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The Wrestler (2008)

R  |   |  Drama, Sport  |  30 January 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 241,920 users   Metascore: 81/100
Reviews: 545 user | 388 critic | 36 from

A faded professional wrestler must retire, but finds his quest for a new life outside the ring a dispiriting struggle.



(as Robert Siegel)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 50 wins & 64 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
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Necro Butcher (as Dylan Summers)
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Admissions Desk Woman


This is a drama about an aging professional wrestler, decades past his prime, who now barely gets by working small wrestling shows in VFW halls and as a part-time grocery store employee. As he faces health problems that may end his wrestling career for good he attempts to come to terms with his life outside the ring: by working full time at the grocery store, trying to reconcile with the daughter he abandoned in childhood and forming a closer bond with a stripper he has romantic feelings for. He struggles with his new life and an offer of a high-profile rematch with his 1980s arch-nemesis, The Ayatollah, which may be his ticket back to stardom. Written by Matlock-6

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Love. Pain. Glory.


Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, sexuality/nudity, language and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

30 January 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El luchador  »

Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$202,714 (USA) (19 December 2008)


$26,236,603 (USA) (8 May 2009)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Darren Aronofsky's first film where he is not credited for writing the screenplay. See more »


Randy is shown a couple times getting his roots bleached. Once at the salon and another time when he tries to do it himself at home. Both times after his hair is bleached, his hair looks exactly the same, with dark roots. See more »


Wayne: [Jokingly describing to Randy what the deli counter is like] It's an endless parade of horny housewives begging for your man meat.
See more »


Referenced in Behind the Comedy (2009) See more »


No Biterz
Written by Tannis Kristjanson and Ari Katz
Performed by Miss TK & The Revenge
By Arrangement with Bank Robber Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Haunting Portrait Of Loneliness
25 March 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Wow, what a sordid but fascinating film. I can why Mickey Rourke won so many awards for his performance, too. The same goes for the film.

The film was shocking to me: For instance, it was a shock seeing Rourke -"Randy The Ram" - with the long, flowing blond hair and rippling muscles. Hey, it's not that former boxer was ever in bad shape, but he never had muscles like this either. The man must have pumped a lot of iron to get ready for this role as an aging wrestler.

Another shock was seeing Maria Tomei, of "My Cousin Vinny" fame, naked

  • and in that state in more than one scene. She didn't leave much to

the imagination as "Cassidy." A third shock was seeing some of the early wrestling scenes. Yeah, pro wrestling is rough stuff and it's bloody and it's fake, etc., but the scenes in here are pretty brutal, more than I've ever seen on TV. The one extended match with the "staples" was pretty gruesome.

Evan Rachel Wood is convincing as Randy's daughter "Stephanie." This 21-year-old is no stranger to acting, having been doing it since she was four! The scenes with her and her dad are memorable.

When the shock of the above scenes of sex and violence (and language) fade away, underneath it all is a very tender, sad tale of a lonely man who invested too much in his career and, after coming close to mortality, realizes the important of family and simply being loved by anyone. That's what sticks with you long after the film ends. Loneliness can be a killer.

"Randy" tries to mend fences and post a few himself - in his final quest not to wind up as an island in this world of humanity - with both successful and unsuccessful results. Sometimes you can never change what you are, and sometimes you can. Both of those are demonstrated here in this oddly-edgy-but sentimental film.

60 of 71 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Wonder what happened to Ram's money jk80
If he died at the end, did his daughter come to the funeral? father247
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