Fox Searchlight Pictures | Release Date: December 17, 2008
8.1
USER SCORE
Universal acclaim based on 310 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
268
Mixed:
26
Negative:
16
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10
KyleB.Jan 8, 2009
Visionary writer/director Darren Aronofsky's follow-up to the confusing mess that was "The Fountain" is, on paper, a rather straightforward simplistic story of a broken down man trying to deal with the realities of his trade. But beyond Visionary writer/director Darren Aronofsky's follow-up to the confusing mess that was "The Fountain" is, on paper, a rather straightforward simplistic story of a broken down man trying to deal with the realities of his trade. But beyond the surface lies a film enriched with spirit and heartbreak. Mickey Rourke, (in what is sure to be an Oscar Nominated performance) takes on the role as the fictional 80's wrestler Randy "The Ram" Robinson who at one time was a big star and is now just a man far past his prime working indie circuits. A body bruised, broken and willing to take more damage. Mickey Rourke used to be a boxer and the damage he sustained to his face is put to full effect in the close-ups used to emphasize just how far one will go for the fans. Randy has lost all of what he has because of his chosen profession. He can't even pay to gain access to his trailer so on weekends he wrestles and weekdays he works at a grocery store. His family has left him and all he wants is the human connection that left. He treats the stripper he goes to (excellently portrayed by oscar winner Marisa Tomei) as if she's his best friend and the kids that live around him are the nephews that he plays Nintendo with, the ones he never had. But after Randy suffers from something that forces him to retire, he tries to make amends with people he hurt, fix the mistakes he made. That includes getting into contact with his daughter (another award making performance by Evan Rachel Wood) in what pushes this movie above what it is. These emotionally intimate scenes are what makes the movie more then about a simple Wrestler, more then just a man on a life's journey. The script by Robert Siegel could have easily been been turned into a Rocky Balboa rip off without the craftsmanship of Aronofsky. The scenes where the wrestlers are all casually discussing their plans for the ring that night are a humorous and informative touch. The seemingly strange combination of filming with a handheld camera, using panning and tracking techniques works, giving it a real and raw vibe which is almost documentary like. You are following this man's triumphs, his losses and his faults. You are watching a man's life unfold in front of you. He wrestles because the fans help heal the wounds, the gaps in his life, and because of that this movie is able to go above what others in the genre have failed to succeed at. Enough cannot be said about Mickey Rourke's powerhouse performance. Every step, every breath and every little nuance he portrays gives life to this character and the frailties he has. Rourke himself had similar dialogue to that of the film, stepping out of the acting spotlight for years to pursue a career in boxing. In more ways then one, this is his comeback just as much as it is Randy's. The Wrestler is a truly brilliant film that wouldn't of come to be without the cast and detail it has. Darren Aronofsky is used to making multi-shot sequenced films with quick edits ala "Requiem For a Dream". This sudden change of pace in both style and focus (his attention to detail with how real those "fake" wrestlers do their jobs is brilliant) only further his credence as one of the best directors this generation. He has captured something more then a movie, something that will move you because we can see a little bit of Randy in all us and connect with that on an emotional level. Whether it be not wanting to accept the name we're given or doing something for all the wrong reasons. We want him to succeed, to triumph, just like we want ourselves to. Likewise, Rourke and this film deserve success as well, if only because movies just aren't made like this anymore. Here's for a Best Actor and Best Picture Nod. Rating: A The Wrestler hits theaters on January 23'rd, I caught one of the limited release screenings. Written By: Kyle Bulai Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
9
howardrFeb 1, 2009
The few flaws are dwarfed by veracity and intensity of emotion throughout the film. rourke's performance is gigantic, tomei's simply superb.
1 of 1 users found this helpful
10
ChuckH.Feb 2, 2009
Fantastic performance by Mickey Rourke in a wonderfully understated film that does not go "Hollywood." Marisa Tomei is perfect and the rest of the cast give an excellent backdrop to the story.
