User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 275 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 45 out of 275
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  1. Nov 15, 2012
    10
    Raging Bull is the best boxing movie ever made, even better than 'Rocky.' I do; however, use the term 'boxing movie' loosely, as both 'Raging Bull' and 'Rocky' are character studies.
  2. Oct 25, 2013
    10
    The epic sports drama. Martin Scorsese's magnum opus, and Robert De Niro's as well. His performance is starkly authentic and amusing and all of the positive aspects of an actor put together. 'Ordinary People' is completely overrated.
  3. Dec 14, 2013
    9
    Raging Bull is not so much about boxers as it is about the everyday life of them. In this case, Jake LaMotta is an insecure piteous brute of a man who knows no better. He does not inspire admiration as athletes in other sports might. The story is not about someone getting somewhere, but about the experience itself, with all the highs and lows, and the final decline.

    The plot follows two
    Raging Bull is not so much about boxers as it is about the everyday life of them. In this case, Jake LaMotta is an insecure piteous brute of a man who knows no better. He does not inspire admiration as athletes in other sports might. The story is not about someone getting somewhere, but about the experience itself, with all the highs and lows, and the final decline.

    The plot follows two brothers as they see good and bad times together as the elder LaMotta challenges this boxer and that during the 1940s. The Mafia who runs the show always seems to have a hand in everything and keep the belt out of his grasp. Jake's obsessive behaviour toward his wife Vickie also makes up the major part of the plot. Her every gesture and remark is taken out of context and exaggerated beyond reason.

    Robert De Niro tackles yet another complicated character for his friend Scorsese. Jake is a whack job who aims big but doesn't know how to present himself. Joey LaMotta (Joe Pesci), Jake's brother, is his manager. He is also short on temper but at least he's sane enough to recognize the importance of keeping up appearances and does his best to keep his brother's public image intact. Joe Pesci does a decent job portraying him as a tentative over-shadowed little brother who has accepted his place and goes along with the occasional bullying until it's too much.

    Jake never seems to fully accept his good fortune of getting it on with his sweetheart Vickie (Cathy Moriarty), who he suspects of cheating at every turn. This suspicion threatens everything in his life. At first you might feel sorry for what he has to go through but as his family begins to suffer by his maniac outbursts, you can't help but be sympathetic to everyone but Jake.

    Vickie seems without emotion at first but as time passes some hints of her humanness pass through the filter. Moriarty does a splendid job in making her a sympathetic character even in the middle of the endless hints at her infidelity. She plays her with a laid-back, subtle approach, and feels plastic at times until she shows her quirks occasionally. I admired her greatly, and felt like if a woman carried herself like this, she is bound to have her man, or men in general, follow her around like puppies.

    Shot in black and white, the picture evokes a time when this was the standard. All the details to bring the 40s to life are captured perfectly_ the bars, clubs, cars, dresses and so on. The cinematography was a stroke of genius.

    Raging Bull is not a sports drama. Actually, after the first few fights are shown, seldom is time spent inside the ring. We witness more of Jake's life outside in the world, where he is not hidden under a guise and has to fend for himself. The movie never attempts to explain how Jake became like he did. Scorsese trusts us to derive our own meanings. He just shows us the scenes of violence, love, family and then moves on to the next scene. His touch is light and imperceptible, yet his signature is all over it.

    But unlike his other movies where everything sort of explains itself, I feel like this lacked the cohesiveness of his other works. Scorsese was successful in portraying the experiences of sudden fame and wealth and its effects but it was too vague for me to feel anything. Apart from a few scenes between the brothers which brought me close to tears, other times I just didn't feel anything at all.

