Redbelt - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Redbelt Reviews

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½ August 29, 2016
A mostly quiet, thoughtful drama centering on different responses to stress or danger. I don't know how many details of this morality tale are accurate, but it certainly seems true to the spirit of martial arts as depicted by Bruce Lee and others that respected the tradition.
August 8, 2016
No, no, no... I didn't even understand the end of the film... Jiu-Jitsu, what a great thing! No, I'm joking! To like a movie like this, I need a really good story, but there's none of that in this film...
Désolé mais non... Je n'ai même pas compris la fin du film. Jiu-Jitsu, quel beau sport! Haha, je blague. Pour apprécier un film comme celui-là, j'ai besoin d'une bonne histoire, mais elle est totalement absente de ce film-là.
July 18, 2016
An interesting movie, but the plot was too far-fetched for me, too convoluted. And to think that there is anything honorable about the professional fighting business (and that's all that it is, and a dirty business, too) is also a bit of a stretch. Ejiofor is a pleasure to watch as usual, and one of the only reasons I watched this film. And in the movies is the only way I watch violent sports, because otherwise the violence men are doing to their bodies for money is real, as is the damage they do to their bodies, especially concussion-wise, and it is only for money. if people didn't watch, and they weren't paid, they wouldn't do it. What joy and audience can get from watching this sort of thing, which is fixed anyway, because it is a dirty business and the major money is made from gambling on it, another vice that destroys people, I can't understand. It plays to all that is destructive in human nature, something we should try to curb in ourselves, not revel in. In the animal world, fighting is to survive--for food or mates, and their are not onlookers getting a vicarious thrill from it. Therefore, the animal world is more "honorable" than human beings, in my eyes. As human beings, we have not progressed much from the Romans--their fighters were fighting for their lives, not money, but like the Roman civilization, the real money is made by gambling and those who set up the fights, and do not suffer the pain.
½ June 7, 2016
Good film but I had hoped to see more of Tino Struckmann, he can fight and have done some great acting jobs in the past. Hoped this would be his break. but all in all a good film
½ September 19, 2015
Review:
I wasn't that impressed with this film because it keeps on changing from one plot to the another and the acting isn't that great. The movie is based on a Jiu-Jitsu expert, Mike Terry (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who has no money in the bank and is struggling to keep his self-defence studio afloat. Whilst arguing about his debts with his girlfriend, who is a promising dress designer, there is an accident in his studio which involves a lawyer and an off-duty police officer, who is one of his students. Because of the accident, he has to find money to replace a broken window, which he definitely can't afford. He then goes to his brother-in-law to borrow some money and while he is in his club, a famous acting star (Tim Allen) ends up in a bar brawl so Mike Terry comes to his rescue and they soon become friends. He then gets introduced to the acting world by helping Allen produce a movie but his new found friends promises lead to know were. Mike Terry and his girlfriend make some bad choices in life which incurs more debt and after a unforseen chain of events, Mike Terry enters a competition which involves his Jiu-Jitsu skills and a big reward. I don't think that Chiwetel Ejiofor was the perfect choice for this film because his character seemed extremely cold and moody throughout the film. The showdown at the end was rubbish, after such a big build up and the fighting throughout the movie wasn't that impressive. None of the individuals storylines had a proper ending, especially Tim Allen who went missing through most of the movie and after all of the various events, Mike Terry still didn't solve his money problems so it all seemed a bit pointless. I know that there is a honourable concept to the movie which really doesn't solve the day to day problems in Mike Terry's life but his consistency proves a triumph in the end. On the plus side, I did like Tim Allen's character and I enjoyed the brief look into the prize winning fighting world but the film just had too much going on. Average!

Round-Up:
I've never been a big fan of Chiwetel Ejiofor's work because he seems to over act in most of his movies but I did like him in 12 Years a Slave, American Gangster, Talk To Me, Inside Man, Children of Men and Amistad which was his big movie debut in 1997. He has starred alongside some of the biggest stars in Hollywood and he has proved that he can hold his own but I still find it hard to warm to his acting style. He was nominated for a Oscar in 2014 for his fantastic performance in 12 Years a Slave but he lost out to Matthew McConaughey for his leading role in Dallas Buyers Club. With 6 movies in the pipeline which include Marvels Dr. Strange starring Benedict Cumberbatch, he must be happy with his career so far, even though I find him a bit moody. This film was written and directed by David Mamet who brought you movies like State & Main, Heist with Gene Hackman and Danny DeVito, Spartan and the TV movie Phil Spector with Helen Mirren and Al Pacino with a massive afro. He hasn't had the most success at the box office and judging by this movies takings, audiences are obviously not warming to his movies. I didn't like the flow of this movie because the director kept on introducing new elements which made the film seem a bit messy. Anyway, it's a watchable film but it's nothing that amazing.

