7.9/10
258,971
553 user 391 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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Writer:

(as Robert Siegel)
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Popularity
1,928 ( 17)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 56 wins & 83 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ernest Miller ...
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) (19 December 2008)

Gross:

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

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A retired wrestler Bret Hart, a seven-time world champion in WWF and WCW, liked the movie but at the same time was disturbed by its unbalanced portrayal of life as a professional wrestler. While appreciating the "clairvoyant performance" by Mickey Rourke and the "astutely layered vision" by director Darren Aronofsky, Hart felt the film's dark misinterpretation merely shows what many people outside the business think the sport is. He also criticized that the film helps to reinforce some opinions that anyone can walk in the ring and wrestle. Hart says he trained almost daily during his career. See more »

Goofs

When the kids wake up Randy, he goes out of the van, the door closes without anyone closing it. See more »

Quotes

Randy 'The Ram' Robinson: I just want to tell you, I'm the one who was supposed to take care of everything. I'm the one who was supposed to make everything okay for everybody. It just didn't work out like that. And I left. I left you. You never did anything wrong. I used to try to forget about you. I used to try to pretend that you didn't exist, but I can't. You're my girl. You're my little girl. And now, I'm an old broken down piece of meat... and I'm alone. And I deserve to be all alone. I just don't want you to hate ...
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Connections

Features Donkey Kong (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

N2 Sumthin'
Written and Performed by Takbir Bashir
Courtesy of Bok Music and Beatz N Mash Productions
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Brutal, Honest, Touching film
20 January 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Wrestler is a drama centered around an aging professional wrestler past his prime. It's so much more than that. You don't have to be a fan of wrestling to enjoy this film. The wrestling part of it can be put aside as a back story. Randy "The Ram" could be in any other profession, doing any other thing and could be in the same situation. That's what's so great about it. He's just a lonely guy, whose life seems to have passed him by. A middle aged man who doesn't have much going for him. Sure, he's a wrestler, but he needs wrestling more than wrestling needs him. He needs it to feel important, to feel like a somebody. He really has nothing to show for himself, no wife, just a daughter he hasn't been there for his whole life. Missed opportunities. He's sad and alone and we really do feel for him.

A closer bond seems to be forming between him and his stripper friend, played by Marisa Tomei, who seems to be in a similar situation as he is. The middle aged stripper who seems to have a real connection with "The Ram" is shown in another misunderstood profession. We all may not be as different as we may think. Health problems compromise his wrestling career as he tries to deal with the real world and rebuild his relationship with his abandoned daughter. The scenes with Evan Rachel Wood (his daughter) are touching. Beautifully done. Rourke's character portrayal of the Ram is one of the best in a long time. He's not just acting, he transforms into the character on screen. It's amazing to watch. All the credit he's getting is truly deserved.

The film is Directed by Darren Aronofsky, who also directed Requiem for a Dream. He does a beautiful job showing the sport with realism. The film respects the wrestlers and their world, and expects the same from the audience. This film is done in a style that's so real, so honest, so amazing, in easily one of the best films of the year. All around great performances and great direction. Definitely worth checking out sometime.


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