The Wrestler

2008

The Wrestler

Critics Consensus

Mickey Rourke gives a performance for the ages in The Wrestler, a richly affecting, heart-wrenching yet ultimately rewarding drama.

98%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 228

88%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 140,394
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Movie Info

Back in the late '80s, Randy "The Ram" Robinson was a headlining professional wrestler. Now, 20 years later, he ekes out a living performing for handfuls of diehard wrestling fans in high school gyms and community centers around New Jersey. Estranged from his daughter and unable to sustain any real relationships, Randy lives for the thrill of the show and the adoration of his fans. However, a heart attack forces him into retirement. As his sense of identity starts to slip away, he begins to evaluate the state of his life--trying to reconnect with his daughter, and striking up a blossoming romance with an exotic dancer who is ready to start a new life. Yet, all this cannot compare to the allure of the ring and passion for his art, which threatens to pull Randy "The Ram" back into his world of wrestling.

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Critic Reviews for The Wrestler

All Critics (228) | Top Critics (49)

  • Who better than Rourke to sell the idea of a battered, yet proud pugilist in search of redemption?

    Jan 22, 2009 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…
  • It's a wonderful, career-reviving performance, and you can't imagine the movie without him. Welcome back, Mickey.

    Jan 16, 2009 | Rating: 3.5/4
  • Predictable as it is, this sad, strong beast of a film keeps us pinned to the mat with the strength of its compassion and the overpowering force of its central performance.

    Jan 16, 2009 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Aronofsky directs with unfussy candour, alternating between the intensity of the wrestling and the drabness of Randy's 'real' life.

    Jan 16, 2009 | Rating: 4/6 | Full Review…
  • The weakness of Aronofsky's film is that these various sentimental crises are framed with as much subtlety as Randy's wildly overdue heart attack. The film lurches into a predictable panic about dying alone.

    Jan 16, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • The Wrestler runs on what are admittedly pretty traditional lines for a sports film, yet runs on them with exhilarating speed and attack. I was waiting for a cop-out ending, but it never arrived.

    Jan 16, 2009 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Wrestler

  • Jul 19, 2017
    It's hard after watching this to not compare it to the Rocky series as it's basically Rocky 1,5 & 6 in one film except wrestling not boxing, The film itself is brilliant, A very slow burner at times but a well told story and some great acting performances really help things along, Especially Mickey Rourke who puts in the performance of his life, Being a hardcore wrestling fan I kicked myself waiting so long to watch this, The ending was perfect and you could call it a cliffhanger but it was more of a relief that it let's you decide in your heart what happened but that haunting song after the film finishes only makes you think one way, If you're a fan of the Rocky films you should love this or even just love a great drama with a little twist to the norm you will love this too.
    Jamie C Super Reviewer
  • Jul 05, 2013
    Possibly the most beautifully filmed work I have seen---the cinematography is absolutely gorgeous. Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei are excellent--they give flawless performances. Aronofsky redeems himself after the failure that was The Fountain with a raw, captivating story that foreshadows his 2010 masterpiece Black Swan. The Wrestler is at times beautiful, at times disheartening, and at other times--as in the style of Aronofsky--thrilling and disillusioned in its portrayal of the destruction of the human spirit. In the end, The Wrestler is a film that must be experienced, one that captured my heart. I can honestly say that I loved it--every moment.
    Matthew Samuel M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 17, 2013
    Completely believable tale of a wrestler past his prime who is desparate to mend relationships that went out the window. It is hard to imagine anyone other than Rourke pulling this off so successfully and the ending is well...very appropriate.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 15, 2012
    Depressing, slow, but entertaining.
    Shawn M Super Reviewer

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