1 of 1 users found this helpful
10
[Anonymous]Mar 10, 2009
I highly recommend this film to anyone. The story is so heartbreaking and it's no surprise seeing how Rourke's performance was nothinig short of perfect. You would have to be dead inside not to pitty The Ram at the end of the movie.
1 of 1 users found this helpful
9
DavidVJan 16, 2009
Definitely a masterpiece. Although I think many of us can "see it coming" throughout the film, the true art of this film is in the storytelling and the roller coaster of emotions. Mickey's acting is beyond an A+.
1 of 1 users found this helpful
10
PaulT.Jan 19, 2009
Marisa Tomei is FANTASTIC in the supporting role to Mickey Rourke's top effort of a lifetime! This movie will continue to stack up the awards in all categories and is destined to be a classic. Don't miss this one.
1 of 1 users found this helpful
9
JoshSJan 26, 2009
Wonderful acting within the framework of a story that has holes. Micky Rourke and Marissa Tomei portray their characters supremely well, but the story is hampered by the areas that get glossed over....his daughter, the budding of his romance Wonderful acting within the framework of a story that has holes. Micky Rourke and Marissa Tomei portray their characters supremely well, but the story is hampered by the areas that get glossed over....his daughter, the budding of his romance with Pam, etc. I walked away with the feeling that this movie should have been an extra 20-30 minutes longer to cover the gaps. We're left to use our imagination to build obvious bridges over gaps left in the story. Considering the quality of acting and directing I'm positive that if some extra time had been taken it would have put this movie over the top. In the end it's a good flick, if a little short. The Aronovski style comes through and makes the film gripping and interesting. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
10
EricaM.Jan 30, 2009
This movie was excellent all around- casting was superb, and even if you aren't a fan of professional wrestling, you'll cheer right alongside the fans around the ring. I don't know of any actor who is better suited for this This movie was excellent all around- casting was superb, and even if you aren't a fan of professional wrestling, you'll cheer right alongside the fans around the ring. I don't know of any actor who is better suited for this role, or who could pull it off as well as Mickey Rourke. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
10
Sarae.Jan 6, 2009
John are you 10? The Wrestler is starts out as an in your face film about a professional wrestler and soon becomes a tale of survival and regret and friendship and just one man's imperfect life. It is very funny and very heartbreaking John are you 10? The Wrestler is starts out as an in your face film about a professional wrestler and soon becomes a tale of survival and regret and friendship and just one man's imperfect life. It is very funny and very heartbreaking and just fantastic. Still thinking about it hours later too. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
9
PaulD.Jan 9, 2009
Superb heartfelt, touching performance by Mickey Rourke elevates the movie far beyond the sometimes cliche-ridden script. Excellent support from Marisa Tomei provides an additional reason to see it and an emotional scene with Evan Rachel Superb heartfelt, touching performance by Mickey Rourke elevates the movie far beyond the sometimes cliche-ridden script. Excellent support from Marisa Tomei provides an additional reason to see it and an emotional scene with Evan Rachel Wood also leaves a lasting impression. I hope that Rourke wins the Academy Award for his performance; he deserves it. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
8
MattHFeb 17, 2009
Great movie. Rourke sells as the old washed up wrestler who won't let a dream die while his star fades away. If there was more of the dialogue between Rourke and Tomei I think that I really would have loved it, but I wanted to see more Great movie. Rourke sells as the old washed up wrestler who won't let a dream die while his star fades away. If there was more of the dialogue between Rourke and Tomei I think that I really would have loved it, but I wanted to see more of the fire that drives these two individuals. May we all go out doing what we love. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
7
halbApr 25, 2009
A good, but not great, film. Ty Burr (Boston Globe) sums up the lead performance nicely: "This performance has a gentleness - an almost Zen-like acceptance of collapsed expectations - that comes close to breaking your heart." It's A good, but not great, film. Ty Burr (Boston Globe) sums up the lead performance nicely: "This performance has a gentleness - an almost Zen-like acceptance of collapsed expectations - that comes close to breaking your heart." It's basically a character study, and also a cautionary tale, about clinging to your dreams and self-image long past their expiration dates. Rourke does give an amazing performance, and the ending -- although pretty cliche'd -- definitely touches your heart. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
9
danielw.Dec 26, 2008
