Box art for The Wrestler

The Wrestler


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
  • Audience Score

common sense

2 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
4 out of 5
5 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
Positive role models
0 out of 5
5 out of 5
4 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®

    reviews counted: 33
    see all The Wrestler reviews
  • Audience


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,, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Audience Reviews

3 stars

20 years after his hay day, Randy "The Ram" is still trying to nurse his broken body through the independent wrestling circuit when he suffers a heart attack that threatens his career. Maybe because it's because I'm English, or maybe because I don't have wheels on my home, I approached this film with a certain trepidation because I have absolutely no interest in wrestling, or sports movies in general.The plot is very much in the same vein as one of the million+ corny true life TV movies out there, but I must admit this film did win me over, basically for Mickey Rourke's incredibly honest performance for which he obviously drew on his own experiences as a professional boxer. It is the anti-sports movie, where instead of a small town guy making good, it is the story of a man who begins at the top and slowly descends into obscurity. It's a film about the effects of age, as his own failing body and mind gradually strips him of everything that made him feel special and worthy. For this reason, I think younger audiences may find it difficult to relate to the character, but Rourke is quite brilliant and if you like your 80s cock rock, you'll be in hair metal heaven.

- garyX, Friday, June 28, 2013

5 stars

Possibly the most beautifully filmed work I have seen---the cinematography is absolutely gorgeous. Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei are excellent--they give flawless performances. Aronofsky redeems himself after the failure that was The Fountain with a raw, captivating story that foreshadows his 2010 masterpiece Black Swan. The Wrestler is at times beautiful, at times disheartening, and at other times--as in the style of Aronofsky--thrilling and disillusioned in its portrayal of the destruction of the human spirit. In the end, The Wrestler is a film that must be experienced, one that captured my heart. I can honestly say that I loved it--every moment.

- fb100000293612769, Tuesday, July 9, 2013

5 stars

Mickey Rourke has finally emerged from the deep, dark pits of hell where he's been trapped for decades (personally and professionally) - and from this quite prolonged hiatus he unleashes the performance of a life-time. This movie will cripple your very soul and leave you to cry yourself to sleep for ages to come. A must-see.

- fb732260458, Saturday, March 19, 2011