7.9/10
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558 user 397 critic

The Wrestler (2008)

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

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(as Robert Siegel)
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690 ( 442)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 57 wins & 86 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

30 January 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El luchador  »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$202,714 (USA) (21 December 2008)

Gross:

$26,236,603 (USA) (10 May 2009)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie, and Mickey Rourke's status as lead actor in it, was used in a story angle by the world's most well-known pro-wrestling company, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE, previously known as the World Wrestling Federation or WWF). The story angle reached its climax at The 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania (2009), where Rourke himself made an appearance at the event (not as a wrestler however). See more »

Goofs

When the neighbor boy is telling Randy about Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, he says that it is set in Iraq. While Iraq is not specified as a location in the game, one of the four Call Of Duty 4 locations IS an unnamed country in the Middle East (the other three locales are Azerbaijan, Russia, and Prypiat, Ukraine) and given world events at the time the movie was made, the kid's assumption is plausible. See more »

Quotes

Randy 'The Ram' Robinson: Hey, this is supposed to say 'Randy'.
Wayne: I guess personnel just got it off your W-4.
Randy 'The Ram' Robinson: WAYNE!... Do I gotta wear it?
Wayne: No... you're special.
Randy 'The Ram' Robinson: WAYNE!... Can they fix it?
Wayne: Just wear the fucking thing, ok?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Big Box: The House of the Devil (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Animal Magnetism
Written by Klaus Meine, Herman Rarebell, and Rudolf Schenker
Performed by Scorpions
Courtesy of the Island Def Jam Music Group
By Arrangement with Universal Music Enterprises
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Broken Down Piece of Meat That Doesn't Deserve To Be All Alone
10 December 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It's no coincidence that Mickey Rourke is responsible for the comeback performance of the year if not the decade. Rourke's life and tumultuous past parallel Randy "The Ram" Robinson's own life so eerily close it becomes clear that no one else could have ever played this role. Darren Aronofsky's fourth feature is not only his most intimate but also his most accomplished to date. Aronofsky offers his most simplistic film both visually and narratively and ends up creating a film that has more depth and layers to it than any of his previous films.

Everything about Randy's life is in a state of decay. He retains a body that is on the verge of collapse, he hasn't seen his only daughter in years, financially he is exhausted, and the only thing that brings him solace in life is the same thing that threatens to end it. The most effective aspect of Randy's character is that no matter what mistakes he might have made in the past his sense of regret is so strong and genuine that it is impossible not to forgive him. As beaten down and alone as Randy might be he never looses his fighting spirit or sense of hope, no matter how little it may be. Regardless what hardship Randy is confronted with he never retreats and is admirably courageous even if being courageous might not be the smartest settlement.

For the general public who tend to find professional wrestling laughable and are quick to judge as a form of entertainment rather than a sport will find a deadly adversary in Aronofsky. The Wrestler shows that while outcomes of matches may be fixed the physical tolls these men take on their body are often more extreme and long lasting than most other "respectable" sports. The fact that Randy gives so much of himself and is ridiculed from everywhere to the trailer park he lives in to the job he keeps while not in the ring, makes us even more empathetic to the struggle Randy goes through to try and make it back on top. Overall The Wrestler is a constantly engaging and compelling character study with some of the finest acting, writing, directing I have seen in recent years. Oh and I forgot, the last shot will leave you speechless.


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