Budget: $7million
Worldwide Gross: $2.6million

I recommend this movie to people who are into their drama/sport movies about a Jiu-Jitsu expert who takes on a prize winning bout to clear up his many debts. 3/10
½ April 30, 2015
I really enjoyed this movie, I feel like it teaches you a lot of life lessons.
March 18, 2015
Se nos decidirmos por lhe abrir a porta da boa-fé e simpatia, "Redbelt" tem tudo para entreter numa tarde de domingo, sem deixar sequer de oferecer a lição de vida que cai tão bem nesse dia. O que David Mamet aqui apresenta é sobretudo um filme de artes marciais complementado por considerações sobre a integridade e a honra. O final por sua vez é daqueles mesmo à Óscar de Melhor Filme que nos deixam com uma vontade enorme de aplaudir de pé (ou então não). Porém David Mamet não consegue simplesmente resistir à sua fixação na estrutura de ensemble e isso, neste caso, significa ficarmos expostos a um monte de secundários sem qualquer profundidade. Ou seja, "Redbelt" atinge as marcas apoteóticas a que se propõe, mas nem por isso o faz percorrendo um caminho especialmente memorável. Fica a meio da escala de Mamet.
January 18, 2015
What a pleasant surprise
½ January 11, 2015
Redbelt is a fascinating examination of ethics, that while narratively messy, always stays interesting. There are some coincidental issues with the plot but Mike is a very likeable character and his quest is worth following. I just wish there had been more at the end as the final few shots are underwhelming.
Robbanflix
Super Reviewer
January 1, 2015
This is more of a drama with a solid story rather than a true martial art flick. Its a well made one tho despite that. There are a few famous faces like Tim Allen and a very small role with Jennifer Grey but the biggest perfomance came from the main role actor Max Martini which is kinda unknown to me. Anyway a decent different "martial art" movie with more story than fighting.
September 3, 2014
question: why did dude give the ivory belt to mike?
why did the professor hug mike?
mike did not defeat morisaki, so why did he get the belt? the professor knew nothing of the rigging, so why did he hug mike? as far as anyone knew, mike defeated the dude who morisaki was sure he could defeat anyway... this movie fell apart at the end for the cheap emotional burst in my opinion,
the more i think of that movie the more pissed off I get

so what if magician can change color of stones-the fighters pull their own stones

fixed matches is pretty much a hollywood fiction.

does the professor carry his red belt around wherever he goes in case something dramatic happens so he can present it to someone?

nothing was resolved-dude still owes $30,000 to loan shark and friend still dead

why did friend kill himself? mere;ly tell where you got watch, show card and box that came with watch with fingerprints on them and cops can go after agent dude

friend of my worked at crime lab-said in 12 years she never pulled print of shell casing

how did wife know which promoter to go sell shell casing to-and why do so when hubby had a great lawsuit worth maybe half a mil???? wtf?

wtf would want to watch a match with one person's hands tied? UFC matches are so evenly matched the handicapped dude would always have a 100% chance of losing.

axts of god are absolutely not an insurance term and any damage except deliberate damage by owner or damage resulting from crime by owner are covered. this is another hollywood fiction.
And BTW there are situations you cannot get out of-if 5 guys all have shotguns 1 inch from your head and are pulling the triggers in 0.5 sec there is no way out of that. Mamet=sucky
June 25, 2014
Redbelt is the story of a Jiu Jitsu instructor who uses his skills only to train others to fight. His code of honor won't allow him to use his considerable talents to compete, despite everyone trying to convince him to change his mind. But when a chain of events transpire that threaten to destroy his entire life, will he hop into the ring in order to win the prize money and potentially save his life? The fighting in Redbelt is all high quality. It looks so authentic, and you can tell that many of the actors were given some training. Mike Terry, the protagonist, always appears to be in control of every situation, and it is really exciting watching someone who appears completely measured and controlled when fighting. It gives this impression that the fighting is almost effortless since he keeps his emotions and everything in check. The problem is there are huge sections of this film where it is all plot development through conversations. It really isn't a fight film, because there is so little fighting pictured on screen. Yet there is enough fighting that I think it would turn off most people who are just looking for a good character drama. In other words, I'm not sure who the audience is for Redbelt. Not enough fighting for fight fans, too much fighting for drama fans.

