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

User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 271 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 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: 70 out of 91
  2. Negative: 8 out of 91
  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 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 27, 2011
    10
    Loved the movie. Futuristic version of the original Rocky. Nice tale of a father learning to be one. I would recommend highly. PG-13...there is some violence, but not brutal as in the Rocky Saga. Expand
  3. Oct 10, 2011
    9
    I think that the majority of the reviews for 'Real Steel' are not only harsh but smack of reviewer ignorance to the point where I even wonder if they watched the film. Yes it is a bit sappy, sometimes a little too much but it is a family movie for goodness sake. Take care when reading reviews from ragazines like the NY times (where the reviewer makes so many factually inaccurate statements about the film that it is obvious he did not watch the whole film) and pay attention to Metacritic. Spot on. Expand
  4. Oct 13, 2011
    8
    It's not the best action-thriller/drama in recent years, but it's not Transformers. It's a reasonably compelling -- and heartwarming -- story with a terrific cast and exhilarating fighting sequences as well as stunning special effects. Expand
  5. Jan 6, 2012
    7
    Cheer,clap,shout, everything you will do when u will watch this movie. i am totally agreed with the comment by @Badgerbrad. "You may get a tear in yor eye". According to movie is movie is just Awesome..Watch it for sure to see what motion pictures can do.. Expand
  6. Nov 23, 2011
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Not Bad. Seems like more of a child movie, as the sense of Robots who just punch and Jab eachother. I thought throughout the whole movie, that the effects were great, yet the storyline was lacking. not much was explained, and it felt like the journey jumped from beginning to end when the fights began. what, 1 real fight, then portions of a fight, then champion fights? 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
    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. Expand

See all 91 User Reviews

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