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


Darren Aronofsky


Robert Siegel
2,531 ( 665)
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?


Infinity Ward, the video game developer whose known for creating the "Call of Duty" series, was informed and honored from the mention of their title after an employee of the company went to an early screening of the film. See more »


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


Randy 'The Ram' Robinson: Goddamn they don't make em' like they used to.
Cassidy: Fuckin' 80's man, best shit ever !
Randy 'The Ram' Robinson: Bet'chr ass man, Guns N' Roses! Rules.
Cassidy: Crue!
Randy 'The Ram' Robinson: Yeah!
Cassidy: Def Lep!
Randy 'The Ram' Robinson: Then that Cobain pussy had to come around & ruin it all.
Cassidy: Like theres something wrong with just wanting to have a good time?
Randy 'The Ram' Robinson: I'll tell you somethin', I hate the fuckin' 90's.
Cassidy: Fuckin' 90's sucked.
See more »


References Pro Wrestling (1986) See more »


Animal Magnetism
Written by Klaus Meine, Herman Rarebell, and Rudolf Schenker
Performed by Scorpions
Courtesy of the Island Def Jam Music Group
By Arrangement with Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

User Reviews

Stunning Film Stunning Performance.
31 May 2020 | by beermonsterukSee all my reviews

A good friend of mine with good film taste told me many years ago to watch this film, having been a massive fan of WWF and WCW wrestling many years ago, with the likes of Hulk Hogan, Bret "Hitman" Hart and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin being some of my favourites along with many others of those eras, I finally decided to take my mates advice and give this a watch.

Directed by Darren Aronofsky, and starring Mickey Rourke as Randy "The Ram" Robinson, this film tells the story of an ageing wrestler, well past his prime, and no longer wrestling to large crowds in big arenas or stadiums, he wrestles on weekends for independent promotions to small crowds but passionate fans nonetheless. As well as working in a supermarket for a manager he despises, he spends much of his time in a strip club, forming a friendship with an ageing stripper and single Mom, Cassidy. However, an opportunity for Randy to have a big match with his old rival The Ayatollah, in the 20 year anniversary of their old classic match from the 1980s, Randy and Ayatollah both agree on the bout.

As Randy suffers a heart attack after a hardcore match, seemingly from overtraining and steroid abuse, Randy is told he must retire, and any future involvement could result in his death. With Randy depressed at the prospect of never wrestling again, Cassidy suggests Randy get in touch with his estranged daughter, he does so, and despite her initially rebuffing him, she eventually agrees to a meet.

Stuck in his supermarket job, Randy misses wrestling, as it's the only thing he's been good at, and misses the adulation and respect he's given in that world, and he wonders if he should go through with the big fight, against Cassidys advice.

Without giving much away, this was a very good film, for wrestling and non wrestling fans alike, this wasn't just about the sport, it was about a man who struggles to connect with the World outside of his beloved profession, and as the film comes to a close, you get an insight into Randy's true feelings, a great moment. This film too was mostly praised those in the professional wrestling industry, with "Rowdy" Roddy Piper particularly being a fan, and Mickey Rourke himself changed the way he viewed the business, as wrestlers don't often get the respect of other athletes, despite their hectic training schedule. Whether you are a fan of wrestling or not, this is a must see, and Mickey Rourkes performance was definitely worthy of his Bafta. 9/10.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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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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