159 user 89 critic

The Ringer (2005)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Sport | 23 December 2005 (USA)
A young guy's only option to erase a really bad debt is to rig the Special Olympics by posing as a contestant.



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1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Leonard Flowers ...
Steve Levy ...
Michael (as Al 'Train' Dias)


This comedy is about two guys who decide to rig the Special Olympics to pay off a debt by having one of them, Steve (Knoxville), pose as a contestant in the games, hoping to dethrone reigning champion, Jimmy. Mentally-challenged high jinks and hilarity surely follow. Written by bfluehr

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Only a jackass would fix the Special Olympics See more »


Comedy | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, language and some drug references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

23 December 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El farsante  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$7,702,439 (USA) (25 December 2005)


$35,424,335 (USA) (26 March 2006)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Edward Barbanell and Johnny Knoxville became very close friends by the end of filming this movie. Edward can be seen in credits and outtakes of some of the Jackass movies. See more »


After Jeffy and his Uncle Gary have explained his mental condition to Lynn; Lynn and Jeffy walk off carrying his bag. As Jeffy and Lynn walk to the dorms her shirt changes from a special Olympics t-shirt in one scene to talking down the road and suddenly changes to a light blue Adidas shirt See more »


Billy: You scratched my CD! You picked it up in pure daylight and you scratched it!
See more »


References Jaws (1975) See more »


My Cherie Amour
Written by Stevie Wonder, Sylvia Moy and Henry Cosby
See more »

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User Reviews

Underneath, This Has A Sweet Tone To It
22 March 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A typical modern-day comedy so some of its crudeness with sexual innuendos or remarks, but overall this is a full notch or two above most because underneath it is a soft, good- hearted feel to it. It's also a nice vehicle for a positive image to be presented for mentally- challenged people (formerl called "retards"). Those guys are as much of stars in this film as actors Johnny Knoxville and Katherine Heigl.

Knoxville plays the main character, "Steve Barker," a guy for (for good reasons, if that's possible) fakes being "handicapped" and enters The Special Olympics. He is hoping to win a big monetary prize to help pay for a friend's surgery and to help out his degenerate uncle who could be killed if he doesn't pay gamblers what he owes. Brian Cox plays "Uncle Gary." Both the man who needs the surgery ("Stavi," played by Luis Avalos) and Cox are hilarious in their roles, one being sympathetic and the other sleazy.

Along the way, Knoxville falls in love with Special Olympics worker "Lynn Sheridan" (Heigl). Hey, who wouldn't? This woman is unbelievably attractive and plays a good-hearted character.

Most of the funny lines in the movie are delivered by the Special Olympics athletes. Unrealistic? Yes, credibility is not high in that regard as as 99.9 percent of all the world's population would't be clever enough to deliver some of these lines but they are a hoot to hear. The fact you hear them uttered by "mentally-challenged" folks makes it even more outrageous and funny, of course. I can't remember how many times I just laughed out loud at something being said.

And, the film ends on a nigh note despite our hero being discovered as a fraud. The whole story is just a lot of a fun and is truly a feel-good film when it's all over. Highly recommended, but not for small kids because of the language.

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