There are many wonderful things about this movie --- not least the heroic performance by Mickey Rourke and the subtler but no less brilliant turn by Marisa Tomei. The photography is also stunning -- stunningly bleak. But there are some There are many wonderful things about this movie --- not least the heroic performance by Mickey Rourke and the subtler but no less brilliant turn by Marisa Tomei. The photography is also stunning -- stunningly bleak. But there are some weaknesses that keep the movie from achieving Raging Bull-like greatness, and they are mostly contained in the script. There are some truly terrible lines -- and it is a sign of great acting that the awfulness of them only becomes plain after you run them back in your head, shorn of the performances that give them cover. The subplot with the daughter is psychologically implausible. Still, this is in my view the best American movie of the year, fearless in ways that Frost/Nixon, Milk and their ilk can only dream of. Only Demme's Rachel Getting Married and Reichardt's Wendy and Lucy come close to. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
10
tdmacJan 2, 2009
I have/had ZERO interest in wrestling, but I saw this movie when it first came out (perhaps 2 weeks ago?), and I still can't get it out of my mind. I feel so satisfied getting to see a slice of life film that didn't spoon feed me I have/had ZERO interest in wrestling, but I saw this movie when it first came out (perhaps 2 weeks ago?), and I still can't get it out of my mind. I feel so satisfied getting to see a slice of life film that didn't spoon feed me sugar bombs of "positivity", "everything works out", and "we're in love, let's dance into the sunset.". Even on life's best, funnest and most easy-going days, it's more complicated than that... It is often brutal. Often messy. Really great performances...especially delivered by Mickey Rourke. Multi-dimensional, touching, heart-breaking, funny. Really great film. If you have reservations about seeing a film "about wrestling" you need ant worry. Wrestling is only an aspect to the film. It's about much more than that. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
9
CarolSJan 27, 2009
Really outstanding movie. Rourke and Marisa T. were superbly cast for this. You'll remember its sweetness long after it is over.
1 of 1 users found this helpful
9
DKJan 23, 2009
Very good film. Actually stirs thought and emotion, unlike the over-hyped Slumdog Millionaire. Great performances by Rourke and Tomei. Wood's performance is the only glaring weakspot, but Aronofsky wisely gave her limited screentime.
1 of 1 users found this helpful
10
Alexander_FredDec 10, 2011
A well directed film by Daren Afronsky, Micky Rourke and Marisa Tomei are more than able to bring their respective characters and all of their flaws to life in a realistic and engaging manner.. At times capable of bringing a tear to the eyeA well directed film by Daren Afronsky, Micky Rourke and Marisa Tomei are more than able to bring their respective characters and all of their flaws to life in a realistic and engaging manner.. At times capable of bringing a tear to the eye and at others capable of turning stomachs, the Wrestler nonetheless enchants throughout its entirety telling a story that all are capable of sympathizing with. Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
All this user's reviews
7
JonL.Jan 4, 2009
Great performance by Mickey Rourke, although the role didn't seem much of a stretch. The overall movie, however, was initially disappointing. But the movie has stayed with me, and I keep on thinking about it. The same way that Anchorman Great performance by Mickey Rourke, although the role didn't seem much of a stretch. The overall movie, however, was initially disappointing. But the movie has stayed with me, and I keep on thinking about it. The same way that Anchorman is not that funny the first time you watch, but becomes funnier the more times you quote it in a group of friends, this movie gets better after it has had some time to sit with you. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful
8
jacksfilmblog.blogspotFeb 3, 2009
You will have heard a lot in the media about his comeback role as Randy
0 of 1 users found this helpful
8
FDT44Jan 2, 2011
Impeccable casting, sheer authenticity, candid deliveries, and heart rending emotion drive "The Wrestler" to an unprecedented level, transcending anything of the hackneyed "rags to riches to rags" genre. The experiences seen through theImpeccable casting, sheer authenticity, candid deliveries, and heart rending emotion drive "The Wrestler" to an unprecedented level, transcending anything of the hackneyed "rags to riches to rags" genre. The experiences seen through the beaten and battered Rourke hits home and sticks with you like the cohesive wrap which covers his wounds. If your the fantastical type, salivating from the mouth, anticipating a knockout of Ivan Drago, "The Wrestler" is too real for your liking. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
All this user's reviews
8
spadenxDec 5, 2011
The wrestler is an amazing film that features great acting, Mickey Rourke is an amazing lead. The film does get a little boring at times and it seems to recycle itself a bit through out as well. Still a good film though.
