Box Office - 11/01/2008 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "Director Darren Aronofsky's new film THE WRESTLER is a quiet, intimate portrait of a troubled soul -- someone at odds with himself and with life in general whose every ounce of pain and virtue is measured onscreen."
Rolling Stone - 12/11/2008 3.5 stars out of 4 -- "Rourke doesn't make a false move in this movie....You watch THE WRESTLER in a state of pure exhilaration. A great actor in a great movie will do that to you."
Empire - 01/01/2009 5 stars out of 5 -- "Emotionally raw and with a climax that should draw tears, Mickey Rourke gives the performance of his career."
Entertainment Weekly - 12/19/2008
"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." -- Grade: A
USA Today - 12/21/2008 3 stars out of 4 -- "In THE WRESTLER, Mickey Rourke wallops us with a damaged hero who is full of pathos and poignant contradictions....Rourke gives the performance of his life."
Los Angeles Times - 12/17/2008
"Rourke brings just the right amount of faded charisma to Robinson....The actor is not playing himself but rather a part powerfully informed by his past life."
New York Times - 12/17/2008
"[Mr. Aronofsky] makes a convincing show of brute realism. The supermarkets, trailer parks, V.F.W. halls and run-down amphitheaters of New Jersey are convincingly drab, and the grain of the celluloid carries a sour and salty aura of weariness and defeat."
Chicago Sun-Times - 12/23/2008 4 stars out of 4 -- "Mickey Rourke plays the battered, broke, lonely hero, Randy ('The Ram') Robinson. This is the performance of his lifetime....This is Rourke doing astonishing physical acting."
Entertainment Weekly - 12/26/2008
Included in Entertainment Weekly's 2008 Films Of The Year -- "In this great, tender, brutal, lyrical, and haunting tale of a washed-up professional wrestler still living off the fumes of his '80s glory days, Darren Aronofsky shows you Randy 'The Ram' Robinson from the inside out..."
Total Film - 02/01/2009 5 stars out of 5 -- "[B]eautiful, bittersweet and, at times, surprisingly funny....For Rourke, at least, the wrestler is the role of a lifetime, and he's better than he's ever been."
Washington Post - 12/25/2008
"Imagining someone other than the beatifically battered Mickey Rourke in the role of THE WRESTLER would be like picturing someone other than John Malkovich in BEING JOHN MALKOVICH."
A.V. Club - 04/21/2009
"Elements that might have otherwise seemed cliché...are poignantly authentic in the hands of Rourke and director Darren Aronofsky..."
At first glance, Darren Aronofsky's THE WRESTLER may seem like a departure for the oftentimes frenetic filmmaker, and in some ways it is. When this story of a past-his-prime performer is compared to PI, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, and THE FOUNTAIN, there is relatively little trace of psychoscientific addiction imagery, hip-hop editing, or grimly elegant peeks into dreams, nightmares, and otherworlds. Comic moments are plentiful. Aronofsky's signature close-ups of faces have been replaced with ones that force themselves into wounds inflicted for visceral spectacle. Much of the time the camera floats and bobs with an observant, almost documentary-like quietness, ethereally following the wrestler as if it were his past, and the viewer may perceive vague connections to a later, lonelier, less legitimate Rocky Balboa.
But Mickey Rourke isn't the Italian Stallion--he's Randy "The Ram" Robinson, a man who has spent decades slicing himself open in choreographed fights while adoring crowds roar. Pro wrestling isn't as lucrative as it was for Randy in the 1980s, but he stays at it while working menial jobs because performing isn't just the only thing he craves--it's the only thing that, at 50, he knows how to crave. While courting his one true friend, a stripper named Cassidy (Marisa Tomei), Randy does his best to restart a relationship with the angry daughter (Evan Rachel Wood) he abandoned. But Rourke imbues the image of Randy, ready to pounce from the ropes, looking almost as unreal as the box art on action figure packaging, with an expression of pain, desperation, and joy. It's a close-up that makes two things clear. For one, Randy's charisma is inseparable from the crippling fixation that's kept him alive. For another, THE WRESTLER might be at once a simpler and more complex meditation on addiction and eternal struggle than any of Aronofsky's earlier work.
Description by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment:
Mickey Rourke gives the performance of a lifetime as pro wrestler Randy "The Ram" Robinson, a former superstar now paying the price for twenty years of grueling punishment in and out of the ring. But he's about to risk everything to prove he has one more match left in him: a re-staging of his famous Madison Square Garden bout against "The Ayatollah." Darren Aronofsky directs a powerful cast in this action-packed saga of guts, glory and gritty determination that is "as irresistible as a headlock" (New York Post ).
Art / Artists |
Black Comedy |
Character Study |
Classic Fight Scenes |
Family Interaction |
Personal Triumph |
Professional Wrestling |
Road To Ruin |
Theatrical Release |