7.9/10
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569 user 401 critic

The Wrestler (2008)

Trailer
2:30 | Trailer

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

Director:

Darren Aronofsky

Writer:

Robert Siegel
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Popularity
2,291 ( 10)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 58 wins & 87 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mickey Rourke ... Randy 'The Ram' Robinson
Marisa Tomei ... Cassidy
Evan Rachel Wood ... Stephanie
Mark Margolis ... Lenny
Todd Barry ... Wayne
Wass Stevens ... Nick Volpe
Judah Friedlander ... Scott Brumberg
Ernest Miller Ernest Miller ... The Ayatollah
Dylan Keith Summers Dylan Keith Summers ... Necro Butcher (as Dylan Summers)
Tommy Farra Tommy Farra ... Tommy Rotten
Mike Miller Mike Miller ... Lex Lethal
Marcia Jean Kurtz ... Admissions Desk Woman
John D'Leo ... Adam
Ajay Naidu ... Medic
Gregg Bello ... JAPW Promoter Larry Cohen
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 January 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El luchador See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$202,714, 21 December 2008, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$26,236,603, 10 May 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | SDDS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39:1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The main climatic scene featuring the rematch between Randy "The Ram" Robinson and The Ayatollah was taped at two Ring of Honor events on March 14th and 15th, 2008. Several Ring of Honor wrestlers also have cameos in the movie. See more »

Goofs

Poster for the match between The Ram and the Ayatollah reads Saturday, April 6, 1989. April 6, 1989, was in fact a Thursday. See more »

Quotes

Randy 'The Ram' Robinson: Give this to your son, it's an authentic Randy "the Ram" action figure. Tell him not to lose it, it's a $300 collectors item.
Cassidy: Really?
Randy 'The Ram' Robinson: No.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (2009) 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

 
The role Mickey Rourke was born to play
27 February 2009 | by SuperunknovvnSee all my reviews

"The Wrestler" is a beautiful movie, but it wouldn't be half as good if Mickey Rourke hadn't given the main character a face and a heart. There's virtually no other Hollywood actor that could have embodied Randy "The Ram" Robinson as perfectly as Rourke, and it's shocking to think how the movie could have turned out had someone else, say Bruce Willis or - as originally planned - Nicolas Cage played the part. With Rourke it's not so much an actor memorizing lines and delivering them convincingly, it's like watching a guy having gone through hell and now showing his scars. Rourke's performance even lets one overlook some rather clichéd elements in the story (the exotic dancer with a golden heart, the neglected daughter, a dance in a romantic dilapidated ballroom). It's all good, because one look at Randy's face reminds us of all the hits and punches he must have taken in the past, and it all becomes real again.

So, Rourke obviously makes the movie, but that's not the only remarkable thing. Besides a very good performance by the beautiful Marisa Tomei, "The Wrestler" is also worth mentioning because it marks the first time Darren Aronofsky has made a straight forward drama that's not heavy headed or laden with too much symbolism. After the highly pretentious "The Fountain" such a movie was more than due. "The Wrestler" proves that Aronofsky is not only capable of stylistic extravaganza, but can also handle the art of "plain" storytelling.

The fine title song by Bruce Springsteen must not be forgotten, either. After "Streets Of Philadelphia" and "Dead Man Walking" this is his third soundtrack contribution that captures the feel of a movie beautifully. Props to Aronofsky for putting an emphasis on that song by letting it play over a black screen for a couple of seconds before the closing credits start to roll.

In the end, "The Wrestler" is such a huge success because Aronofsky made the right choice by insisting on Rourke to play the main role, and because Rourke more than lived up to the director's expectations. Sean Penn may have been very good in "Milk", but the character of The Wrestler is a thousand times more interesting and memorable, and considering that fact that Rourke will forever be remembered for this great performance, he would really have deserved the Oscar.


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