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
All this user's reviews
7
Ven-WedeJan 12, 2012
Even with all of its gritty and melancholy realism, The Wrestler feels a little too safe. The story is a standard character-driven narrative which rarely moves away from the staples of what makes drama. It includes such well-worn themes asEven with all of its gritty and melancholy realism, The Wrestler feels a little too safe. The story is a standard character-driven narrative which rarely moves away from the staples of what makes drama. It includes such well-worn themes as issues with family, work, and poverty; coping with the present and letting go of the past, and coming to terms with mortality and the fragility of life; nothing that hasn't been done before. This may be exactly what Aronofsky wanted to achieve with his bleak vision of reality; but it's just too slow-paced to be top-quality entertainment, and too basic to be top-quality art. However, a perfect performance from Rourke ensures it isn't lost to mediocrity. Worth a watch, but don't expect layers of complexity -- the film is as superficial as it is sincere. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
All this user's reviews
9
AdamCJan 20, 2009
I thought that there was more backstory to be told, but they left it all out. Rourke was amazing, Tomei was nude, and Wood was under-utilized.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
BillyS.Jan 30, 2009
Yes, it's Mickey Rourke's best performance of his career and one that could beat out Sean Penn for the Oscar, but why is everyone so surprized? When I first heard that Darren Aronofsky was making a film with Rourke about a Yes, it's Mickey Rourke's best performance of his career and one that could beat out Sean Penn for the Oscar, but why is everyone so surprized? When I first heard that Darren Aronofsky was making a film with Rourke about a washed-up wrestler I knew then that we were in for another great film. I'll give praise where the praise is due - to Darren Aronofsky. He should have been nominated for Requiem For a Dream and nobody even noticed The Fountain, but I did and I can't wait for whatever he does next! A Standing Ovation to the real genius behind The Wrestler- Darren Aronofsky!! Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
JoshWJan 5, 2009
I hated it. Seriously, Aranofsky just knows how to make me feel terrible and I hate his movies because of how skillfully he does this. It would be a treat for sure if he took all of his considerable skills and made a "happy" film. Perhaps I hated it. Seriously, Aranofsky just knows how to make me feel terrible and I hate his movies because of how skillfully he does this. It would be a treat for sure if he took all of his considerable skills and made a "happy" film. Perhaps show some range! Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
MichaelJApr 30, 2009
I almost didn't bother with this one. A) Not a Rourke fan. B) Not a wrestling fan. But, I gave it a shot...and boy was I mesmerized. I completely forgot it was Rourke. He was amazing. I believed it all. MUST see.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
AlexHMay 7, 2009
This is utterly the most, gut wrenching, break-out-into-tears, amazing films I have ever had the pleasure of seeing. To date, one of the best movies ever made.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
FergusonB.Dec 17, 2008
If you want to know what wrestling is really like watch this film. Very accurate.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
BobBDec 27, 2008
Dead-solid perfect.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
RobertJan 1, 2009
Far and away the best movie I've seen this year. I really hope that it receives a big push and manages to crawl up into mainstream movie houses. Despite its grittiness I think this movie could speak to a very wide audience, especially Far and away the best movie I've seen this year. I really hope that it receives a big push and manages to crawl up into mainstream movie houses. Despite its grittiness I think this movie could speak to a very wide audience, especially profoundly to men. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful