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Redbelt (2008)

R | | Drama, Sport | 9 May 2008 (USA)
2:07 | Trailer

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A fateful event leads to a job in the film business for top mixed-martial arts instructor Mike Terry. Though he refuses to participate in prize bouts, circumstances conspire to force him to consider entering such a competition.



1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Collins
Academy Fighter
Gini Collins
Luciana Souza ...
Singer in Bar
The Magician (as Cyril Takata)
Scott Barry ...
Billy the Bartender
Dylan Flynn
Ricardo Silva
Ricardo Wilke ...


Is there room for principle in Los Angeles? Mike Terry teaches jujitsu and barely makes ends meet. His Brazilian wife, whose family promotes fights, wants to see Mike in the ring making money, but to him competition is degrading. A woman sideswipes Mike's car and then, after an odd sequence of events, shoots out the studio's window. Later that evening, Mike rescues an action movie star in a fistfight at a bar. In return, the actor befriends Mike, gives him a gift, offers him work on his newest film, and introduces Mike's wife to his own - the women initiate business dealings. Then, things go sour all at once, Mike's debts mount, and going into the ring may be his only option. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

fight | bar | debt | jujitsu | instructor | See All (122) »


Fight for life April 2008 See more »


Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

9 May 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ceinture rouge  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$63,361 (USA) (2 May 2008)


$2,344,847 (USA) (11 July 2008)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Ed O'Neill's practice of Brazilian Ju-Jitsu partially inspired Mamet to write the movie. See more »


Chiwetel Ejiofor's character (Mike Terry) receives a knife wound to the left arm during a bar fight. Later in the movie while training shirtless, there is no wound marks on either of his arms. See more »


[first lines]
Mike Terry: Tie him up.
[to class]
Mike Terry: The hands are not the issue. The fight is the issue. The battle is the issue. Who imposes the terms of the battle will impose the terms of the peace. Think he has a handicap? No. The other guy has a handicap if he cannot control himself. You control yourself, you control him.
[to student]
Mike Terry: Take him to court.
See more »


Featured in Redbelt: The Magic of Cyril Takayama (2008) See more »


Written by Rebecca Pidgeon
Portuguese translation by Luciana Souza
Published by Dwight Street Music (BMI), Bella Panorama Music (BMI) and Songs of Windswept Pacific (BMI)
All rights on behalf of Dwight Street Music, Bella Panorama Music administered by Songs of Windswept Pacific
Performed by Rebecca Pidgeon
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

'There's Always An Escape'
16 February 2009 | by (Fraggle Rock) – See all my reviews

Just when one would expect 'Redbelt' to following a predictable path we are thrown off with a twist. Mamet tells a very layered story and most of the twists make sense. There are a few plot holes and perhaps the film could have used some energy boost. The pacing is arguably a tad slow in the beginning but as the events progress the viewer gets more and more drawn in. Mamet also brilliantly involves jiu-jitsu in the main story (unlike other martial arts film where the art is used merely as a device). The film is about honour (as the principles of Jiu Jitsu goes) and sacrifice but 'Redbelt' refuses to tread the clichéd path where the protagonist forcefully preaches the message to the viewer. The fights are well choreographed. The cinematography could have been better during the fight sequences. Mamet's cast is terrific. Chiwetel Ejiofor is exceptional as the noble and dignified Mike Terry. Terry ain't the clichéd hero. He is deeply passionate about jiu-jitsu but who won't resort to anger or bloodshed to achieve his means. He is willing to help anyone and he will do it through correct measures rather than the quick but 'wrong' way. Max Martini and Alice Braga are good. Emily Mortimer is fabulous. Tim Allen stands out in a small role. 'Redbelt' tells the story of a real(istic) hero who is not willing to give up his integrity or sacrifice his honour at any cost, who truly respects his passion and understands it.

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