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Universal acclaim - based on 14 Critics What's this?

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8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 200 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Scorcese recounts the gritty life self-destructive boxer Jake LaMotta (De Niro) who never backs down from a fight on his way to a middleweight title shot.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. 100
    One of the bloodiest and most beautiful reflections on atonement in the Scorsese canon... It is still one of cinema's most breathtaking films.
  2. The entire film is played at such high pitch it may well exhaust audiences that don't come prepared. And, at the heart of the film, there is the mystery of Jake himself, but that is what separates Raging Bull from all other fight movies, in fact, from most movies about anything. Raging Bull is an achievement.
  3. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    100
    The film that many consider the finest of its decade, Raging Bull, has aged well, and not just because it was filmed in black and white.
  4. Reviewed by: Steve Daly
    100
    Another harsh character study, with poignant echoes of "Taxi Driver."
  5. 100
    The most painful and heartrending portrait of jealousy in the cinema--an "Othello'' for our times.
  6. 100
    A fiercely poetic study of violence. Stunningly shot in black-and-white. [14 Dec 1989, p.23]
  7. 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.

See all 14 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 48
  2. Negative: 4 out of 48
  1. 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. Expand
  2. 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 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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  3. 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 is deffinitly a must see. Expand
  4. 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" Expand
  5. 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 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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  6. Jul 8, 2012
    8
    A great movie, directed to the point of perfection, the acting was great and the movie felt very real to me, the one problem i had was not with the directing or acting, but with the production. The black and white hurt my eyes and made it hard to tell what was what, but it is a movie I recommend to anyone asking Expand
  7. Jul 10, 2011
    1
    This movie SUCKED!! I'm sorry I'm totally going against the crowd on this one. It's boring & long and it felt like a chore watching it. I really wanted to like it. I really tried, but you know what if a movie is really that good (according to critics)why should you try to like it? Man I freakin hate this movie. ALL boxing movies are better than this crap Rocky 1-6, Million Dollar Baby, and The Fighter are MUCH better. I know why the critics love this movie because it's bold and so vastly different from any other film. You know what that's very true. It is bold and vastly different, but in a VERY BAD way. (semi-spoiler) It's literally just about a douchebag boxer. He doesn't go though a change or journey or anything it just shows his life. He beats his brother & wife. He cusses alot. He kisses an underage girl(well she really didn't look underage) and the movie literally just ends in a random spot. I don't even care about the real story now because he was such a douche.However, he wasn't like an awesome villain douche or anything. It's not like he was the Joker,Hannibal Lecture, or Darth Vader. He was simply a douche that I didn't care about, and wasn't interested in. This movies overrated and people are just saying it's a masterpiece to follow the trend. Well F**k that. Eff this movie and Eff what the critics say. I respect peoples opinions, and if you like this movie fine. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Just don't annoy me about it to watch it because I did and it was a terrible waste of my time. Expand

See all 48 User Reviews

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