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


Darren Aronofsky


Robert Siegel
1,866 ( 113)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 58 wins & 91 nominations. See more awards »





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 ... 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


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:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The 'cocaine' that Randy snorts is fake, as is common practice in movies. Usually, inositol powder (vitamin B, often used in energy drinks) is used because it has the right consistency and is generally safe to use, although it can produce a 'slight high'. Mickey Rourke was apparently not notified of this effect, and actually had a brief 'freak out' upon hearing what he had just ingested. See more »


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


Nick Volpe: You know what I'm thinkin'? Two words... RE - MATCH.
See more »


Referenced in Behind the Comedy (2009) 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 »

User Reviews

Well done!!
31 July 2011 | by MissyH316See all my reviews

As someone who's a fan and who has actually worked behind the scenes in pro wrestling, I can tell you that Randy "The Ram" Robinson's story is a very respectful and realistic portrayal of the toll pro wrestling takes on its stars' lives. Certainly not everyone in the biz ends up as destitute and lonely as Randy was - some do, definitely - but those who end up well-off in every sense of the word (like Hulk Hogan, John Cena, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and The Rock, for instance) are VERY, VERY rare. Most end up somewhere in between.

Interestingly, as precarious as Randy's health became, however, if he were in his mid-50's (as was Mickey Rourke at the time), he still had a longer pro wrestling career than many others who abused their body likewise. Randy still was made up of some very tough stuff and in fact beat the odds with his career length.

When asked "is pro wrestling fake?", I always answer, "only where it needs to be" - i.e., the story lines and SOME of the action. No one deliberately sets out to end another one's career, but like any other contact sport such as pro football, the athleticism and subsequent pain & injury are all TOO real. There's no "off season" in pro wrestling, and certainly no astronomically high salaries as other pro athletes make - not by a long shot. But in pro wrestling you'll find the best athletes in the world.

Bottom line: It's a brutal business and an extremely hard way to make a living - period. That's why the men and women who stick with it and suffer all they do is for one reason only - because they love it. May God bless them all. :)

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USA | France



Release Date:

30 January 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Wrestler See more »


Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$202,714, 21 December 2008

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

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