The entire movie basically rests on the shoulders of Chiwetel Ejiofor, and he delivers. In fact my rating is one star higher than it would be without his performance. He portrays Mike Terry with this determination and honor that is really impressive. Based solely on the work of Chiwetel, you can totally see how his students would become so attached to him. Max Martini plays the star pupil of Terry. He presents this character with such honesty that you just know he would do anything for a friend, and probably was a superb police officer. Alice Braga is lovely as Terry's wife. Although I hated what they did with her character later in the film, in the beginning she was a good balance of loving wife and focused businesswoman. Emily Mortimer has one of the strongest story arcs in the movie. She starts out as a really annoying and confusing character, but later on she shares one of the strongest emotional scenes in the film with Chiwetel Ejiofor, and then almost becomes a guiding force for him. Oh yeah, Tim Allen and Joe Mantegna are in this film too. I don't mention them because as best I can tell they are just playing the same characters they've played dozens of times before. Allen is an egotistical actor, and Mantegna is his sleazy agent. Very forgettable performances to say the least.

Redbelt did take a long time to get into the story, but as a big fan of the original Karate Kid, I'm OK with a lot of character development and no real fighting until the end. No, my bigger problem is more how the end came about, and the result of it. You see the forces that oppose Mike Terry seem to have conspired in some very elaborate con game in order to get him into the ring. The problem is I can't be sure because they never make it clear how much of this has been planned. Many things are too convenient for them all to be coincidental, so I have to believe there was some plan unfolding, but there are many events that are too unpredictable and you'd never be able to plan things out. It just falls apart when you put it under the slightest amount of analysis. Not to mention the fallout of the final scenes. They've set up a pretty elaborate way of destroying Mike Terry's life, and yet in the end they do nothing to resolve any of it. While there is a moment where we're supposed to be cheering at the end, I can't help thinking "but wait, isn't his life still ruined?" Likewise the scene at the end with the red belt, while poignant, makes no sense if you think about it. So there were a lot of flaws in the end of Redbelt, but the early scenes of character development were quite enjoyable. If the acting performances hadn't been so good I think I'd call this a terrible movie and give it a star rating to match, but I got some genuine enjoyment out of the film because the drama was well-acted and most of the fighting was excellent.
½ May 27, 2014
Nothing in the middle of unlucky and unlikable characters, innumerable plot holes and a nonsense ending.
February 13, 2014
Davit Mamet om att vara på riktigt i en värld av illusioner.
½ November 14, 2013
Whomever gave splats on this movie obviously knows nothing of martial arts and bushido. AWESOME movie, great story line..
½ October 18, 2013
What started as a decent enough character study quickly becomes one of the most god awful and random movies I have seen. The fights and acting are decent, but the story is just so laughable and unbelievable. Even for a movie. Avoid this one.
½ September 2, 2013
A very solid movie with great martial arts- Underrated !
Super Reviewer
½ August 22, 2013
A superbly crafted and supremely entertaining film. A remarkable, well-written and brilliantly performed piece. Director, David Mamet's masterpiece, he truly knows how to make a truly engaging and riveting movie. Mamet's love for the sport shows in this piece and the respect that it should be given. An impressive, intelligent, stunning, powerful, and satisfying movie. It's beyond amazing. An absorbing, thrilling, gripping and sensational thinking-man's dramatic thriller. it hits you with the intense brass-knuckles of reality. An extraordinary cast. Chiwetel Ejiofor gives an outstanding performance, he truly established himself as a star and leading man and is capable of almost any challenge. Emily Mortimer is fantastic. Tim Allen is excellent.
August 15, 2013
The first time I saw this movie, I liked it quite a bit, but a lot of plot points and nuances flew by me because of Mamet's ultra tight structure and patented dialogue. The second viewing was much better.
August 13, 2013
Surprisingly good story. Ejiofor is fantastic, as is the ending. "David Mamet's take on the 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." "samurai noir -an eloquently profane, profanely eloquent eulogy for the purity of martial arts discipline in the face of profit."
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