Real Steel

Real Steel Image
Metascore
56

Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 330 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: A gritty, white-knuckle, action ride set in the near-future, where the sport of boxing has gone hi-tech. Charlie Kenton is a washed-up fighter who lost his chance at a title when 2000-pound, 8-foot-tall steel robots took over the ring. Now nothing but a small-time promoter, Charlie earnsA gritty, white-knuckle, action ride set in the near-future, where the sport of boxing has gone hi-tech. Charlie Kenton is a washed-up fighter who lost his chance at a title when 2000-pound, 8-foot-tall steel robots took over the ring. Now nothing but a small-time promoter, Charlie earns just enough money piecing together low-end bots from scrap metal to get from one underground boxing venue to the next. When Charlie hits rock bottom, he reluctantly teams up with his estranged son Max to build and train a championship contender. As the stakes in the brutal, no-holds-barred arena are raised, Charlie and Max, against all odds, get one last shot at a comeback. (Touchstone Pictures)

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 34
  2. Negative: 1 out of 34
  1. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Oct 5, 2011
    91
    Real Steel is directed by "Night at the Museum's" Shawn Levy, who makes good use of his specialized skill in blending people and computer-made imaginary things into one lively, emotionally satisfying story.
  2. Reviewed by: Carrie Rickey
    Oct 6, 2011
    75
    It is earsplitting, crowd-pleasing, and, no doubt, 'bot-pleasing, too. If you told me I would get emotionally and viscerally involved in two machines punching the hard drives out of each other, I would tell you you were crazy. I would be wrong.
  3. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Oct 6, 2011
    70
    It goes through all the motions, properly and efficiently, and yet it's missing some core warmth. Watching Real Steel, I kept thinking of Brad Bird's retro-modern cartoon "The Iron Giant," and of how that picture humanized a metal alien so effortlessly.
  4. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Oct 4, 2011
    60
    Executive-produced by Steven Spielberg, the movie's special effects are seamless and far more cleanly cut than any of Michael Bay's hash. But the element that lingers longest is a subtle strand - also woven into last week's "Take Shelter" - of recessionary anxiety.
  5. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Oct 7, 2011
    50
    What it lacks is the human element. Charlie is more of a rat than a rascal, and instead of working hard to build and operate his robots, he's literally going through the motions.
  6. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Oct 6, 2011
    50
    An underdog drama with clanging metal-on-metal action, Real Steel feels scientifically programmed to claw at your heart while its battling robots, which have a semblance of human personality, drum up your adrenaline. That said, I'm not sure that the movie itself has more than a semblance of a heart.
  7. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Oct 7, 2011
    38
    Real Steel is to action what the Anthony Weiner habit was to sex: It's so virtual, so distant from the thrill, that you wonder what the point is. Do you really want to pay to watch an actor playing a kid who in turn plays what amounts to a video game?

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 66 out of 102
  2. Negative: 12 out of 102
  1. Oct 8, 2011
    10
    I am in a robotics team, so i might be a little biased towards robots, but i think this was the best fighting movie of the year!!!!!!! I wasI am in a robotics team, so i might be a little biased towards robots, but i think this was the best fighting movie of the year!!!!!!! I was looking forward to this movie soo much, and it STILL beat my expectations!!!! It is a classic movie of a father getting to know his son better after leaving him alone with his mother and they are seeing each other for the first time because the mom died. However, the fact that the dad is a pro boxer and that he fights extremely high tech robots is a very good plot line. He is kind of a bum that is trying to earn money to pay off many debts, but he ends up getting a really cool son instead. If you like Rocky Balboa and transformers (mainly the robot part, not so much the transforming part), then you will think this movie is epic!!! Expand
  2. Oct 12, 2011
    10
    this film stinks the plot has so many holes it. the acting is dire and wooden. why do they persist on giving kids adult dialogue? the kidthis film stinks the plot has so many holes it. the acting is dire and wooden. why do they persist on giving kids adult dialogue? the kid says things that no kid would say. they said that humans get tired of watching other humans fight yet you got robots pummeling each other and squashing heads with crowds cheering. the kid an father have not seen each other for years yet they get on straight away no animosity and no withdrawn actions from the child. the movie is cliched and devoid of character development also the language used by the kid only goes to show what type of world we are living in now when directors are only encouraging children to be rude to adults but also swear Expand
  3. Jan 11, 2012
    8
    Real Steel is definitely The Real Deal . Its was enjoyable to watch , It was remarkable to see those robots fighting & its was incredible toReal Steel is definitely The Real Deal . Its was enjoyable to watch , It was remarkable to see those robots fighting & its was incredible to feel this movie . Real Steel is an amazing Si-Fi film and best of 2011 of this genre(tie with Super 8).Another SS masterpiece. Hugh did superb,He was just freaking amazing and he really was the perfect choice. Dakota did better then I hoped .Also Eva , Olga and others did really good job . Effect was definitely Top Class.Shawn did and amazing job directing this. Now lest go to the End of the film .... Not what I expected and sorry but didn't like it , I want to see this kinda twist on other film but not in this kinda films . Another thing is that this movie was too childish . Not that I hated it but sometimes it was too much that certainly doesn't go with Fighting films but they did make it enjoyable . But Now I wish It could have been more mature , darker with more violence . But Real Steel wasn't boring for a second ....Enjoyed , Laughed , Saw the 2020 Bot Boxing so hell yeah I want to see A sequel and One after that ... " Real Steel Trilogy " how's that sounds hah !! Expand
  4. Oct 15, 2011
    7
    This was much better than expected. Yes, it's a pretty daft plot and the father/son thing is a bit schmaltzy but there's no denying theThis was much better than expected. Yes, it's a pretty daft plot and the father/son thing is a bit schmaltzy but there's no denying the director's skill when it comes to entertainment. Jackman is an engaging leading man and there are enough good jokes and exciting action sequences to put a smile on the grumpiest face. Terrific Friday night nonsense! Expand
  5. Mar 28, 2012
    7
    This film isn't the best ever made by a long chalk but it also is not at all bad, it's just mindless fun, if you want a film you don't have toThis film isn't the best ever made by a long chalk but it also is not at all bad, it's just mindless fun, if you want a film you don't have to worry about too much or over think about, just a bit of good old fashion fun, this is it. Hugh Jackman is great in it too. Expand
  6. Nov 18, 2011
    6
    I thought that the idea in Real Steel was bad but there was a lot more to it than I expected. It had a good story and great performances fromI thought that the idea in Real Steel was bad but there was a lot more to it than I expected. It had a good story and great performances from all the actors. Expand
  7. Feb 7, 2012
    0
    This is one of the worst movies I've seen this year. The premise was interesting, the execution was not.
    I was halfway through the movie and
    This is one of the worst movies I've seen this year. The premise was interesting, the execution was not.
    I was halfway through the movie and decided I would give it a 5; but as it went on, I decided to drop it to the lowest possible score. Why? The kid. Every time he was on, it detracted from what could have been a pretty interesting character study. Instead, we got a crappy TV sitcom where the 11 year olds are smarter, wiser and tougher talking than the adults. It really was truly unbelievable. Oh, did I mention that he was also mechanical genius with robots even though he had never worked with them at all. I literally wanted to gag every time that snot nosed brat showed up onscreen. Don't waste your time or money on this dog.
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See all 102 User Reviews

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