Real Steel


Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 34
  2. Negative: 1 out of 34

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Oct 5, 2011
    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: Randy Cordova
    Oct 5, 2011
    There's a little "Kramer vs. Kramer" here, a dash of "Transformers" there, and it's all topped with big heap of "Rocky." But it's hard to argue with the results, because, at times, Real Steal is close to a knockout.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Hartlaub
    Oct 6, 2011
    If you can get past the ridiculousness of the setup - easy to do, because the posters make it clear this isn't a Woody Allen movie - it's pretty much impossible not to have fun.
  4. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Oct 6, 2011
    The movie is corny enough to remind you that boxing rings are square.
  5. Reviewed by: Carrie Rickey
    Oct 6, 2011
    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.
  6. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Oct 5, 2011
    By the time the two hour running length has expired, it's safe to say that Real Steel comes across as a legitimate crowd-pleaser.
  7. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Oct 5, 2011
    Real Steel is a real movie. It has characters, it matters who they are, it makes sense of its action, it has a compelling plot. This is the sort of movie, I suspect, young viewers went to the "Transformers" movies looking for.
  8. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Oct 5, 2011
    Like "Moneyball," this is real movie making that packs a solid entertainment punch.
  9. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Oct 6, 2011
    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.
  10. Reviewed by: Pete Hammond
    Oct 4, 2011
    Although the marketing looks like "Transformers 4," Real Steel is the real deal, a Rocky with robots that ought to have audiences standing up and cheering.
  11. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Oct 2, 2011
    The uncanny thing about Real Steel is just how gripping the fight scenes are; Sugar Ray Leonard served as a consultant to the motion-capture performers responsible for pantomiming the machines' moves.
  12. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Oct 5, 2011
    Real Steel falls somewhere near the intersection of elation and shame, essentially reworking the Sylvester Stallone arm-wrestling non-classic "Over The Top" for the equally ridiculous sport of android fisticuffs, and mostly getting away with it.
  13. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Oct 5, 2011
    If familiarity is endemic to this feel-good drama, there's nonetheless also something to be said for competent amalgamation and regurgitation of tired genre tropes.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 329 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 66 out of 102
  2. Negative: 12 out of 102
  1. Oct 8, 2011
    Here is what you get when you see this movie: You get to be with moviegoers that will cheer and clap out loud (when is the last time thatHere is what you get when you see this movie: You get to be with moviegoers that will cheer and clap out loud (when is the last time that happened). You get great fight scenes. Real life Rock'em Sock'em Robots. You get the desire to stand up and throw a punch yourself. You may get a tear in your eye. If you go with your son, you get to watch him go through every emotion in two hours then talk about every minute of it for the next two hours. You get to watch a very good movie and you get your monies worth. Again, when is the last time that happened? No academy awards with this one, but you'll have some priceless snapshot moments with your family. Full Review »
  2. Feb 13, 2012
    "Real Steel" is real. It has the visual action with a cheesy but good story. A good entertainment to watch with your kids or family.
  3. Oct 8, 2011
    I was apparently WAY too old for this movie. It was predictable from the opening frame. Maybe a good family film to take your kids to butI was apparently WAY too old for this movie. It was predictable from the opening frame. Maybe a good family film to take your kids to but just didn't hold my attention the way Super 8 did which was also a family film. Hugh Jackman carries the entire film as far as I'm concerned. His model-looking girlfriend who is a mechanic (yeah right) is not used much and the kid is a little hammy at times. Actually he's hammy most of the time. Lots of preposterous eye rolling moments. I looked at my watch a couple of times hoping it would end. Also, Hugh Jackman plays a jerk who ignored his kid his entire life and couldn't even remember his wife's sister's name, and yet we're suddenly supposed to be cheering for him? Now suddenly he's a good guy since he introduced his 11 year old son to the art of boxing and betting on sports? Full Review »