MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 541 this week

The Wrestler (2008)

 -  Drama | Sport  -  30 January 2009 (USA)
7.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 227,958 users   Metascore: 81/100
Reviews: 533 user | 381 critic | 36 from Metacritic.com

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

Director:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

Live Chat with Keanu Reeves

We conducted a Live Chat with Keanu about his upcoming film John Wick.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 27 titles
created 09 Oct 2011
 
a list of 43 titles
created 06 Sep 2012
 
a list of 28 titles
created 21 Mar 2013
 
a list of 27 titles
created 24 Jul 2013
 
a list of 26 titles
created 18 Aug 2013
 

Related Items

Search for "The Wrestler" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Wrestler (2008)

The Wrestler (2008) on IMDb 7.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Wrestler.

User Polls

Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 55 wins & 47 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Pi (1998)
Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A paranoid mathematician searches for a key number that will unlock the universal patterns found in nature.

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Stars: Sean Gullette, Mark Margolis, Ben Shenkman
The Fountain (2006)
Drama | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Spanning three parallel stories over a millennium, 'The Fountain' is a story of love, death, spirituality, and the fragility of our existence in this world.

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Rachel Weisz, Sean Patrick Thomas
Black Swan (2010)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A ballet dancer wins the lead in "Swan Lake" and is perfect for the role of the delicate White Swan - Princess Odette - but slowly loses her mind as she becomes more and more like Odile, the Black Swan.

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Stars: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel
The Fighter I (2010)
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A look at the early years of boxer "Irish" Micky Ward and his brother who helped train him before going pro in the mid 1980s.

Director: David O. Russell
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

The drug-induced utopias of four Coney Island people are shattered when their addictions become stronger.

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Ernest Miller ...
Dylan Keith Summers ...
Necro Butcher (as Dylan Summers)
Tommy Farra ...
Mike Miller ...
...
Admissions Desk Woman
...
...
...
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

Love. Pain. Glory.

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

30 January 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El luchador  »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£802,046 (UK) (16 January 2009)

Gross:

$26,236,603 (USA) (8 May 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Darren Aronofsky and Marisa Tomei attended the same high school, Edward R. Murrow High School. See more »

Goofs

Shadow of mic on wall in Stephanie's living room. See more »

Quotes

Randy 'The Ram' Robinson: Give this to your son, it's an authentic Randy "the Ram" action figure. Tell him not to lose it, it's a $300 collectors item.
Cassidy: Really?
Randy 'The Ram' Robinson: No.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood's Top Ten: Alive and Kicking (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Blowin' Up
Written and Performed by Solomon
Courtesy of Cash Flo Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
One of the best films of 2008
31 December 2008 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

Enough has been written already about Mickey Rourke's real-life parallels with his fictional character in The Wrestler. Yes, it makes the story seem even realer, and is perhaps what attracted Rourke to the project. (Or perhaps not — perhaps, instead, it is what attracted Darren Aronofsky to the actor.) But to focus on such surface similarities seems like an undermining of his work here. Rourke may not be as out-of-his-comfort-zone as Sean Penn in Milk, the only other Oscar-worthy lead performance this year, but that is merely a testament to his fundamental understanding of his character: Randy is an understated guy with big scars, both literally and figuratively. He's been wrestling for years — now reduced to borderline tribute shows in front of dwindling crowds, scrounging up barely enough cash to buy the variety of drugs and steroids he needs to maintain his weight. He lives in a trailer park and gets locked out for not being able to keep up rent. He works part-time at a grocery store and visits strip clubs regularly, because it's the only place where he seemingly has any meaningful connections with another human being — namely the dancer Cassidy (played by Marisa Tomei), who is similarly a bit older than most peers in her "profession," yet doesn't really know any other way to live.

The Wrestler draws immediate comparison to the classics of working class cinema, including Rocky and On the Waterfront. Sylvester Stallone returned to his iconic character two years to bring resolution to the life of Rocky Balboa, the Philly boxer who got back in the ring for one final match . It was a good film and touched on similar themes — a nice guy stuck in a mean world, an estranged child– and ultimately both films present us with the dilemma these men find themselves in: too old to continue doing what they know best, and too old to learn how to do anything else.

Whereas Rocky Balboa was a trip down memory lane, it was hardly as bleak or frank as The Wrestler, which is a vastly superior film. Darren Aronofsky has established himself with this picture as one of the most important of modern American filmmakers; to acknowledge that this work is from the same man who directed The Fountain is astonishing, because they couldn't be farther apart on a sylistic level. The Wrestler is grainy, low-key and rough. It isn't polished, fantastical or elaborate. And that suits the material perfectly. The fact that Aronofsky was willing to almost entirely reinvent his approach for the benefit of the story is more than admirable. He deserves a nomination.

Tomei is wonderful in her supporting role, fleshing out her character (again, both literally and figuratively) with greater competence than most actresses would probably be able to manage, because it's a fairly obvious role — the "stripper with a heart of gold" who is the object of desire for the gruff guy with a tortured soul. Yet she manages to strike a balance in the film as one of two female roles, the other belonging to Evan Rachel Wood as Randy's emotionally severed daughter.

The Wrestler is impressive for all its smaller parts as well as the larger ones. When Randy goes to visit his daughter, the reaction is fleeting; it's not overly dramatic and revelatory, like most films of this nature often create such scenes to be. We can tell by her reaction that it's not the first time Randy has attempted to reconcile with her, as she seems unfazed by his appearance on her doorstep. It is in this fashion that the film jumps through all the mandatory hoops of its genre (think, of all things, The Royal Tenenbaums), yet still manages to seem fresh and realistic.

And then there's Rourke. As aforementioned, he deserves the Oscar nom he's likely to receive. And he should probably win. This is one of the best performances of the decade, perhaps even of all time, if we really want to get down to it. It's the best work of his career, at once the most fully developed of his characters and the most imperfect. Randy isn't airbrushed to make him seem more appealing to the audience; Aronofsky and Rourke exploit his faults and present him as a normal man, tempted by vices and haunted by his past. Yet we recognize that the drugs, the empty sex and the generally self-destructive behavior Randy partakes in is rooted in the same emotional enguish that the actor himself seems to carry with him; Aronofsky spotted this quality in Rourke, and he fought the producers for Rourke over their first choice (Nicolas Cage), and his dedication paid off — you'll be hard-pressed to find a more convincing, moving or memorable lead performance this year.

Ultimately, The Wrestler is one of the year's very best films — a character study that is at once timeless and powerful. And it's helmed by a director who has managed to bounce back from an aesthetically pleasing but shallow art-house film to produce one of the great works of American cinema in the 21st century.


198 of 256 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Handheld camera - was is necessary ???? minidodo
Wonder what happened to Ram's money jk80
The Wrestler Makes Me Cry riku-7
So, was she.... bowmanblue
If he died at the end, did his daughter come to the funeral? father247
Nicholas Cage? godwulf1
Discuss The Wrestler (2008) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?