Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
Watch On
  1. An entertaining look at a genuinely offbeat subject.
  2. Dynamite perfectly describes this riveting documentary.
  3. The film dwells more on the sensationalistic aspects than the sport itself but it's impossible to deny the tawdry entertainment value in this compelling film tabloid.
  4. 70
    The women, many in their 70s and 80s, are still tough and proud--and nursing grudges that go back decades, something Leitman plays up by crosscutting between rivals' accounts.
  5. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    Smart assembly of terrific archive footage is matched by spirited interviews with the tough old broads today.
  6. 70
    Leitman gets some wonderful tall tales from her subjects, who open up like they've been waiting for years for someone to come along and ask, and she complements it with punishing footage of their exploits.
  7. 70
    Generous, slyly tough-minded documentary.
  8. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    What a gutsy, sad, seize-the-day, glorious life it was for the women warriors of Lipstick & Dynamite.
  9. What makes Lipstick & Dynamite its own animal is that, intentionally or not, the director has allowed something else into the mix, a glimpse of the unvarnished and the unsanitized.
  10. Highly entertaining and frequently fascinating.
  11. 63
    The documentary visits elderly women who, then and now, can best be described as tough broads, and listens as they describe the early days of women's wrestling. What they say is not as revealing as how they say it.
  12. Reviewed by: Brad Wheeler
    The best gal wrestlers had their signature moves: Ida May Martinez, with her flying drop kick; Ella Waldek, with the "short-arm scissor lift." Filmmaker Leitman, for all her good work, is in need of a close-out manoeuvre of her own.
  13. This visually stylish work, with its vintage glamour photos, film and television clips, and snippets from a 1951 B-movie, "Racket Girls," is more of a scrapbook than a coherent history of the sport during its rough-and-tumble infancy.
  14. 50
    Leitman's interviews are lax and inconclusive.
  15. Offers plenty of fun, nostalgic footage of 1950s pro lady wrestlers kicking butt.
  16. 50
    Leitman has unearthed a terrific collection of vintage footage - yet, as if doubtful about holding our interest, she skims too quickly over the historical background.
  17. At its best, the movie is a collection of entertaining memories from a group of gutsy women.
User Score

No user score yet- Awaiting 1 more rating

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. JimG.
    Sep 10, 2005
    Leitman has drawn out, mostly in the unspoken moments, a wonderful story of contrast: paths chosen and unchosen, modesty and arrogance, Leitman has drawn out, mostly in the unspoken moments, a wonderful story of contrast: paths chosen and unchosen, modesty and arrogance, school learning and school of hard knocks. In many ways these women inhabit a world of their own but their story says a lot about the world around them. What fun. Full Review »