    Raging Bull may be more liked than Taxi Driver, but in my opinion it was too ambitious and failed at some level. Goodfellas is where Scorsese eventually succeeded in getting everything in precisely the right amount as they are needed to make a film work. Whether the movie worked perfectly or not is immaterial in the wake of De Niro's performance, and this movie should be watched just for that.The Academy finally recognized his talent and commitment and awarded him the Oscar for Best Actor.
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  4. Apr 1, 2012
    10
    A stunning film that you will rediscover every time you see it. Robert de Niro also gives the best performance of his career. The fight scenes in the film are the best boxing scenes of any film.
  5. Oct 26, 2010
    10
    Fantastic acting and a interesting story about jake lomatta a boxer from the old days of boxing . its a rise and demise story from lomaata's beginings to his fall . the guy certanly led a interesting life and deniro and peci really bring thoose charicters to life . the black and white look to the film really gives it that 50's era feel to it. if you like films based on true storys this isFantastic acting and a interesting story about jake lomatta a boxer from the old days of boxing . its a rise and demise story from lomaata's beginings to his fall . the guy certanly led a interesting life and deniro and peci really bring thoose charicters to life . the black and white look to the film really gives it that 50's era feel to it. if you like films based on true storys this is deffinitly a must see. Expand
  6. Jan 21, 2015
    10
    Raging Bull has little to do with the subject of boxing per se; it's more of a character study of the flawed, tormented and troubled boxer, Jake LaMotta, and about his inability to connect with other human beings and his 'penchant' for self-destruction. Paul Schrader and Mardik Martin's screenplay unflinchingly explores what drove this man over the edge and what eventually pulled him back.Raging Bull has little to do with the subject of boxing per se; it's more of a character study of the flawed, tormented and troubled boxer, Jake LaMotta, and about his inability to connect with other human beings and his 'penchant' for self-destruction. Paul Schrader and Mardik Martin's screenplay unflinchingly explores what drove this man over the edge and what eventually pulled him back. Scorsese has presented the audiences with the most powerful portrayal of jealousy ever put up on the big screen, reviving the golden age of cinema (at least for a while).
    As the title suggests, it's not tactics or strategy but rage that drives LaMotta as a boxer. But what's interesting is that his perception doesn't seem to change when he steps outside the ring. He still feels that he has to fight the world on his own with no one in his corner but his brother. Lamotta often destroyed his opponents with a couple of chaotic blows. But sometimes we watch him stand strong, allowing himself to be hammered, refusing to go down. Why? I believe it was his way of confession, it was his way of acknowledging the wrongs he'd done and paying for the sins he'd committed. He hurt everyone around him too much, to forgive himself. Raging Bull is extremely aesthetic and over time, it has come to represent the gold standard in film-making. People can argue that this might be the greatest American film ever made. There's not too much one can say to fight that argument.
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  7. May 15, 2015
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Scorsese's beautifully shot masterpiece is still an electrifying moment that is almost as grand as Citizen Kane itself.

    Raging Bull can definitely be the best film from the 1980s and one undeniably triumphant biography drama ever made. Robert De Niro's tough to the core lightning worthy performance is cinematic history as this epic depicts the rise and fall of the controversial heavyweight boxing champ Jake LaMotta also know as the Bronx Bull.

    Jake LaMotta is at the height of his boxing career in the early 1940s as he pits himself against the toughest boxers to ever hit the boxing ring of New York, however his rage-filled ambition and lack of focus to be the frontline contender is held back when his personal and private life begins to be driven into the battlefield of his inner rage and everything that is his life takes a massive down turn for the worst.

    However even the final outcome still shows us that behind every boxing story is a legendary story about confronting reality with whats left of your guts. Scorsese and DeNiro both did an astounding work to bring LaMotta's career into the spotlight and make it interesting for many audiences alike, (also featuring Joe Pesci and Cathy Moriarty in their major screen debuts as brother and wife who are treated as heels) its a beautiful film with awesome film editing, graceful score, and a favorable lush cinematography of pure black and white that makes it climatic, suspenseful, dramatic, overpowering and exhilarating and remarkably one of the greatest pictures in motion picture history and a certified classic, not to be missed
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  8. Oct 16, 2012
    10
    Best movies I've seen in this year is Looper and batman the dark knight rises ,my all time favorite movie's are The Godfather (1972) .Taxi Driver (1976). Carrie (1976). Scarface (1983). GoodFellas (1990) . Raging Bull (1980) .Casino (1995) there masterpiece movies, what i don't like are the silly remakes why a new carrie movie ? this is the 4th movie carrie the made it's just stupidBest movies I've seen in this year is Looper and batman the dark knight rises ,my all time favorite movie's are The Godfather (1972) .Taxi Driver (1976). Carrie (1976). Scarface (1983). GoodFellas (1990) . Raging Bull (1980) .Casino (1995) there masterpiece movies, what i don't like are the silly remakes why a new carrie movie ? this is the 4th movie carrie the made it's just stupid ,Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie are absolutely perfect ,they both got Oscar nominations out of it, for God sake! Expand
  9. Mar 15, 2011
    10
    One of the all time greatest movies. I can't find a goddamn thing that's wrong with this. I'll say that this is better than "Goodfellas" or "Taxi Driver"
  10. May 2, 2014
    10
    Raging Bull is Martin Scorsese's magnum opus that surpasses both Taxi Driver and Goodfellas and is without doubt one of the top five American films ever made. A film that contains probably the greatest performance of all time by an actor and the fight scenes are simply exhilarating to watch. What is perhaps even more astonishing is that Scorsese knew nothing about boxing which is probablyRaging Bull is Martin Scorsese's magnum opus that surpasses both Taxi Driver and Goodfellas and is without doubt one of the top five American films ever made. A film that contains probably the greatest performance of all time by an actor and the fight scenes are simply exhilarating to watch. What is perhaps even more astonishing is that Scorsese knew nothing about boxing which is probably why the majority of this film takes place outside of the ring than inside it.

