizarrely convoluted it barely holds together on a narrative level.
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Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
April 25, 2008
Mamet takes up jiu-jitsu with honorable results.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
April 18, 2008
Even allowing for a few slips in pacing and judgment, Mamet is on his game, and that is a sight to see. No con.
| Original Score: 3/4