Box art for The Wrestler

The Wrestler

drama


A powerful portrait of a battered dreamer, ex-professional wrestler Randy The Ram Robinson, who despite himself and the odds stacked against him, lives to be a hero once again in the only place he considers homeinside the ring.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    98%
  • Audience Score
    88%

common sense

NOT FOR KIDS 0
Violence
4 out of 5
Consumerism
2 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
4 out of 5
Language
5 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
Positive role models
0 out of 5
Sex
5 out of 5

Brilliant drama about rough redemption is for adults only.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this critically acclaimed indie drama is a strong, brilliant, fierce film -- for adults only. The acting, direction, and writing are of Oscar caliber, but there's extensive nudity, unflinching violence, drinking, drug use/abuse, and swearing. The film is also moody and complex, depicting the physical and moral consequences of the characters' work as "professionals" in the economy of entertainment.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk aboutthe nature of the "fake" violence depicted in the wrestling matches -- is it really "fake" if people are bleeding?
  • What's the appeal of professional wrestling to begin with? What makes it compelling entertainment?
  • Is it as popular now as it was in the '80s? Why or why not?
  • Discuss the similarities between Randy and Cassidy,who both make low pay selling their bodies (he wrestles, she strips).What effect does that have on their self-esteem? Their relationshipswith others?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    98%
    reviews counted: 33
    see all The Wrestler reviews
  • Audience

    88%

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: Predictable as it is, this sad, strong beast of a film keeps us pinned to the mat with the strength of its compassion and the overpowering force of its central performance.

- Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle, Friday, January 16, 2009

Fresh: The Wrestler isn't a perfect movie, but Rourke's performance gives it the impact of an atomic elbow drop.

- Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic, Thursday, January 8, 2009

Fresh: The Best Film of 2008

- Blake French, Filmcritic.com, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Audience Reviews

5 stars

The Wrestler is by far Mickey Rourkes best performance. A sad story about a washed up wrestler, This is a terrific drama film with a great cast including Evan Rachel Wood in the role of Stephanie Robinson, ickey Rourk's daughter in the film. Another highlight inThe Wrestler is Marisa Tomei who gives one of the greatest performances of her career. This is a fine drama film about a man who lost everything, and regain something. This is a phenomenal film with great acting, storytelling and directing. This is a film for true film enthusiasts as this won't appeal the common film goer who views the same Will Farrell bullshit every friday night. This is a terrific film that shouldn't be missed!

- TheDudeLebowski65, Thursday, July 8, 2010

4 stars

The Wreslter is gruelling, ultra-violent and at times very ugly and seddy and yet Mickey Rourke makes The Wrestler one of the most humanly beautiful films of the year. His performance cannot be underestimated it is simply a revelation, Rourke bares his soul on camera, and I say Rourke not his character, because you know the character of the wrestler is more Rourke than Rourke is the character. Although I did not like his character, prefering Marisa Tomei's subtle stripper, in another great performance this year, I was moved to tears by the character's tragedy in much the same way I was moved by Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull. An emotionally defeating film, not easy but rewarding.

- smith44, Saturday, June 5, 2010

5 stars

This is an extremely well-acted, strongly directed, powerful, affecting, and moving story of a sad and lonely has been professional wrestler at the twilight of his career. The raw unflinching documentary style cinematography adds an intense leve lof realism to a form of entertainment that too often gets a bad rap. Yes, much of pro wrestling is staged, but not all of it, and the parts that aren't staged are more consequential to those involved than what people are lead to believe. Had this not been an independent film, it wouldn't have been as intense and hard hitting, and would have suffered. The film is pretty accurate in its portrayal of the business. Some of the wrestlers are shown as more pathetic than not, but ultimately, this film is pretty respectful and sensible. These guys are neither complete losers nor ultimate heroes, they are mianly just hard working guys who only know how to do one thing, do it well, and make great sacrifices to do it.

- cosmo313, Monday, April 26, 2010