    Easily the greatest film of the 1980s.
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  11. Aug 4, 2012
    9
    Wonderful movie, an absolute classic. I can't quite give it a ten (that score is reserved for the absolute masterpieces), but it comes close, very close. De Niro and Pesci are mesmeric, beautiful and flawless performances that captivate and enthral from the first moment to the last. This should be seen by everybody, its about as good as modern film making gets.
  12. Jun 12, 2013
    10
    This is my favorite Martin Scorsese film, along with "Goodfellas". Robert De Niro delivered a powerful performance of real life middleweight boxer Jake LaMotta. Whoever doesn't like this film has problems.
  13. Jan 20, 2014
    10
    Scorsese and De Niro amaze us again with this superb picture. It captures La Motta's personality almost too well and it's filmed in glorious black and white. Both the director and the actor are at the top of their games in this one.
  14. Nov 26, 2012
    10
    One of the finest films of it's decade or any decade. Martin Scorsese painted not only a pretty picture but a beautiful and profound one as well. When I see this movie my breath is taken by the masterful acting ability of the great Robert De Niro. This is sure to make you hate but pitty him at the same time. Breathtaking just pure genius.
  15. Nov 24, 2014
    10
    One of the few perfect movies out, and that is no exaggeration, (the others being the godfather, 2001: a space odyssey, and grave of the fireflies.)

    Robert de Niro gives the performance of his lifetime as jake Lamotta, a violent, angry, pro-boxer, who goes through, fights, title shots, the mafia, domestic troubles, and the police. But his is not the only great performance, joe Pesci
    One of the few perfect movies out, and that is no exaggeration, (the others being the godfather, 2001: a space odyssey, and grave of the fireflies.)

    Robert de Niro gives the performance of his lifetime as jake Lamotta, a violent, angry, pro-boxer, who goes through, fights, title shots, the mafia, domestic troubles, and the police. But his is not the only great performance, joe Pesci plays his brother joe Lamotta (coincidently) one of jakes few friends in his fight against the world, and Cathy Moriarty plays his wife who can't escape his fury.

    Martin Scorsese's ultimate triumph is better than anything else he has ever directed, and that's saying something. The movie has some of the most gorgeous cinematography in any movie ever. The movie's screenplay comes right of the page of jake Lamotta's autobiography.

    I'm the end I don't know if I can recommend it enough
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  16. Jun 15, 2011
    10
    This is one of the greatest movies ever made starred by the great Robert De Niro....all the quotes used in this movie are absolutely fantastic! Joe Pesci's acting was perfect....love this quote : 'if u win, u win, if u lose, u still win!'
  17. Nov 18, 2014
    9
    The duo of Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro , in not only one of the finest films made by them is also one of the most gruesome character studies ever done on screen. It is surely not for everyone out there, film shot in black and white has plenty of dark imperfect people most of which is our protagonist /antagonist Jake.
    Yes, the writing for our day and age seems a bit lethargic hence
    The duo of Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro , in not only one of the finest films made by them is also one of the most gruesome character studies ever done on screen. It is surely not for everyone out there, film shot in black and white has plenty of dark imperfect people most of which is our protagonist /antagonist Jake.
    Yes, the writing for our day and age seems a bit lethargic hence 9, but a must watch for every film enthusiastic.
    Watch it for De Niro at his motherf*cking best, watch it for cinema's most down-reaching character, watc for Scorsese's best work.

    P.S. Martin should have won Oscar for this one.
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  18. May 23, 2014
    9
    I just loved this movie. All the violence and suspense. This movie has great cinematography and editing. Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci gave great performances. Raging Bull is everything you want in a movie.
Metascore
92

Universal acclaim - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Reviewed by: Michael Bertin
    100
    The performances are riveting and the visuals are stunning. The boxing sequences are brutally realistic - there are no crappy Rocky theatrics here - and the humanity oozes out of every scene.
  2. 40
    As LaMotta, Robert De Niro gives a blank, soulless performance; there's so little of depth or urgency coming from him that he's impossible to despise, or forgive, in any but the most superficial way.
  3. 100
    The most painful and heartrending portrait of jealousy in the cinema--an "Othello'' for our times.