Wrestling Ernest Hemingway

Critics Consensus

Predictable but moving, Wrestling Ernest Hemingway is an understated and melancholic drama that gets plenty of mileage out of an outstanding cast that includes Robert Duvall, Richard Harris, Shirley MacLaine, and Sandra Bullock.

57%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 21

70%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,413
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Movie Info

Richard Harris and Robert Duvall star in this low-key /drama concerning a hard-drinking former sea captain (Richard Harris) who befriends a shy retired barber (Robert Duvall). Though their polar-opposite personalities find the relationship slow going at first, roguish Frank (Harris) and gentle Walter (Duvall) soon develop a close friendship as they pass the days with conversation. As death looms near and their pasts seem to evaporate into the air with the passing of each day, the lonely souls find comfort in each other's company until their fragile friendship is shattered. When Frank insults a waitress (Sandra Bullock) with whom Walter harbors a protective friendship, Walter makes the decision to cut his ties with loutish Frank. Forced to reevaluate their friendship, the two lonely souls attempt to find meaning in their lives as their chances for connecting with the outside world grows ever more dim.

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Critic Reviews for Wrestling Ernest Hemingway

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (8)

  • Wrestling Ernest Hemingway aspires to be serious about its subject. Yet in a curious way this sobriety works against it. Frank and Walt turn into schematically contrasting case studies, and the movie's sympathy for them eventually becomes patronizing.

    Jun 14, 2009 | Full Review…
  • Randa Haines' sappy, rather dull melodrama about the friendship between two eccentric old men is mostly a showcase for its stars, Robert Duvall and Richard Harris.

    Jun 27, 2007 | Rating: C

    Emanuel Levy

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • There aren't really any surprises, but it's a delight to see a movie which idles away without anything more pressing on its mind than people.

    Jan 26, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Instead of simply assuming that the old have interesting lives, the film never stops congratulating itself for being daring enough to focus on them.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 2/5
  • The movie is essentially about the close observation of behavior. Like some of Hemingway's stories, the real action is all implied. The characters trade small talk, and we sense that larger issues are lurking beneath their cheerfulness.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • An endearing buddy movie for the senior crowd.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Wrestling Ernest Hemingway

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