The Wrestler (2008) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Wrestler (2008)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

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

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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.
Rating:
R (for violence)
Genre:
Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Box Office:
$26,136,413.00
Runtime:
Studio:

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Cast

Mickey Rourke
as Randy Robinson
Marisa Tomei
as Cassidy
Evan Rachel Wood
as Stephanie
Ernest Miller
as The Ayatollah
Todd Barry
as Wayne
Wass W. Stevens
as Nick Volpe
Judah Friedlander
as Scott Brumberg
Tommy Farra
as Tommy Rotten
Armin Amiri
as Doctor
Mike Miller
as Lex Lethal
Marcia Jean Kurtz
as Admissions Desk Woman
John D'Leo
as Adam
Ajay Naidu
as Medic
Gregg Bello
as Larry Cohen
Johnny Valiant
as The Legend Johnny Valiant
Ron Killings
as Ron 'The Truth' Killings
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News & Interviews for The Wrestler

Critic Reviews for The Wrestler

All Critics (220) | Top Critics (45)

It's a wonderful, career-reviving performance, and you can't imagine the movie without him. Welcome back, Mickey.

Full Review… | January 16, 2009
Miami Herald
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | January 16, 2009
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

Aronofsky directs with unfussy candour, alternating between the intensity of the wrestling and the drabness of Randy's 'real' life.

Full Review… | January 16, 2009
Time Out
Top Critic

The chance to play that poignant confusion is the real prize that Rourke and Tomei earn in The Wrestler.

Full Review… | January 14, 2009
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

The movie presses too hard and too often, but the performances are strong enough to withstand the melodramatic impulses, and the themes of isolation and self-destructiveness are too sharply realized to be trivialized.

Full Review… | January 9, 2009
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

The Wrestler has the intimacy of a fly-on-the-wall documentary. No stunt men were harmed -- or used -- in the fight sequences. But the drama makes for vibrant art.

January 9, 2009
Denver Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Wrestler

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 Mirliani
Matthew Samuel Mirliani

Super Reviewer

½

20 years after his hay day, Randy "The Ram" is still trying to nurse his broken body through the independent wrestling circuit when he suffers a heart attack that threatens his career. Maybe because it's because I'm English, or maybe because I don't have wheels on my home, I approached this film with a certain trepidation because I have absolutely no interest in wrestling, or sports movies in general.The plot is very much in the same vein as one of the million+ corny true life TV movies out there, but I must admit this film did win me over, basically for Mickey Rourke's incredibly honest performance for which he obviously drew on his own experiences as a professional boxer. It is the anti-sports movie, where instead of a small town guy making good, it is the story of a man who begins at the top and slowly descends into obscurity. It's a film about the effects of age, as his own failing body and mind gradually strips him of everything that made him feel special and worthy. For this reason, I think younger audiences may find it difficult to relate to the character, but Rourke is quite brilliant and if you like your 80s cock rock, you'll be in hair metal heaven.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Mickey Rourke's Wrestler performance is already one of the outstanding, iconic acting jobs of the last few decades, one of the most convincing acting jobs I've ever seen. It actually made me feel like watching a documentary at times, forgetting I am watching Rourke play a role. Aronofsky's directing and the camera work adds to that impression. We often follow the character through his locations, getting a very real feeling of the surroundings. While there are a few interesting looks behind the curtain of pro wrestling, that's not really what this film is about. It's a close look at a man struggling in life, being no longer able to do what he likes to do best. The fact that he is a decent human being, deserves respect and treats others likewise doesn't make his failing easier to watch. The realistic feeling and the outstanding acting performances still make us watch and care. Thankfully, the ending is somewhat open and does not offer the most obvious solution. Impressing, sad and touching.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer

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