Critic Reviews



Based on 36 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
The Wrestler is like "Rocky" made by the Scorsese of "Mean Streets." It's the rare movie fairy tale that's also a bravura work of art.
Rourke creates a galvanizing, humorous, deeply moving portrait that instantly takes its place among the great, iconic screen performances. An elemental story simply and brilliantly told, Darren Aronofsky's fourth feature is a winner from every possible angle.
What Rourke offers us, in short, is not just a comeback performance but something much rarer: a rounded, raddled portrait of a good man. Suddenly, there it is again--the charm, the anxious modesty, the never-distant hint of wrath, the teen-age smiles, and all the other virtues of a winner.
Aronofsky's directorial style is simple and spare. There are no flourishes or attempts to convince us that he is a master of his craft.
Rolling Stone
You watch The Wrestler (with a superb title song from Bruce Springsteen) in a state of pure exhilaration. A great actor in a great movie will do that to you.
The Hollywood Reporter
Bolstered by a career-best performance from Mickey Rourke and outstanding work by Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood.
Whatever Aronofsky did -- or didn't -- do, Rourke's performance comes off beautifully. The Wrestler may not be the "best" Aronofsky movie in any technical sense. But the director clearly feels a great deal of tenderness toward his lead character.
The Wrestler could have been a groundbreaking drama, one that upturns the sensational genre roots from which it stems. With Rourke in such form, it could have been character-driven to the core – if only Aronofsky trusted his character enough to resist screenwriter Siegel's contrived plot thrusts.
Village Voice
Present in every scene, if not each shot, Rourke gives a tremendously physical performance that The Wrestler essentially exists to document.
New York Magazine (Vulture)
The movie isn't as world-shattering as those bouts: It's a regretful-old-warrior weeper.

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