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The Wrestler (2008)

R  |   |  Drama, Sport  |  30 January 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 243,359 users   Metascore: 81/100
Reviews: 545 user | 388 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.



(as Robert Siegel)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 53 wins & 73 nominations. See more awards »



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


Contrary to prior reports that Mickey Rourke didn't get paid at all to appear in this film (which would have been a violation of union rules), a profile of Darren Aronofsky in the March 17, 2014, issue of the New Yorker mentioned that Rourke did end up being paid a hundred thousand dollars for the role, and he asked to receive some of that salary in cash in a brown paper bag. See more »


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


Necro Butcher: Are you cool with the staples?
Randy 'The Ram' Robinson: Staples?
Necro Butcher: Staple gun... Not so bad on the way in, except it's a little scary, you know - you got this metal thing pressed up against you. Gonna leave some marks, have to deal with a little blood loss.
See more »


Balls To The Wall
Written by Peter Baltes, Udo Dirkschneider, Gabrielle Hauke, Wolf Hoffman, and Stefan Kaufman
Performed by Accept
Courtesy of Epic Records
By Arrangement with Sony BMG Music Entertainment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Amazing film that focuses on two often misjudged professions.
1 December 2008 | by (Washington) – See all my reviews

Mickey Rourke returns to the big screen in Darren Aronofsky's brilliant character study, The Wrestler. Mickey Rourke gained about 35 pounds of muscle to play Randy 'The Ram' Robinson and looks the part of an old beaten down wrestler. Aronofsky creates a cold atmosphere that leaves the audience feeling as old and depressed as Rourke's character. The Wrestler doesn't have the look or feel of any previous Aronofsky film, it is mainly hand-held and has a gritty look to it that gives it a documentary feel. This film sucked me in. I really felt for the main character. I felt his pain and anger throughout the film. I felt his desperation. When a film has you reflecting the emotions expressed on the screen then it has accomplished something. I also appreciated that the story focused on two professions that are frowned upon in society, that being professional wrestling and stripping. Both professions are linked in the film and has the audience realize how similar they are. We also see the hardship of carrying out such a profession. I really enjoyed this film and had the pleasure of meeting the director after the showing. I was most impressed with him and can't wait till this film gets released.

175 of 243 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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Watched it in black & white last night mherch2833
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