(2008)

Critic Reviews

81

Metascore

Based on 36 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
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.
100
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.
90
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.
88
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.
88
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.
80
Bolstered by a career-best performance from Mickey Rourke and outstanding work by Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood.
70
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.
70
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.
70
Village Voice
Present in every scene, if not each shot, Rourke gives a tremendously physical performance that The Wrestler essentially exists to document.
60
The movie isn't as world-shattering as those bouts: It's a regretful-old-warrior weeper.

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