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

User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 296 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: 73 out of 96
  2. Negative: 10 out of 96
  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. Oct 11, 2011
    8
    A really surprising win, i'd heard from just about everyone that it was complete **** then watched it with some mates, and bam, I am neverA really surprising win, i'd heard from just about everyone that it was complete **** then watched it with some mates, and bam, I am never trusting Sarah Ison again. It opens with "All of my Days" by little-known (but freakin amazing) singer Alexi Murdoch, who SGU fans will know from S1E3 "Air", with his (arguably, best song) "Breath" featuring at the end. The moment that song started playing, I could feel a win coming on, the plot is fairly stereotypical, in what i'd like to think is a bizzare threesome child, the parents of which were Rambo, Robots and Big Daddy, but its genuinely touching and with the exception of the odd cliche here and there, not at all unbelievable. The acting is top notch, with every major actor playing their respective roles with true feeling and commitment that's rare to find in mainstream movies these days, particular props to Dakota Goyo, who plays Hugh Jackman's 11-year-old son, and of course props to Hugh Jackman himself, who delivers another brilliant problems, Aussie Power FTW. Add to the that the brilliantly choreographed and animated robot punch-ups and some real hardcore **** Yeah!) moments, and there's a movie well-worth seeing. One particular flaw was the average score, while the little ditties in the background did suit the different moods, nothing was particularly memorable, but this is more than compensated for by the brilliant soundtrack, featuring several well-known songs that when used are used very well ---Final Verdict: 7.5 (-Rounded to 8) Expand
  4. Jan 27, 2012
    8
    Critics... pah! This is great fun... does what it says on the tin. Robots smashing each other to bits. Yes it's got an element of the cheeseCritics... pah! This is great fun... does what it says on the tin. Robots smashing each other to bits. Yes it's got an element of the cheese factor, but that's what we really love in a big budget special effect bonanza. Reckon the fact I have 2 sounds made the film all the more emotional for me... yes, I welled up a little. Honestly, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this film, escapism, adrenaline, tears and my head didn't hurt with having to over-think plot and storyline. Solid 8. Expand
  5. Nov 29, 2011
    7
    A história é ruim, mas as cenas de luta são completamente contagiantes. Ã
  6. Oct 30, 2011
    6
    Entertaining, but nothing more then that. Lack of content, acting a little bit turmoil, since they didn't had much to work with. FightingEntertaining, but nothing more then that. Lack of content, acting a little bit turmoil, since they didn't had much to work with. Fighting scenes were interesting (exaggerated sometimes), and the kid was super annoying. Expand
  7. Oct 6, 2014
    0
    Just seen it, and I absolutely hated the kid... spoiled / ruined / blemished / atrociously KILLED the movie for me. Go Hugh Jackman, Atom &Just seen it, and I absolutely hated the kid... spoiled / ruined / blemished / atrociously KILLED the movie for me. Go Hugh Jackman, Atom & Noisy Boy! Robots Rule! But not in this movie. Expand

See all 96 User Reviews

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